Dial-up vs. broadband

Tech info

You might remember the days when getting onto the internet clogged up your phone line and that unmistakable noise the computer made as it tried to connect. Those were the days of dial-up internet. Believe it or not, this type of internet is still an option, although most people opt for broadband internet service. What’s the difference between the two?

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The main difference between dial-up and broadband is the way in which they gain access to the internet. Dial-up connects through a phone line while broadband connects through cable or DSL, which is why other parts like an rf directional coupler might be needed to properly share the signal between devices.


Broadband internet tends to be much faster and more reliable than dial-up. Dial-up connections can get interrupted, meaning you would have to reconnect each time you get booted from your connection. There is a vast difference in speed between the two services. Dial-up can download a single song in about 30 minutes, while it may take one or two minutes to download the same song with a broadband connection.


Dial-up internet is still available today at a fraction of the price of broadband. Although prices vary by provider, you would pay around $20 per month for dial-up or about $40 per month for broadband.


Although it seems that broadband is the superior choice, dial-up actually can better protect you from threats like hackers. Each time your computer dials into an internet connection, it receives a unique IP address. A hacker would need your IP address in order to successfully get into your computer. Dial-up makes this difficult because you computer is assigned a new IP address every time it is connected to the internet.

For some people who live in remote areas, dial-up may be the only way to obtain an internet connection. However, if you have a choice between the two, the faster speed and reliable connection broadband offers make it a better option.

Written by Anindita Ghosh