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Accelerated Dial-Up and Your Home Internet Business - Is it a Good Combination?

Author: Bob Davis

I have always been a firm believer that in order to run a successful Internet business, it is important that you use the fastest, most reliable Internet connection that is available to you and that you can reasonably afford. In this article, I'll be addressing the relatively new form of Internet connection called accelerated dial-up.

You've probably seen accelerated dial-up services advertised in television commercials and some of you may even be using it right now. Most Internet service providers advertise surf speeds up to 5x faster than standard dial-up. First of all, let's make it clear that accelerated dial-up is not a form of broadband or high speed Internet access .

Common industry perception tends to view any speed over 512 Kbps as broadband when in actuality, the FCC defines broadband as anything over 200 Kbps while the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) classifies it as anything upwards of the 150 Kbps to 200 Kbps range. To put these speeds in perspective, a standard V.90 dial-up modem will allow you to browse the web at a maximum speed of 56 Kbps, dependent on both the hardware your ISP provides, and the quality of your phone line.

Accelerated dial-up still uses your normal phone line and still transfers data at the same rate as standard dial-up. There are three primary reasons that your surfing experience is 'accelerated' and there is nothing magical about any of them:

* Web page caching * Data compression * Improved network communication

With web page caching, your ISP essentially 'predicts' the pages that you will visit by caching or storing your frequently visited pages on its network. Since these cached pages are already downloaded, the appearance is that you are actually surfing at faster speeds. Your ISP is making use of what is called a 'cached network'.

Web accelerators use a compression algorithm to compress certain text and images before the data is transferred. The accelerator software that you install on your PC can uncompress the text data but images cannot be uncompressed. This is because the only way to compress an image is to reduce its quality by using a 'lossy' compression algorithm and once this takes place, there is no way to undo the process. Basically, your ISP uses a type of image optimizer on their end before transferring the data to you.

The accelerator software also manages the connection between your modem and the ISP network so that it stays optimized. In most cases, this simply means that your connections remain persistent rather than being closed and then re-established.

So, what benefits are provided to your Internet business by using an accelerated dial-up connection? Put simply -- None .

While accelerated dial-up is wonderful for web browsing and web-based email retrieval, typically to the tune of another $3.00 to $6.00 per month, file transfer times, streaming media transfer times and secure page download times remain identical to what you experience with standard dial-up . In the world of Internet business, faster surfing speeds do not compensate for faster data transfer rates.

For most online businesses, file transfer and email retrieval are the two primary tasks that benefit from a high speed Internet connection. Accelerated dial-up does not provide a speed boost in either of these areas.

Accelerated dial-up plans often tout faster email access on the web in addition to the faster surf speeds. It's the 'on the web' that you need to be aware of. This means that web-based email services like Yahoo or Hotmail will appear to be faster, but your local email applications such as Outlook, Netscape or Eudora will serve up your email as slow as ever.

When it comes to running your Internet business, don't skimp on your Internet connection. Strive to get the fastest, most reliable high speed Internet connection that is available in your area. If you can't immediately afford the 'speed you need', then upgrade once you get some online profits rolling in. Don't settle for any type of dial-up unless you absolutely have no other choice.

Bob Davis is a professional database consultant, web designer, graphic artist, and Internet marketer. If you'd like some solid tips on starting your own legitimate internet business, then visit his free 'Home Internet Business Guide for Beginners' at http://www.internetbusiness-home.com .

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