Dialup Internet Access / Definition of Dialup Connection

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Dialup (Dial up) connection requires the use of a modem and a phone line to dial into an internet service provider’s (ISP) node, in order to get access to the internet. The data transmission rate is usually 56 Kbps or less. Dialup internet access was very popular in the past but is now steadily replaced by broadband internet services.

Advantages of dialup (dial up) internet access:

  1. Everyone has a phone line, dialup connection is available to everyone with a computer and a modem (including built-in modem).
  2. Dialup may be the only choice available for rural or remote areas where broadband connection is not available.
  3. Low cost. You can get dialup internet access for under $10/month.
  4. Easy setup. Simple equipment.

Disadvantages of dialup (dial up) connection:

  1. Your phone line is occupied when you are connected to the internet. Some ISPs provide caller ID service which allows you to see who is calling while you are connected. This is still quite inconvenient if you are downloading a file and have to abandon your download to answer the call.
  2. Sometimes you may get a busy signal when calling the access numbers, this rarely happens nowadays as most ISPs will let you choose multiple access numbers and then select the one that is available automatically.
  3. Some ISPs charge the user based on the connection duration, an additional cost on top of the monthly fee.
  4. The data transmission rate is rather low. With a rate of 56 Kbps or less, you will have a hard time downloading large files such as video clips, software, sharing photos with your friends and families, or playing online computer games.


If you are living in rural or remote areas where affordable broadband internet service is not available, dialup internet access would be your choice. You can get accelerated / high speed dialup connection for a few extra bucks per month. However, the term high speed dialup is a bit misleading as its data transmission rate is not comparable to broadband internet such as DSL and cable.

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