The Day I Was Born
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Online Project - Discovering YOUR Place in History Since 1999
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Week 23 - Internet - Modem/Direct Connection

Modem/ Direct Connection

If you have a computer on the Internet it is either connected through a MODEM or a
DIRECT CONNECTION.

At home, if you use the Internet, you most likely use a MODEM. This is a device, built into
most computers produced within the last 2 years, which allows you to connect your
computer to your phone line which connects your computer to every other computer IN
THE WORLD which is also online. Because you're using your regular phone line, if anyone
calls your house while you're on the Internet the line will be busy. This is also called a DIAL
UP connection because your computer actually dials the number of your SERVICE
PROVIDER each time you login. America Online caught a lot of flack a while back because
customers were dialing in to find that the line was often busy.

In situations which require multiple Internet users (i.e. multiple computers) a DIRECT
CONNECTION is the preferred option. At school, and most likely at your place of
business, a special high speed digital phone line (64k, 128k, T1 or Frame Relay) is used.
This is not a voice line and cannot be used for normal telephone service as the line you that
use your modem with can be used. You never DIAL UP because every computer on the
line is DIRECTLY CONNECTED -- as though it was never 'hung up'. DIRECT
CONNECTIONS on well designed networks allow much faster transferral of data over the
Internet than do dial up connections.

The next time you're at school stop by the Computer Lab and take a look at our DIRECT
CONNECTION setup. It's kind of interesting, if you're interested in this sort of thing.
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