Tag Archives: dial-up

The Days of Dial-Up


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Do you remember the days of dial-up? Where the heck did you think those sounds came from, anyway?!

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What Would You Do if You Were Stuck on Dial-up?

This email starts out with a familiar tone:

My name is Shean (pronounced like Sean or Shawn) and I’ve been a fan of yours ever since the good ol’ days of TechTV. You know, back when stuff on television was awesome!

But then it takes a turn for the worse:

Anyway, I’m contacting you because I’m in a situation that I would like to share with you. I’m a self-proclaimed geek with absolutely zero access to all the fun and cool things that geeks love to play with. The reason for this is because… wait for it…

I’M A DIAL-UP USER and not by choice.

Holy shit.

I’ve been using dial-up for the past 10 years and I’ve been trying to get broadband for nearly 5 of those years. There is nothing better than dial-up available where I live. Well, there is satellite service, but it’s very expensive and doesn’t even come close to what DSL and cable has to offer. I typically download large files because of my small computer repair business, so wireless Internet is out of the question. Monthly 5GB cap limits simply won’t do when I’m downloading large programs and updates for my customers. Dial-up is slow as heck, but at least it’s completely unlimited with no extra charges.

I can’t enjoy streaming video, can’t download songs from iTunes, and can’t play games online. I don’t own any Internet capable devices because they simply won’t work where I live. I don’t even own a cell phone. Social networking services like Twitter and Facebook are no fun when all you have is dial-up. The Internet itself is a tiresome chore. Websites have become way too big and flashy for a dial-up user.

I used to be able to keep up with a little effort, but now it’s pretty much impossible. I’ve contacted many telecoms and cable companies in my surrounding area, but they simply won’t bring broadband into my little community. I’ve thought about moving to a new location, but that’s easier said than done. I understand that the government is trying to improve broadband in the US, but what am I supposed to do in the meantime? I’m tired of living in 1998 and I need quality service at this very moment.

Life is downright boring without proper Internet and technology as a whole is leaving me in the dust, Chris. What would you do in my situation?

What would YOU do, gang?

Pay as you Go Internet… Good or Bad Idea?

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The only truth when it comes to Broadband here in America is that we don’t have enough. One community member wrote in to talk about the fact that he really doesn’t have any options for Broadband, other than Satellite. He generally uses his Internet in the middle of the night, when he isn’t subject to capping. The satellite truly isn’t much better than pre-1993 dial-up speeds. He’s asking about “pay as you go/use” Internet service, and what I think the future of it is.

This is just wrong to me, in more ways than one. For those of us who make our livlihood online, and who use it for more than just email, having limited access is damaging. You wouldn’t think Comcast would do this to you. You also wouldn’t think they’d traffic-shape. You also wouldn’t think they’d pay people to sit and sleep during the FCC hearings.

< silence >

Oh sorry. I was wasting your bandwidth there. I don’t know where my mind is. Do you understand what that could do? Do you get what they’re doing here? I wouldn’t put it past any large ISP to be doing this. It’s scary! If this happens, I can seriously see big companies start coming in to offer service that we need… such as Google or Microsoft. The ISPs would be in serious trouble at that point.

I use cable, because I do get better speeds with it. I have a DSL line that is dedicated to running the Live Stream. Heck, I know people who chose their place to live based on the type of Internet available to them.

Pay As You Go gives you the flexibility to use the Internet as much or as little as you like. You only pay for what you use. There are no monthly charges. Think of it like prepaid cell phone service. It’s the same time of plan and deals.

I don’t know. What do you guys think? If this were available, would you go for it? How reliable do you think it would be? Could Power Users ever be able to rely on it when doing business?

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ISP Tips

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I recorded a video not long ago about Bandwidth Capping from ISPs. I have a top-five list of things to look for when looking for an ISP. Here are some tips sent in by Lundberry to help you choose the right ISP for you.

  • What is there reliability in your area? While this might seem obvious to ask you would be amazed at how many people will go with an unreliable ISP because they are cheap. Is your time worth more than a few extra dollars a month to have confidence that when you go online you’ll actually get what you want to.
  • What is the cost going to be? Is the cost to add a little extra speed and confidence that it will work reasonable and how does that compare to the competition.
  • Do you get what you pay for? When you pay for a 5Mbps connection do you actually get 5Mbps or do you get 2Mbps. These things will have an effect on how you feel about your investment in internet. You need to ask yourself if your using cable how many cable customers are around here and how will that effect my connection speeds.
  • What do you need? Do you really need a 20Mbps connection to do flickr a few times a week. I am surprised at how many people will upgrade to a superfast connection for no reason. You can use that extra money you save to get better hardware which will help you just as much as that speed increase your paying for.
  • Is it Comcast? This one is pretty self explanatory. Though for me Charter is my comcast but I still get raked over the coals in terms of various different things are done to me. For instance the fact that I pay for 5Mbps internet and average about 1Mbps. Or the fact that no matter what modem I use I never can get a consistant connection to the service. Ie. I don’t even get an IP address from my ISP.

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Tips for Choosing the Best ISP for your Needs

The other night, I was having difficulties once again with my Comcast connection. Within hours, two different people emailed me with their Top Five lists of ways to choose an ISP, and why. Here they are… hopefully they’ll help all of you. This list comes from Azaas in the live community.

  • Don’t fall for marketing. Commercials and trends are not the things you wanna take into consideration when you’re choosing for ISP.
  • Always read very carefully what you’re signing for. I don’t know if that applies to the states,but in Europe many customers have fallen for the “up to x MB ” thing. That means that your net speed can reach that point but most likely WON’T. So many people end up paying more for something that they could have purchased for less.
  • Take the time needed and do a research on how user friendly the ISP is. I was trying to contact my ISP for like 4 hours,through their emergency line, and noone would answer my god damn call. That,trust me when i say,should be ranked as one of the most important things you should be looking at an ISP.
  • Never trust a new company just because it offers great speeds at low prices. What you want is take advantage of the know-how of those old time classic ISPs and not having to put up with the numerous problems a new company will certainly face.If despite that you can’t resist those low costs,take the time and see what people,who are already customers,have to say about that specific ISP. Cost should certainly not be the only thing to take into account when choosing an ISP.
  • Last but not least… always read the small letters. When i dropped my old plan i got a notice that the router they had provided me with should be returned within a week or i’d have to pay a 300 euros fee. The thing is that i was leaving for Greece the very next day,so i had to change both mine and my gf’s plane tickets which had a cost of 420 euros more than what we had already paid.