An Internet Service Where No Phone or Cable Is Required
By Elle Di Jensen
Updated August 23, 2017
Gone are the days when your computer always needed to be tethered to your phone’s landline or the coaxial cable in order to connect to the internet. You don’t necessarily have to be at home or work to check your stocks or your email. Satellites and electrical lines can also be used for internet delivery, freeing up your phone and cable lines, or eliminating the need to install those cables.
Phone and cable companies were the first big players to get into the internet game, but their services require phone or cable service and connection. While new models pop up with new providers, in 2017 the vast majority of home internet usage still relies on those initial providers. Wireless and satellite providers exist in a niche market and many of the companies that were around a few years ago are not in business anymore. Service areas can be limited, and some of the services require a phone line for initial installation, even though they don't rely on it for the service itself.
The ways that the different service providers deliver the internet to your computer are just as varied as the companies themselves. Some use wireless delivery via radio waves received by a special modem or even a USB Key connected to your computer. Some deliver the service to you by satellite, which can be picked up by a receiver or a modem connected to your computer. If you already have satellite TV you can talk to your provider to see if it has internet service. Yet another way for you to receive your internet service without phone or cable is through existing power lines. You simply plug your modem into an electrical outlet and you're connected to the internet.
While electrical grid providers were limited in 2017, AT&T was testing a new version of this technology, called AirGig, that sends a multi-gigabit signal that alongside power lines, though not through them.
Regardless of whether your service provider is sending the internet signal to you through phone lines, electrical wires or satellite or radio waves, you will need a modem to receive the signal and process it through your computer. If you need to be mobile, though, don't worry about liberating your laptop or net-book from a land line only to have it anchored to a large, unwieldy modem. Many companies have small keys that look like a jump drive and can be plugged into any USB port. These keys work just like large modems, receiving satellite- or radio-transmitted internet signals and putting them into your computer.
With the development of wireless technology has come the concern of security. If you are sending and receiving wireless signals over the internet, it is possible that those signals could be intercepted or pirated, which could be disturbing and even dangerous if you are sending and receiving private information. Safeguarding technology such as authentication, firewalls and encryption are put into place by the service providers so that their customers can safely utilize internet services without having to worry about their personal information being available to hackers.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.