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DSL vs Dialup...plus some general PC?s


NAXJA Forum User
NAXJA Memorial Lifetime Member
NC Sandhills
I have opportunity to get DSL in our new place at approx the same $$ (about $40) as I am presently paying for dialup ISP and a dedicated phone line with Earthlink & Sprint. The DSL modem is 'free,' but the new phone co/ISP has a pretty steep (seems like) installation fee, what all would this entail?

The 'new' computer room lacks & needs a land-line phone jack wired anyway... I can do that ;) We also have two consec # land-lines hot at the new place now. Maintaining the status quo, I'd be looking at approx same $$ with Earthlink ISP -not bad svc- or the new phone co's-unknown- dialup svc for $2 less.

We have another PC...old and w95, but it works and has most of its memory free. I assume it possible to wire both PCs to the DSL... can they work "independantly/securely" on the net? Need two modems or what? I know we could 'share' a dialup...but not surf independantly (or can we?) The 2d PC online is secondary tho.

Any other advice/pointers?
Hmmm... if I was you and I had the option to go CAble, I'd go cable...... if that's not an option, then I'd go dsl without any questions over dialup...... Yup, sometimes they will charge you extra $$ for install, so it might be worth to call and haggle. If you can AAA you can get a better deal from Earthlink.
The DSL install ussually means a phone guy coming out to your location and putting in a special jack for you and then someone else to hook up your comp to the rest. Do they offer a self install kit?

In regards to getting to machines working on the net, I'd recommend picking up a small firewall/router at your local computer store. The final hookup will be like this:
phone line//dsl jack -> dsl modem (or cable modem) -> firewall/router-> to two computers, each has it's own cable going to the router.

From brands, I'd recommend the SMC routers as they have a printer port on it thus enabling you to have both computers access to the same printer.

High speed internet access is one of those things that once you have used it, there is no going back. Just be sure that the rate you are given for DSL is the gong rate, not a starter rate of a long contract with higher rates in your near future.

Click on a post like this: http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6621 and you will see why I appreciate high speed access so much. :)
I had DSL up in Ft Lewis, WA and had to go back to dialup when I got here.

When the local cable company offered Cable, I jumped on it.

I cannot tell you how much faster and nicer it is with broadband. At the very least you'll have more time to surf, or whatever because you won't wait for pages to load.

I am extremely spoiled here in Ft Knox, I'm connecting at 3.2Mbps, actually 2x what the average cable modem runs at and probably 100 times faster than the fastest dialup.

It's like sex, once you have it, you can't believe what you did without it.

Keep in mind you don't need another phone line for DSL, the DSL comes over the same copper wires that your phone is on. When the DSL modem arrives it should have 4+ filters, they plug into the phone line and the phones plug into them. The talking part of the phone line works on an analog signal, the DSL is a digital signal that the filter splits out.
The SMC 7004ABR is about right for you, you will need to have network cards in the two computers you want to connect. the SMC will do DHCP to the computers connected to it.
On a typical local JackFlash/.EPIX.net account they ship a dsl modem, 5 filters, one filter is special and is generally used for a wall mount phone, the other 4 are for normal table type phones. They also include a network card as part of the package and thats for a residential account.
No doubt HS internet is sweet...we have HS at work and it is lightning fast compared to 28-33 dialup. Work being in the 'public sector' means I can't take advantage of it for "good" ULs or DLs (we are watched)

I'll inquire about intro rates, but i think $40 is just their regular rate. They do use the "free modem" bait on a "1-yr commitment" hook though.

As for cable...I assume that we could get Time Warner cable & HS internet, since we will be on a (more major) road. At the old house, cable wasn't an option, and we don't need any pay TV beyond PBS as long as we have internet access.
Umm woody... you don't have to get Cable TV to have INternet Service... I got Time Warner Cable Internet but I don't have the TV Cable :D. ANyways if you can go the TW route, even if it'd be $5 more or so, I say do it!

Woody - watch out for Earthstink's service. I tried to get set up with their DSL service about 2 years ago and they failed miserably. The fact that I already had a dialup account with them made things even worse, as they would randomly disable/reenable either account and charge double for one or both whenever they thought about it.

I eventually got them to take back their equipment at no cost but that was about three months of needless hassle.
I had Earthlink DSL for a couple of years and loved it. it was fast and reliable. The only reason that I went with WOW cable is it was cheaper. There are times during peak hours I wish I still had the DSL conection. Cable sucks when everybody in the hood is trying to use the same bandwidth.
Basically seconding what others have said. No cable available here, but I just got DSL, and it's great. I got a simple "dumb" Netgear hub, and can now have 3 computers on the net at once, as well as file and printer sharing. I'd have gotten a fancier network setup, but the hub was free from a friend who went to wireless, so I couldn't refuse.

In my case, the 50 bucks a month for DSL should work out about the same as 20 for dialup, because I was always hitting the 30-a-month cap for metered local phone service, so it ended up costing 50 a month anyway.
The hub works but it has a couple of downsides, most providers limit the amount of 'nodes' you can have to two and their DHCP servers stop serving additonal addresses. Second, and the biggie, withoug a firewall in place your PC's are extremely visible from the outside. DSL is not quite so bad as cable, cable is a shared network like at work, double click 'network neighborhood' and 'computers near me' and you will be very suprised what shows up :D
All those peope that took the microsoft networking defaults are just hanging their hard drives out for the world to see and play with, not a good thing.
The SMC7000 is to me the best of the hardware firewalls when it's features vs cost are compared. I also like it's modem failover feature in case the broadband connection goes down.
Just do a search on
http://www.pricewatch.com for SMC7004, compuplus in LI NY has them for around $80 or so. Software firewalls that you run on your PC are a major annoyance, report EVERYTHING including BS just to convince the unknowing purchaser that they are doing something and did not waste their money, in the meantime they hog system resources, make any kind of network changes a PIA.
Some of my customers that insist on running them now get billed for their 'this window popped up and told me that so and so did this or that to this port', so I reply 'It's normal when you go to a secure web site' I charge them $20 and send a bill at the end of the month' :D Usually with 5-12 more of the same thing. Hmmmm, wait a minute, what am I saying, go buy a software firewall, email me and I"ll give you my phone number :D :D :D
I have DSL and love it. I had cable modem before and had nothing but problems. Lots of downtime, and slow speeds. You can hook up multiple computers through a router (very easy).
Hey Woody, I pay 50 bucks for cable internet and modem rental
I'd jump on the 40 bucks If it was my choice.
Plus its super fast compared to dialup.
DSL - You're going to love it almost as much as your XJ. My company just dropped the price per month by $15 making it even more affordable up here. Guess they had to compete with the local cable or something. I run 2 pc's and a mac through a d-link box and into the dsl modem. It was a self install and really easy. Am going to look into the box someone was talking about up above as I feel the need for a secure firewall now, more than before.
The firewall is not so big a deal with DSL as it is with cable, has to do with the architecture. That said there is some software out there that with a little trial and error makes DSL almost as public as cable.
What really ticks me off is those complaining about 'well, we had cable or DSL and switched to cable or DSL' . Boy I 'd be happy if I just had an alternative to a dialup, sat is too expensive.