Fast Alternatives to Cable Internetby Leslie Howerton
DSL Internet service is the fastest alternative to cable Internet. DSL stands for "direct subscriber line," which means the Internet service provider (ISP) installs a connection directly from their servers to your computer without using an existing phone line. High speed DSL uses the broadband spectrum, so it's faster than dial-up service and is available through an Ethernet cable or a wireless router. A variety of phone companies offer DSL service.
AT&T; offers high speed DSL broadband service in a variety of packages to fit your needs. If you currently have home or cell phone service with AT&T;, you can bundle the services for a discount, or you can choose DSL without any other services. AT&T; also offers an extensive wireless network so you can connect to the Internet on your laptop or other mobile devices from thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. Plan prices are based on Internet speed and the services desired, so you don't have to pay for capabilities you won't use.
Verizon Internet Service
Verizon offers two DSL Internet service options: high speed internet and FiOS internet. The differences between the two are speed and price. Both provide broadband Internet service, but FiOS, short for "fiber optic service," allows you to download pictures, games, movies and music faster than Verizon's regular Internet service. FiOS also allows you to stream video faster and works with Internet-capable televisions. Both options provide you with a Verizon email account, customer service and access to web tutorials, user guides, chat forums and troubleshooting tips.
Qwest's DSL plans are also priced based on the speed and services you want. All packages come with Qwest@Ease, a suite of services that includes Norton Anti-virus software, back-up security, free 24/7 online and phone support, a MyQwest homepage that you can customize and free Qwest Wi-Fi. Qwest will send you a free self-installation CD, so you don't have to pay an installation fee. Qwest also works with AT&T; wireless, so you have access to wireless service at any Qwest or AT&T; Wi-Fi hotspots.
Sprint offers high speed broadband service called FastConnect in Sprint local service areas. This service is available in fewer areas than the other options and doesn't offer as many plans. However, if you currently have Sprint home or cell phone service you can bundle the high speed Internet with the others for discounted prices. Sprint does require you to have a home or land line phone, but you can use the Internet and your phone at the same time.
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