Types of Internet technologies

We all typically connect to the Internet via the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Up untill now there have been various of changes in the Internet technologies, that is to say the way all the Internet users would connect to the Internet. There is a total of eight technologies which can be broken down to four categories. Let’s talk about some of them and what they did and how their characteristics were and are.

Dial-up connection

The very first kind of Internet technology that people widely used was the dial-up connection. In order for dial-up connection to take place you needed two definite things, like hardware and software. Hardware part was responsible to dial the ISP and was typically done via a modem or ISDN terminal adapter. Software part was responsible for governing the connection. This was pretty popular in 90s and early 2000s. This connection relied on telephone line.

Next came ISDN Internet connection which is described in our separate article.


DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is the kind of connection, where connection to the ISP is made via the standard telephone line but with sort of special equipment on each end to always keep the Internet up and running with massive data throughput and speed.

The kind of service the DSL would provide varies. On the lowest scale, speeds are generally the single digits and less than 1 Mbps upload speed and around 3 Mbps download speed. There are also latest kind of DSL called xDSL which can provide greater broadband speed than the previous one, with the measurement in tens or hundreds of megabits per second.

DSL requires setup from the user standpoint. Generally, a tech comes in a install the DSL receiver which is often called a DSL modem and commonly a wireless router is hooked up with it to broadcast Wi-Fi signal. For the installation is quite straightforward but need a couple of special filters in. These filters are known as DSL microfilters, which remove the high-pitch screeching noise that comes in with DSL signal, which also helps phones, and fax machines to operate correctly. The receiver then connects to the telephone line and computer. Then necessary configuration is made which is provided by the ISP. With all of these properly set, you are good to surf your way into the web.

One of the most common type of DSL found are asymmetric DSL (ADSL) and symmetric DSL (SDSL). ADSL lines quite differ between slow upload speed between 384 Kbps to 1 Mbps and faster download speed which ranges from 3 to 15 Mbps. While SDSL has the same download and upload speeds but telecom companies charge quite a lot more for such privilege. DSL also has other variations like xDSL.


A cable comes in with a different approach for a high-speed Internet access which, uses a regular cable TV cables to pump up the insane speed Internet. Cable offers quite faster service than lot of DSL connections with the upload speed ranging from 5 to 35+ Mbps. Cable Internet connection is also typically widely available wherever there is a cable TV providers unless you are living in the middle of Sahara.

These cable Internet connections also start with an RG-6 or RG-59 cable coming right into your house. The cable connects to the cable modem which then connects to a small home router or your NIC through an Ethernet.