5 Steps to Prepare for a Dial-up Internet Connection

by Hannah Miller 14. September 2009 21:30

Having Internet service in the home is becoming more necessary than ever before, but proves difficult for many rural and low income families. Dial-up internet may be your sole solution to get that much needed Internet service. Whether you’re preparing to connect for the first time, or connecting in a new home, some preparation is necessary to ensure that you will be able to use dial-up. You may want to cover all these checkpoints before signing up with the ISP.

1. Your phone line. You must have an analog landline telephone service to have a dial-up connection—not just a phone jack, or a digital VoIP phone, or even a cable-provisioned phone. Dial-up modems will not connect if they do not detect an analog dial-tone. Your cell phone may have a dial-up modem that can be used with dial-up. Check with your phone provider if you are not sure of these details.

2. Your dial-up modem. Most computers have dial-up modems already included, but some computers are now available without dial-up modems. For your desktop computer, check your tower for a phone port (laptops would have a phone jack along the back or sides). It should look just like the phone jack in the wall and may be labeled with the picture of a phone jack or the word “line”. The dial-up modem phone port is not the same as the Ethernet port, which is slightly larger and used for broadband cables. If you don't have the phone port, you don't have a modem. You will have to buy an external modem, with you can usually find online or in a computer or department store.

3. Your dial-up features. You need to have call waiting on your phone service if you want to be notified of incoming calls while you are online. You also need a V.92 modem—the latest standard for dial-up modems. Caller ID is not necessary, but beneficial if you want to determine if it is worth disconnecting from the Internet to take the call. To check what type of modem you have on your computer, check the phone and modem options on your control panel, refer to the computer/modem manual, or check with a local technician. All new modems come with the V.92 features.

4. Your access numbers. Check with your potential ISP for an access number for your area. Ask for several numbers if they have them and call your phone company to verify that these numbers will not incur any charges on your phone bill. Even if you have unlimited long distance, you should try to obtain the nearest number possible to keep a better connection. Your long distance phone company may have a policy for using data transfer numbers excessively, so check with them anyway.

5. Your total expenses. There are variety of ISP’s available to choose from, so do a little research. Do they have contracts or hidden fees? What are the payment methods? What do the plans and prices cover, and do the prices change over time? While a cheap price is appealing, you don't want to sacrifice quality. However, be on guard for additional “features” that are not worth the extra cost. Clarify the signup, billing, and cancellation procedure to avoid unseen fees and complications. Is there a satisfaction guarantee? There are many ISP’s wanting your business and offering great prices. Once you have chosen your ISP, look for a first time customer discount and save more money!

Now that you are prepared for dial-up Internet, you can connect quickly and avoid some “first-timer” complications.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, Copper.net.

Copper.net is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at www.copper.net! Check out my blog for more articles! 

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for Copper.net - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for Copper.net since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to hmiller@copper.net.

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