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Comparisons of AT&T DSL to Dial-Up Speeds

by Myles Ellison

Dial-up Internet typically runs on download speeds no more than 56 Kbps. AT&T DSL has Internet plans with the lowest download speed at 768 Kbps. That means the least expensive, slowest AT&T DSL Internet package is almost 14 times faster than traditional dial-up Internet. AT&T offers four DSL high-speed Internet packages that are all faster than traditional dial-up.

AT&T DSL Packages

AT&T packages feature download speeds from 768 Kbps to 6.0 Mbps and upload speeds from 128 Kbps to 512 Kbps. At the time of publication, the cost is $14.95 per month for every package except the fastest package, which is $19.95. The equipment -- a Wireless Gateway modem -- is free for the two fastest packages because customers have to sign up for a one-year contract. However, customers get a $100 rebate when ordering online, whereas the two slower packages require $100 for the Wireless Gateway modem. All plans come with 11 email accounts with 10 MB of web space, 24-hour customer service and the option of purchasing insurance separately.

Dial-up

AT&T, as well as many other Internet service providers, offers dial-up Internet. Dial-up requires users to either purchase a new phone line for the service or not use the phone while on the Internet. While dial-up Internet service providers provide email accounts and web space, there often are fewer perks. For example, in AT&T's case, the standard dial-up is $22.95 at the time of publication, and it offers a personalized web page and 10 email accounts. Dial-up, in this case, would not be a great value; however, if high-speed DSL is not provided in your area, dial-up plans may be the only way to receive Internet access.

Considerations

Consider whether AT&T high-speed DSL Internet is provided in your area to help determine your choice. Strictly in terms of speed, dial-up is much slower than DSL. If the Internet is used primarily for web surfing and emailing, dial-up is a viable option. However, if downloading videos, music or working from home is the intended purpose of the Internet, consider high-speed access if it is available in your area.

Installation

With dial-up, installation involves purchasing a traditional phone jack and cord and plugging the computer into the phone jack. With DSL Internet, a modem has to be purchased as well as an Ethernet cord. While both installation processes can be executed by novice computer users, dial-up is a bit easier to install.

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