Getting Internet Service in the US



Even when you are still in your home country you might have realized that, 'Internet is your best friend!'. It is part of your everyday life. Apart from its regular use such as for checking e-mail, reading news, etc., you need Internet for registering for classes, finding text-books, doing research and submitting homework and assignments. Therefore having regular access to the Internet is very very important.

In this section we address various questions regarding getting an internet service in the US.

Related Links
  Getting a Home Phone
  Getting a Cell Phone
  Buying Calling Cards
  Getting Internet
  Postal Service in the US




FAQ's

Can I afford to get an Internet connection at home in the US?

Where can I get free Internet access in the US?

How can I get Internet connection at home?

What are the different types of Internet services?

What is the difference between DSL and Cable service?

 

Can I afford to get an Internet connection at home in the US?

For international students, in most cases, money is a constraint. You can get an Internet connection depending on your budget. For example, you can get dial up connection at a very low cost (sometimes only $10 - $12 per month), but the speed will be slow. If you want high speed, then you will have to subscribe for broadband or cable connection. These services are very costly (sometimes starting from $30 using a student discount and upwards). In between, there is an option of using DSL

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Where can I get free Internet access in the US?

As a student, you have the priviledge to access free Internet from your University libraries or computer labs. City / town libraries also provide free internet access for public, including students.

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How can I get Internet connection at home?

You will have to contact the service providers (you can get their contact number on their website). You can even buy a plan online. You may have to provide your personal information such as address and Social Security number. You can then select a plan that suit you best. It will probably take around 1 - 2 weeks for the service to be set up.

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What are the different types of Internet services?

If you feel the need to have an internet connection at home, there are four main choices:

  1. Dial-up (Dial-up is often times offered for free by the University. However, the speed of dial-up connections is usually low. You will also need a home phone to avail this service.)

  2. Cable (You need to subscribe for regular cable channels to avail this service.)

  3. DSL (You need to subscribe for regular phone service to avail this service.)

  4. Wireless (Most Universities provide free wireless internet access on campus. At home, you will need a router to use your existing Cable or DSL internet connection for wireless access.)

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What is the difference between DSL and Cable service?

DSL and Cable Comparison and Contrast:

  • Speed (advantage - Cable): Cable boasts faster speed than DSL Internet in theory. However, cable does not always deliver as promised in everyday practical use.
  • Popularity (advantage - Both): In the U.S., cable Internet enjoys significantly greater popularity than DSL, although DSL has been closing the gap recently. Outside the U.S., DSL continues to hold the edge. Both dominate the rest of the competition with millions of subscribers to each.
  • Customer Satisfaction (advantage - DSL): Even if a technology is popular, customers may be unhappy with it whether due to cost, reliability or other factors. Indeed, in the U.S. cable services generally rate lower than DSL in customer surveys.
  • Security (advantage - Both): Cable and DSL implement different network security models. Historically, more concerns have existed with cable security, although cable providers have definitely taken steps to improve security over the past few years. It's likely both DSL and cable are "secure enough" for most people's needs.

(Source: wikipedia.com, 2007)

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