There are nine different types of Internet connections available including, ISDN, satellite, DSL, cable, dial-up, broadband, mobile, wireless and hot spots. Which one a consumer uses depends greatly on location and budget.
ISDN stands for integrated services digital network. It allows users to connect to the Internet using a standard telephone line. Satellite connections are available in those areas in which broadband is not available. This type of connection is slower because it uses a modem.
DSL, or digital subscriber line, uses telephone lines to connect to the Internet. Users can still make and receive calls when using the Internet on DSL. Cable Internet service is quite fast, and streams the Internet through television lines.
Dial-up, while still used today, is not as popular or reliable as it once was. This analog connection goes through a phone line, but unlike DSL, users cannot be online and talk on the phone at the same time. Broadband connections are some of the fastest available today because they use multiple data channels to send and receive information.
One may also connect to the Internet using a cell phone. Most cell phone providers offer Internet plans. Wireless plans use telephone or cable networks to allow users to connect to the Internet at high speeds, and it is always on. Hot spots are specific sites that allow Internet access over a wireless network. This type of connection is often free to the public.