Get Net access

By : |March 30, 2002 0

How things have changed with Internet Service Providers in India. First there
was just one–VSNL. Then private ISPs were given licenses–more than 400 of
them–national and regional. Many of them set up shop, ran for a bit, then
slowed down, some even shut shop. But you still have a bewildering number of
ISPs to choose from. There’s not just plain old dial-up, there’s cable too.
And now DSLs, being targeted for the home. So what do you go for?

Dial-up, cable and DSL

  • Dial-up This remains the most common way of connecting to the Net. You need
    a modem, your telephone line and an ISP account. This works out to anything
    between Rs 2-8 per hour, depending on the package you choose. And then, of
    course, there are the telephone charges too.
  • Cable The Net over your cable connection. You get better speeds, you’re
    always- on–you don’t have to dial-in to your ISP. The download speed is
    much faster than the upload speed you get here. You need a cable modem to get
    connected. Many cable ISPs also let a set of flats or apartments share a cable
    modem–so you don’t have to shell out Rs 12,000 or so in one go. Some even
    let you lease out a cable modem. Your PC needs a network card too. What you
    have to be careful about with a cable Net connection is that your PC is
    effectively on a network and so can be hacked into. ISPs giving this type of
    Net connect are not very widespread. Be sure to talk to your service provider
    for all the costs involved. There will be net- work integration charges,
    installation fees, registration, modem rental or deposits– depending on the
    type of scheme you decide upon. All that could work up quite a bill.
  • DSL or Digital Subscriber Line uses copper wires to connect your home to a
    high-speed network hub so that you get dedicated Net access. You need a DSL
    modem that will connect to your computer. DSL costs quite a packet and is
    recommend only for heavy users. Also the further away you’re from the hub,
    the slower your connection will be.

How do you choose?
Of course, for most people in India, the choice still remains dial-up. But if
you do have the options of cable and DSL, how do you figure out what you want?
Start here:

How many hours will you surf? Do a quick calculation: Multiply Rs 30 by the
number of hours your family is likely to be on the Net. If you can afford that,
and don’t mind the telephone line being engaged for that time, go for dial-up.
Online gaming, video conferencing, and other bandwidth hungry applications need
a broadband connection like cable or DSL. Opt for DSL only if you need a
dedicated bandwidth and a secure Net connection.

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