Peppy Alternatives to Dial-up ISP Connection

Americans don't like to wait, especially when it comes to their computers.  We've all become a little jaded -- expecting always faster connections.  There is a limit to your dial-up connection speed. Luckily, there are also some options.

Computers used to be glorified word processors. When the Internet came along they became sophisticated communication devices.  But connecting to the internet is anything but sophisticated...the analog modem is still the standard -- 20-years later -- for 80% of internet users.

High speed internet access is kind of like buying a new car for the first time.   Once you've tasted a fast download, you'll never be able to go back to the old clunker again. 

Luckily new choices are arriving on the scene, but living in a rural area still poses the greatest problem.   Let's take the phone company.   Everybody has a phone, but to get the hi-speed digital subscriber line from the phone company, you'll have to pony up about 50-dollars a month, after installation.   The D-S-L is about 200-times faster than a dial-up, but it's also more susceptible to security problems. 

In Illinois, Verizon offers DSL on a limited basis to a number of larger communities, Carbondale, Marion, Anna-Jonesboro and Metropolis to name a few.  But you still have to go through an internet service provider. As an incentive, Verizon is waiving most of the installation fees. 

In Missouri, SBC also offers DSL on a limited availability in major population areas, and it's still offering some incentives to buy if you sign a year's contract. 

Your second choice for hi-speed internet access is the cable company.  In Southeast Missouri, Charter Cable is preparing to roll-out it's new Pipeline service.   Thousands are getting flyers in the mail.  Pipeline promises connections up to 500-times faster than dial-up, but it works on a sort of "party-line" system, and it, too, is more susceptible to security problems.   Cable internet service is not available in Southern Illinois yet, and is still a couple of months away in Southeast Missouri. 

Finally, there's satellite. It may be the only alternative for people living in the country.   It's up to 400-times faster than dial-up, but probably has the costliest installation and monthly fees.   Some people complain that it's a little tricky to keep the hardware and software working like it should.

And one more choice is starting to show up: wireless.   It's different than satellite...a bit more affordable than DSL, and apparently pretty reliable.   We'll have a story about that on a future fast forward.