Sunday, February 13, 2005

When Dial-Up Internet Service Makes Sense

In the great migration to residential broadband and T1 dedicated Internet access for business, it's easy to forget that nearly half the people accessing the Internet in the US are using dial-up modems on standard telephone lines. Dial-up access has improved greatly over the years and still makes sense for many people, even business people.

But isn't dial-up Internet so last century? Not necessarily. For instance, how can you get your email or visit web sites when you broadband goes down? That happens even to the best DSL and Cable Internet providers on occasion. It helps to remember that much of the time broadband is a convenience more than an absolute necessity. In a pinch, you can live with plugging a phone wire into the back of your desktop or laptop and dialing into 56K Internet service.

Not everyone lives on the Internet like some of us. There is no point in paying $35 to $45 a month for broadband or $24 a month for the heavily advertised dial-up services if you only log on an hour a day to check your mail and a few web sites. If you are online 15 hours a month or less, consider CogniSurf for $7.95 a month. Or, for unlimited dial-up access you can go with WorldVerge at just $9.95 a month.

What do you get for your $9.95 a month? WorldVerge offers unlimited 56K dial-up Internet service with spam and virus filtering, 5 email accounts, free 24/7 tech support and both standard PC and Macintosh dialers. Add the accelerator option for another $2.95 a month and you'll be downloading email and accessing web sites up to 6 times faster. That's almost the broadband experience, although accelerators don't affect the speed of software downloads & web site FTPs, and don't improve VoIP pc to phone calls over dial-up.

Dial-up Internet service is alive and well and less expensive than ever for broadband backup, business travelers, occasional users, and anyone living in areas that aren't supported by DSL or Cable Internet service.

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