Summary: ISP 's connect you to the Internet. Many are FREE in the UK; some in USA and listed here. Advice on ADSL broadband 3g mobile broadband.
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ISPs connect you to the Internet - at a price

In a hurry for info? Summary of details below:-

Good free dialup ISP in UK - 1-2-Free
Good UK broadband ('cos the buck stops here!) -
Good UK mobile broadband comparison - BroadbandGenie

In the beginning, firms like AOL and Compuserve charged £/$15.00 to connect you to the Internet and they are still around. In America, where local telephone calls are free, AOL and their like, make money renting out their service.

Elsewhere in the world surfers pay for their ISP and their 'phone calls. In the UK, ISPs were allowed to make money on the cost of the local 'phone call to their site which spawned the FREE ISP. In USA, free ISPs make money from advertising, either with a banner on screen or an advertising break at intervals. Either way, it is obtrusive. Free ISPs can be searched for in your country by typing in the text string ' free+isp ' in the Google search box above.

Around the year 2000, UK providers started to offer free connection and free phone calls for a monthly fee of £25 or so. Often this required changing your telephone service as well which in turn created other connection problems. Some users took up the offer of unmetered access and set up a web server permanently connected which not only provided a very slow site but also went against the agreement with the ISP. To overcome this abuse, the connection is now automatically broken every hour or two. This is only a problem with big downloads and this problem is eased by FTP/server software that can pick up a download where it was interrupted. Broadband has now taken over from dial-up.

 A free dial-up service in the UK.

1-2-Free is very simple to set up - you don't even have to register.
The dial-up telephone number is: 0844 711 0053
User Name is: isp@dialup
Password is: connect

Pop that info into your 'new dial-up account' wizard and you are on-line! Charges are at the local call rate which is about 4p/min daytime; 2p/min evenings; 1p/min weekends.

 Broadband ADSL connection

Broadband is now common worldwide and ADSL connections may be available in the UK up to 300Mb/s if you live close enough to your telephone exchange. For earning money on line, a 'half meg' or 512Kb/s connection is quite adequate and still up to 20 times faster than dial-up. Although there are dozens of broadband ISP's to choose from, the supply is still BritishTelecom and in my experience, BT are the ones to go for. Not because they are cheaper or better, but simply when things go wrong the buck stops with BT.
When problems occur with other ISP's they blame BT and BT blames the ISP and the user is left in the middle with no broadband. I reckon it is better to pay the extra and go to BT and get a better service when things go wrong. The advantage of competition is that BT have been forced to improve the service they offer.
In the USA I have used Verizon and AT&T and both have good coverage. AT&T was easier to use as a visitor on a 'Pay as You Go' basis

 The mobile broadband route

Of course, as traditional broadband technology continues to evolve, the quality and availability of broadband on the move, or 'mobile broadband', is always improving. Whether this be via a USB dongle that you plug into your laptop, or using your smartphone, or with an ipad 3g sim card, the future of broadband is changing fast and advice on the latest technology available is essential.

Many areas of the UK still have very slow broadband from BT when the location is a long way from the telephone exchange or the quality of the copper cable in the street is poor. Areas that BT advise a 6Mb/s broadband speed is available sometimes struggle to get 1Mb/s in practice. Sometimes those poor connection areas are within range of a 3g mast with much better broadband speeds available. Then a 3g dongle can be plugged into a desktop computer with a USB extension cable if needed to reach a window to get the broadband reception.

 Always-on dial-up

If broadband, 3g or cable internet connection is not possible where you live, then an 'always-on' dial-up service is the one to go for. Your phone calls for the internet are included in your monthly charge and you can be online as much as you want. However, there is usually a cut-off after two hours to stop people running servers from it but you can log on again immediately afterwards for another two hours.

1998 - 2016 roger walker




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