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Understanding High Speed Dialup


Definition: The term dialup relates to network client access to a LAN or WAN via telephone lines.

Types of dialup include V.34 and V.90 modem dialup as well as Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Dialup uses special-purpose network protocols like Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP).

As the popularity of the Internet exploded in the 1990s, dialup remained the most common form of Internet access in UK due mainly to its low cost. However, the performance of dialup networking is relatively poor due to the limitations of traditional modem technology. V.90 modem dialup handles less than 56Kbps bandwidth and ISDN handles approximately 128Kbps.

In the future, dialup access to the Internet will gradually be phased out in favor of relatively faster and more modern broadband technology.

Related internet connection terminologies:-

Modem: -

Definition: "Modem" is an acronym for "Modulator Demodulator." Traditionally, a modem converts data between the analog form used on telephone lines and the digital form used on computers for the purpose of computer-to-computer communication. Standard modems can transmit data at a maximum rate of 56,000 bits per second (bps) or 56kbps. However, inherent limitations of the phone system translate to modem speeds of 33.6kbps or lower in practice.

More recently, modems for cable and DSL service have come to be known as digital modems and those used for traditional dial-up networking as analog modems. The terminology is somewhat misleading as modems all involve analog signaling; "digital" actually refers to improved digital support at the access provider's location and not within the modem itself. Nonetheless, cable and DSL modems use broadband signaling techniques to achieve dramatically higher network speeds than traditional modems.


One kilobit per second (Kbps) equals 1000 bits per second (bps). Kbps is also written as “kbps” that carries the same meaning. Likewise, one megabit per second (Mbps) equals one million bps and one Gigabit equals one billion bps.

Network performance is best measured in bps, but sometimes numbers are given in bytes per second (Bps). Then, one KBps equals one kilobyte per second, one MBps equals one megabyte per second, and GBps equals one gigabyte per second. Many times people write KBps, for example, when they mean Kbps, and it is important to be clear on this distinction.

Examples: V.90 modems support data rates up to 56 Kbps. Traditional Ethernet supports data rates up to 10 Mbps and Fast Ethernet 100 Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet supports 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps.

Also Known As: Kb/sec, Kb/s, Mb/sec, Mb/s, Gb/sec, Gb/s

Broadband connection:-

The term broadband refers to any type of transmission technique that carries several data channels over a common wire. DSL service, for example, combines separate voice and data channels over a single telephone line. In DSL, voice fills the low end of the frequency spectrum and data fills the high end.
In home networking, "broadband" usually refers to high-speed Internet access using this transmission technique. Both DSL and cable modem are common broadband Internet technologies. So-called broadband routers and broadband modems are network devices that support both DSL and cable.

Baud: -

A baud is a unit of measure for analog signaling. At a minimum, one baud corresponds to one bit per second (bps) although at higher signaling speeds, multiple bits can be transferred in a single baud. The term baud was popular in the early days of modems, but it is no longer relevant in mainstream computer networking terminology

Traditional dial-up lives on despite its limitations

We all want fast connections to the Net. (We also want inexpensive and reliable connections, but that's a different story.) There might be no more frustrating experience in computer networking than trying to work over an unresponsive link.

The problem annoys us so badly that we feel compelled to swap horror stories with our friends. We tend to use some colorful language when talking about our predicament, especially where that time-honored target of criticism -- the modem -- is concerned. Just the other day I received an email from, the online financial advocacy firm, that included this off-topic rant:

Modems have become the focus of our disappointment with networks for many reasons:

It takes a long time for a modem to make a dial-up connection
The modem link is slow once the connection is established
In many areas, no affordable alternatives to traditional modems are available yet
Modem technology does not improve noticeably from year to year
Modems cause us to miss important phone calls
Modems make funny noises
The name "modem" is geeky and boring
Did I mention that modems are slow?

The history of modems probably planted the seeds of our discontent. Many of us began using the Net at home years ago when modems ran at speeds of 9600 bits per second (bps) or lower. But as the Net grew in popularity, the industry worked quickly to build new standards and hardware. Soon 14,400 bps (14.4 kbps) modems appeared, and we noticed a significant increase in performance. Then 19.2 kbps modems arrived, followed shortly by 28.8 kbps modems, and the performance improvements were obvious each time. Meanwhile, as the technology continued to improve, the cost of connecting to the Net from home stayed the same and sometimes even dropped.

High-Speed Modem Standards

Standard Speed Year
V.32 9.6 kbps 1984
V.32bis 14.4 kbps 1991
V.34 28.8 kbps 1995
V.90 56 kbps (33.6 kbps upstream) 1997-1998
V.92 56 kbps (48 kbps upload) 2000-2001

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