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Internet Access Guide : How to Choose an Internet Access

Below are some practical guidelines on how to choose an Internet access method and an Internet subscription plan.

What kinds of Internet services will you use?

If you want to access lightweight services such as reading news and checking e-mails then narrowband Internet access such as dial-up or GPRS is enough for you. If you want to access bandwidth intensive applications or real-time services such as live webcast, multimedia tutorial, interactive game, video conferencing, and VoIP, then you need a broadband Internet access such as ADSL connection and cable Internet. If you also want to access IPTV or HDTV, you may need to upgrade to FTTH.

How much time will you spend on the Internet daily?

If you access the Internet only occasionally, then choose a subscription plan which charges you based on connection time or downloaded/uploaded bytes. But if you frequently need a connection to the Internet, then it is better to choose an always-on plan which usually charges you a flat monthly rate for unlimited usage.

Will you access while you are stationary or on the go?

If you need access to the Internet while at home or in the office, then choose a fixed Internet access method, such as dial-up, DSL, cable Internet, or dedicated E1/T1. If you are a mobile individual who very often travels, then choose a mobile Internet access service such as GPRS, EDGE, and 3G (CDMA2000 or UMTS-WCDMA). If you are in a remote place, you may try Internet access via satellite. If you are in a public place, then you can access the Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot which connects to the Internet using a broadband connection (DSL, cable Internet, or T1/E1 backhaul). If you travel by plane, you must choose airlines that offer Internet access on flight.

What kinds of telecommunication services do you subscribe to?

Chances are you have a fixed telephone service at home. With a telephone subscription, you can choose dial-up or DSL Internet access. If you have a cable TV subscription, then you can choose Internet access over cable TV network.
If you have a mobile phone subscription, you can connect via cellular data network.

What devices will you use to access the Internet?

Using a mobile phone or PDA, you can access the Internet through mobile (cellular) Internet network such as GPRS, 1xRTT, EDGE, 1xEV-DO, and HSDPA. Smart phone or PDA that has Wi-Fi adapter can access the Internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot. But in that case, you must be careful with your battery because the Wi-Fi connection will likely consume your mobile device battery quickly.
Meanwhile, using a notebook or desktop PC, you can choose any kind of Internet access methods.

Will you share the Internet connection with other persons?

If yes, you must calculate the bandwidth requirement based on the types of services that you and other persons plan to use. Choose an Internet access method that meets your bandwidth requirement. You may choose 3G cellular access, DSL, cable Internet, FTTH with guaranteed bandwidth, or lease a dedicated line (such as T1/E1/T3/E3).

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