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Picking a Provider
Picking a Provider
If you’ve never had Internet service, I have a question for you: Where have
you been living? On Mars? Even Martians seem to be sending e-mail these
days (although they all pretend to be princes from Nigeria). Anyway, you
picked a good time to join the party. A fast, easy connection to the Internet
is probably just a phone call away. When I moved into my current apartment
building, high-speed Internet service was already built right into the walls
like telephone service or electricity. I just had to plug one end of a computer
network cable into the wall and the other end into my computer, make one
phone call, and POOF! I had high-speed Internet service on the spot.
If your home didn’t come with Internet connections, check with your phone
company or cable company to see what it offers. Maybe you can get the two
companies to fight over you and give you a good deal. You’ll find an extensive
list of ISPs at www.thelist.com , but your local phone and cable providers
are usually your best bet.
You may live in an area without high-speed Internet service, which is sad, as
well as unlikely in the continental United States. Unless you live 40 miles from
Nowhere, some phone or cable company is looking for a way to get
highspeed service to you as soon as possible. You have no idea how much time
you can waste until you can log on to dozens of useless websites every day.
There also might be a dialup service in your community that can serve you.
But if you have a choice, avoid dialup Internet connections — even if they are
cheaper. Most Web sites today are designed for high-speed Internet users.
You’ll be tearing your hair out after a few hours of surfing most of the popular
sites by dialup.
What If You Are 40 Miles from Nowhere?
Luckily, as of late 2012, you stranded Internet
orphans do have an ace in the hole: Satellite
Internet service. Once upon a time that option
was the last thing on the face of the earth you
wanted to consider. Service was slow, and
latency on the up and down links made real
Internet surfing unpleasant. Today, however,
satellite providers offer speeds above 10
megabits per second (Mbps) and at reasonable
prices, so if you can’t get high-speed
connections any other way, search the web for
a satellite Internet provider that services your