Technology Explained

Types of Internet Access Technologies, Explained

Ben Stegner Updated 25-11-2019

Nowadays, most computer users jump online daily without a second thought. But have you ever wondered what types of internet connections actually allow us to connect to the internet?

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Let’s walk through the different types of internet connections used throughout the years and today. We’ll see how internet access has evolved over time, and the basics of how each method works.

Defining “Internet Service Provider”

Before we begin, it’s important to know what an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is. While anyone can use their computer as a standalone unit or connected to other computers on a local network, you need to go through an ISP to connect to the vast resources available on the internet.

An ISP is simply a company that provides its customers with access to the internet. Examples include Comcast and Verizon. These companies have vast network infrastructure that enables widespread and easy internet access.

What technology your ISP uses to connect you to the internet has changed over the years, and varies depending on your area. Let’s walk through some of the most common forms.

Types of Wired Internet Access

First we’ll look at the wired technologies for internet access. These typically enable you to get online at home.

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Cable

Cable is a common delivery method for high-speed internet. This utilizes the same type of copper cable that you might have for cable TV service. Using a standard called DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification), a compatible modem can sort the TV signals from the internet data signals so both work on one line.

While cable is still a common method for broadband, it has competition in more modern methods. You can still expect solid speeds from cable internet, but it’s not the most powerful technology.

Fiber Optics

Fiber internet connections, offered by companies like Verizon FIOS, are one of the fastest home internet options available. Instead of traditional cable, they use light to transmit information.

At the originating end, a transmitter converts electrical signals to light. This light then bounces along a special cable made out of glass or plastic. When it reaches its destination, the receiving end converts the light back into data that your computer can use.

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As you might expect, light travels a lot faster than electricity flowing through a wire. Unfortunately, fiber networks aren’t as ubiquitous as cable, and it’s expensive to run new lines. Thus, this type of connection isn’t available in some areas.

We use the term “fiber to the home” to describe this type of access. However, fiber optic cable is used in many other ways, such as lines across the ocean. Fiber optics can effectively send data across much longer distances than cable can, making it useful for these situations.

We’ve looked more closely at the differences between fiber and cable Cable vs. Fiber Internet: Which One Is Better? The two most common forms of broadband internet are cable and fiber. But which one is better for you? If you have the option of both, which one should you go with? Read More if you’re curious.

DSL

DSL, which stands for Digital Subscriber Line, uses existing telephone lines to transmit digital data. Because the data transfers at a higher frequency than voice calls, you can use the internet and talk on the phone at the same time.

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With DSL, you install a physical filter that separates the voice and data signals. Otherwise, you’d hear a high-pitched hiss when talking on the phone.

The term almost always refers to asymmetric DSL, which means that your upload and download speeds are different. This makes sense, since most people download content from the internet more than they upload.

DSL is still offered today, mostly in rural areas without reliable cable infrastructure. It’s passable if you don’t need a fast connection, but increasingly limiting with today’s internet.

Dial-Up

Dial-up is rare now, but it’s worth briefly mentioning as it was the first widely used method for internet access.

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Like DSL, it uses phone lines to connect to the internet. However, unlike DSL, only one type of communication can go through the line at a time. A dial-up modem converts digital signals from a computer into analog signals that go over the phone line by running a “phone call” to the ISP’s server.

Of course, this setup has a lot of limitations. The analog signal of dial-up is inefficient compared to digital signals. And infamously, placing a phone call while you were online would kick you off the internet.

The sound of a dial-up connection is nostalgic to many, but for the most part it’s now a connection technology that’s confined to the past.

Types of Mobile/Wireless Internet Access

It’s becoming more common to access the internet wirelessly outside of your home. Let’s next take a look at types of wireless internet services.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet, as the name suggests, is a wireless solution that uses satellite dishes in the sky. It’s a line-of-sight technology, so you need a professional to set up a dish attached to your house that’s pointed at the service satellite.

As you probably know, the further a signal travels, the more it degrades. Because satellite dishes can be 40,000+ miles away, they often have high latency. This makes satellite connections poor for real-time activities like gaming.

The other issue with satellite internet is that it beams a signal into a large area. Everyone near you using a satellite connection has to share the bandwidth, which could be a large group.

This is the only internet access option for a lot of people in remote areas, but we don’t recommend it if you have other options.

Mobile Broadband

Internet access over a wireless network can take several different forms.

Similar to satellite internet, wireless broadband for the home allows you to pick up a signal from your ISP without cables. It’s not ideal since it has the same drawbacks, including slower speeds and interference susceptibility.

Most of the time when we say “mobile internet,” we mean wireless access technologies on mobile phones. Smartphones transmit and receive wireless radio waves, which allows them transfer digital data as well as voice calls. See our explanation of LTE, 4G, and 5G LTE vs. 4G vs. 5G: What's the Difference? Should your next phone be LTE or 4G? Maybe 5G? Learn which mobile broadband is fastest and compare LTE. vs 4G. vs 5G. Read More to learn how this technology has evolved.

Mobile internet also allows you to get your laptop online pretty much anywhere and can double up as in-car Wi-Fi. Cell phone providers sell USB modems and other mobile internet devices Dongles vs. Portable Hotspots: Mobile Internet Devices Explained Need to get online when you're working remotely? Here's a breakdown of which type of mobile internet device you need. Read More that allow you to connect to your provider’s network through mobile technology like LTE. Just like your cell phone, this allows you to access the internet without connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

Now You Understand the Main Types of Internet Services

We’ve surveyed the basics of internet connection technologies, both wired and wireless. In a lot of cases, what you use is limited to what’s offered in your area. Unless you live in an extremely remote location, you probably have cable or fiber optic internet access at home and an LTE connection on your phone.

If you’re interested in more about the technology behind the web, find out where the internet comes from and if whether you could make your own Where Does Internet Come From? Why Can't You Make Your Own? The internet is in your pocket, right? But also the air? And your phone line? The internet comes from somewhere, but where? And why can't we make our own? Read More .

Image Credit: kubais/Depositphotos

Related topics: Bandwidth, Computer Networks, Internet, ISP, Mobile Internet, Powerline.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Rinchen chogyel
    July 26, 2016 at 5:10 am

    sorry to distrub to the concern people .so i need help or information.
    In my villages there are many house hold and some are scattered say 6-7 km away from the main station so please suggest me how can i use tv cable to view the same station Tv

  2. Brian
    March 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Nice article but terribly out of date.

    • Guy McDowell
      March 2, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you. Yet all of these technologies are still in use around the world.

      Prices and speed specs may have changed, but the underlying principles are the same.

  3. ankit
    December 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Hi,
    First of all, very nice article.

    I want to create a college project which is based on how internet work but main challenge for me is, how can I make working satellite which contact with server as well as user.

  4. rajesh
    December 12, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    oops! is it

  5. rajesh
    December 12, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    it,s possible to make internet by own with simple materials

    • Guy McDowell
      December 12, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      You can network two computers together with just a network cable, or a null modem cable. But that's not the Internet.

      Connecting to the Internet requires at least a computer, a modem, and a telephone line. Then you could connect to an Internet service provider.

  6. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Guy,
    Thanks. Excellent article.
    I'm angry that we are paying more, getting less.
    Less speed and few choices.
    We don't live in the land of the free anymore.
    ComCrap is now charging me $40/mo for 3.4Mbps.
    Just spoke with nice young lady in the Phillipines. She said they only pay $11/mo
    and are getting 4.7Mbps. A gent in India told me thay have six ISPs to choose from.
    The only other true option appears to be AT&T which is a worse monopoly than Comcast.
    In previous years I was paying $14.95mo for basic broadband, it was faster and the ISP even gave me a whopping 10MB space for a web site. That was with Earthlink who now only offers dial-up in the south Florida area at $25/month. No thanks.
    I'm just adding this to the list of reasons to leave this Land of the Sheep, Home of the Enslaved.

    • Guy McDowell
      December 12, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

      I feel your pain. I'm on ADSL that maxes out at about 900 kbps and that costs me $100/month. Meanwhile, our provincial government keeps throwing money at ISPs to get highspeed to the rural areas.

      Still waiting...

  7. kumar kaustubh
    April 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Really helpful article..
    Had one question
    What does broadband basically mean?
    Can ADSL connection be considered as braodband connection?

    • Guy
      April 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      Thank you!

      Yes, ADSL is considered a broadband connection by most standards. Granted, it's a lot slower than fiber optic, but it's way quicker than dial-up.

      The word "broadband" can be used in so many different ways. The common denominator is that a broadband connection is always on. You don't need to sign in or dial up everytime you want to use it.

      A broadband connection will also use a wide array (or band) of frequencies. So if we were talking radio stations, it'd be like one station broadcasting on every channel between 88 and 108 FM. That one station could send out a lot of info.

      A very narrow band would be one station operating at, say 101.5 FM. That's all they have to send info over, so the information will be much more limited.

      That's not a perfect analogy at all, but I hope it gets the general idea across.

      The FCC in the US used to define broadband Internet access as any service with greater than 4 Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds - at peak. They've recently changed it to be any service greater than 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Guy
    November 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Sopheavy,

    I'm not sure I understand the question. Could you give me some more details?

  9. Sopheavy
    November 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Can you tell me " how many type is Internet? "

  10. Esa N
    October 14, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Hi! I live in Finland, Rauma (small city, population around 40 000). I have seen pretty poor speeds in the comments. I have a DOCSIS connection. Here are my results: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3829954803

    My parents live on countryside and they have 24 mbit/s ADSL.

    Many people in Finland complain that we have so slow internet connections, but when reading these comments, I think we have pretty fast connections!

  11. Guy
    October 6, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Hey Kai,

    Thanks for the info. Yep, I'm guessing they do need to bump up their infrastructure. Many of the ISPs I checked were Canadian, so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

    Good to hear that WISP in general is much faster than I had pegged it to be. Lots of rural folks will be happy to hear that.

  12. Kai
    October 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I used to work for a rural Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) in Colorado for a few years. Our starting/low-end speed was 1.5 Mbps but our average speed was 5-7 Mpbs with 10 offered in some areas. Our Internet speeds were often faster and more reliable then the phone companies in the area who provided DSL.

    Much of the speed for wireless Internet depends on the infrastructure going to the antennas that service customers as well as their locations in relationship to customers homes and businesses. So it sounds like the ISPs whom you based your 1.5 Mbps speed on need to make some improvements.

  13. Peter F
    September 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks for this article. It's a great starting point for folks like me who use the internet but don't always understand it fully.

    I have ADSL at home and found the part about the upload/download speed quite eye opening and answered a few questions I always had at the back of my mind.

    It seems that everyone around me has superfast fibre optic broadband, but I live waaaaaaay out in the middle of nowhere (UK) and am content with my average 5mb/sec so far!

    • Guy M
      September 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      It's all relative isn't it? 5MB/s is usually enough for anything but intensive video streaming. Somethings just take patience. I'm fine with that.

  14. J O
    September 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I am a customer of prairieinet. http://www.prairieinet.net/

    • Guy M
      September 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Very cool. You should let them know you mentioned them here, on one of the top 1000 websites on the Internet. Maybe they'll spot you a month or something. Couldn't hurt to try! :)

  15. J O
    September 24, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I am a current wireless internet customer because I live in a rural area. I receive my signal from a grain elevator about two miles away from my house via a dish that looks very much like a satellite TV dish. I am getting download speeds of about 8Mbps and upload speeds of about 3Mbps. I am on the lowest price plan offered. My ISP promises to increase speeds in the next year without a rate increase. 1.5Mbps seems to be very low.

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      That's excellent! If you don't mind, could you put your ISP's name and web address here? I'm sure people would like to know about them.

    • J O
      September 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      My ISP is PrairieInet. prairienet.net

  16. Eva
    September 24, 2014 at 3:33 am

    Guy, I think you did a fine job of keeping it simple, and some of us like that. I started this online stuff a long time ago, with DOS, Prodigy, Genie & my first modem was a blazing 300 baud hurricane.

    Remember the movie "Sneakers?"

    I'm still learning, and ALL of your articles have taught me something new. BTW, thanks to your tips on extending battery life, I've told many of my friends to use the black background, and now they, too, are using it. It's elegant and very classy.

    Please continue to keep it simple. ÷)

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Eva. Oh yes, those were the days! Sneakers is one of my favourite movies. Even though the movies are usually a little off on the tech facts, they're partly responsible for me getting into IT. That and a great Grade 6 teacher. Thank you Mrs. Dogger!

      We're all still learning. That's the whole point, isn't it? The day I say I know it all is the day they should take me out back.

      I'm constantly learning about technology from people who are journalists, artists, accountants...all walks of life. They usually find the most unique ways to do things - some of them way better than the accepted methods. A chiropractor introduced me to Ubuntu.

      I hope you continue to enjoy our site and comment. That's where we all really learn.

  17. Janet Van Stry
    September 24, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Your service provides exactly what it's name implies. If the professional is to advanced for this site, perhaps he should stick to. The more technical sites.His remarks were totally out of bounds. I was offended and I think he belittles himself. Not flattering. Not impressed!

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Janet. I'm glad you enjoyed the article and I hope you continue to enjoy our site.
      Are there topics you'd like us to write about?

  18. Joe
    September 24, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Dear MUO team
    I am one of those people just learning and after having read many of your articles I find they are easy to understand and don't care for the in depth techno jargon.

    Good work(s) guys.

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Joe, thank you!
      When we do use technical terms, we try to explain them in layman's terms as best we can first.
      Maybe we should have a glossary on the site somewhere too.

  19. Dottie
    September 24, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Jeff, I am a 73 year old female who enjoys reading these articles from MUO so I can feel like I am not totally clueless. I am a consumer and feel these articles help me to become more informed before I buy something.

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Dottie, thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying our articles.
      Feel free to ask questions if there's something you'd like to know more about.
      Our authors and other readers are a pretty helpful bunch.

  20. Jeff Schallenberg
    September 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    It's true I have a physics and telecommunications background. But MUO is for geeks, not nincompoops. When you add an unsourced explanation like "Part of the reason is that light is massless; it has no weight, whereas the electricity flowing in the wires is made up of a stream of electrons, all of which have some small amount of weight", it bugs me.

    It's not electrons that move through copper cable at half the speed of light - it's the electromagnetic field that they generate as they move short distances between collisions with other electrons. The speed of waves in any medium depends on the dielectric constant of the medium - the insulating material in the copper cable, or the mixture of silicon dioxide and trace minerals like germanium or erbium in the case of fibre.

    Don't treat your readers like dummies.

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Jeff, I'm sorry to say, you are mistaken.

      MakeUseOf.com is for EVERYBODY. Especially those people that are just learning to 'make use of' technology.

      If you couldn't get from the brevity of this article and the breadth of scope that it attempts to cover, that the article was for people new to telecommunications, I'm sorry. I just don't know what else to say to you.

      We do have articles that go more in-depth into very specific topics. I hope that you enjoy those, and feel free to gloss over the articles intended for the person new to certain technologies.

  21. Ed
    September 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Verizon's DSL offering for most customers is .5-1.0 Mbps, you can check their website. Higher speeds may be available, however what they don't say is that you have to be close to the CO (usually the Telco little brick building somewhere within about 2 miles as the crow flies of your home in urban areas). Think of it as a target with a bullseye center spot. If you are lucky enough to live near the center bullseye you can get the higher speeds offered. Chances are since there is more area around the center you probably live past the limit (they measure it in feet and I forget the DSL speed/distance limits) for the higher speeds so you get the slower speed only and if you are real unlucky you could be past the distance cutoff limit for DSL service at all from your CO.
    Having DSL almost since it was first offered in my area by Verizon I can say ...
    a. The plan quoted speed was higher and my actual speed was higher. The quoted DSL plan speed now is .5-1.0 Mbps and I usually see (from various speed test websites) .6-.7 Mbps. and is the highest speed plan available to me. I know this because once it slowed to a certain point I started (and keep) checking to see if a higher speed plan was available to me and it is not.
    b. Price keeps going up little by little which would not be so bad if the speed had not kept going down since it now to the point that reading my email almost reminds me of the dialup service of yesteryear.
    c. Why is this since I keep hearing about new DSL technology that is faster. Are they closing CO's and using the new tech to run more customers off fewer CO's? Or is it that they have more customers so they reduce each customers bandwidth? I know they can do this since my
    service has dropped below .5 Mbps more than once. This requires me to place a service call, wait usually until the next day for a callback then explain to (x) levels of tech support and then depending on how good the person is that I am talking to finally getting forwarded to the higher level tech support that then go in and adjust back up to the speed I am paying for.
    d. Or it is something different altogether, are they offering DSL just because they have or need to but would rather push service like LTE since it is more profitable so they really aren't interested in keeping customers happy with DSL?

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Hi Ed,

      Thank you for the in-depth information about Verizon. I'm sure it will prove useful to people looking at different Internet Service Providers.

      Why Verizon does what it does is beyond me, but whenever I'm faced with something like this, technology usually isn't the limiting factor. It's usually policy, and policy is driven by profit.

    • intelligencia
      October 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Hi ED!

      The situation you described is Exactly my experience with VERIZON'S DSL which I have had for a number of years now. I used to have the 3.0 Mbps Plan some time ago but due to financial difficulties I had to cut back to the 1.0. Nevertheless, when I rebounded money-wise I asked for the return of the 3.0 Plan - - but of course there was a Hitch: I could get it as long as it was bundled with VERIZON'S land-line phone service. Yes. I kept the 1.0 speed since I had no need of land-line service as I have MagicJack(tm) which handles all my domestic calls with no monthly fees! I would love to increase my Internet speed though and so I am waiting for VERIZON FIOS service to come into my building (the company is now wiring my building) but we won't have service until about March 2015! I have been waiting years for FIOS and can't wait until I have it installed in my happy abode!

      i

  22. Maryon Jeane
    September 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    It all becomes pretty academic if you live in some parts of rural England: we've had Government money (apparently/allegedly) for this purpose but where it's gone is anybody's guess - perhaps in our latest upgrade of the copper wire from the 1930s version to 2014? Where do people most need to work from home? In the countryside. Where is there no fibre optic (or any other type of) cabling? In the countryside. Where is there no mobile mast reception? You guessed it... I've got friends in outback Africa with better communications than we have here!

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Same thing here in Canada. Keyword - Government. Good for some things, but not for much.

  23. Sean Murphy
    September 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    My connection is over wireless internet, important for me because I live in rural Ireland. Wireless internet is quite alright if you use the right technology such as the outstanding Ubiquiti Networks products. http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3781169887, as you can see my latency and speed is quite good. This is because I run my OWN wireless network. I rent a space on a local mast in the city and setup with a RocketDish. At home I have another RocketDish and that gives me incredible speed and latency. My internet is then limited by whatever backbone / OnTheGround ISP I use. Wireless isnt bad in certain places.

    • Guy M
      September 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Sean, that IS cool!

      Would you mind sharing a ball park figure about how much it cost to set this up?
      What's the rent on the space on the mast?

    • Sean Murphy
      September 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      The mast I use is a small 100 foot mast that has direct sight of my home with no cutoffs or trees in the way. They guy who owns it charges me 150 a year to have my TINY rocket dish setup on it, and I run that to the ground where it connects directly to the modem from the ISP on the ground that I use. I pay around 150 a year for the mast 150 for the backbone and all the rest I own myself. 300 Euro a year for 20 + Mb/s internet isnt bad.

    • Guy M
      September 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      That's some excellent problem solving. Most people wouldn't think of that, even IT folks. There are a lot of unique ways to overcome what people call the 'last mile' problem. That's how to keep up the speed or connection between the last fast point and the house.

  24. Jurgens Krause
    September 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Working for a wireless ISP, we deliver speeds up to 40mbps using off the shelf equipment and up to 100mbps using carrier class hardware. I am not sure where you get the 1.5Mbps from.

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      From the 20-odd WISP websites I visited to see what rates they were advertising.
      I would say that as a WISP your company is the exception not the norm.

  25. Jeff Schallenberg
    September 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Your explanation of the speed advantage of fibre over copper is 'way off base. The speed of light in glass and copper is about the same - 0.5 to 0.6 that of a vacuum. The advantage of fibre is the huge bandwidth. In copper wires and cable, signals are limited to around 500 kHz. Multi-Mb/s signals are encoded in amplitude and phase to fit into that bandwidth. In fibre, simple on-off coding is sufficient to send multi-gigabit/s signals.

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Do you understand that this article is for someone who does NOT have a background in networking, physics, signal theory and all these other advanced areas?

      Do you understand that this article is for the person who just wants a high-level overview of how these things work?

      Do you understand that criticizing an article written at a newspaper audience level for not having textbook detailed or textbook length explanations is just an exercise is asserting your own superiority over people who are superior to you in other areas of knowledge?

      And no, my explanation of the speed advantage of fibre over copper is not way off base.

      "Electrons and light particles/waves do travel at the similar speeds...until you put moving electrons in a cable. Part of the reason is that light is massless; it has no weight, whereas the electricity flowing in the wires is made up of a stream of electrons, all of which have some small amount of weight. In addition, the electrons flowing through the wires constantly bump into the atoms of the wire, which slows them down considerably. If you were to take the electrons out of the wire and make them flow through space (which is essentially what you do when you make a spark), they can move faster, but no matter what, they cannot move as fast light."

      Do you think anyone that just got on the Internet is going to understand a word you just wrote?

    • Joseph A. Nourie
      October 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Thank You VERY much Guy for keeping the technical aspects to an "understandable to the newspaper audience" level...Mr. Schallenberg's insufferable need to show his superior intellect in this area needs to be kept at bay......You are doing a GREAT service for the rest of us who are here to LEARN from you. The way you present the facts, and the "innerworkings" of these systems is super interesting to say the least, easy to understand...AND..greatly appreciated. The fact that you don't expose us to the mundane triviality of....say....comparing the speed of light in glass and copper, as opposed to the speed of light in a vacuum shows how well you are able to get your point across without telling us how smart you are, and doing it in an interesting-to-read way....WELL DONE Mr. McDowell

    • Guy
      October 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hey Joseph, thank you for the kind words.

      It's fairly easy for me to "dumb things down", since that's how I learn best. What I have to do to really learn something is to take something complex and abstract and try to find other real world things that are similar.

      As an afterthought, my Dad had a saying that I find applies more and more every day. "Educated don't mean smart."

  26. dsl_or_multiplex
    September 23, 2014 at 12:57 am

    You're analogy of how DSL travels over a voice line is somewhat flawed.

    What you're describing is multiplexing. Send one green marble, then red marbles in between the green.

    DSL over voice is like sending red marbles in the spaces around the green marbles, rather than the interval between them.

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

      You're absolutely correct. However the analogy was intended to help someone without any understanding of this sort of thing wrap their head around it.
      By the fact that you understand this, I'd say this article was beneath your level of understanding.

  27. kortez
    September 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

    They have the same princip if you learn one you can get the others quickly and easly

    • Guy M
      September 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Yes, the very basic principle of data transmission applies across the board. Then it is honed for each type of medium to get the most out of it. Excellent!