De-bunking the dial-up myth


Columbia, Mo.—One in five Missouri households can't get high-speed Internet service, according to a recent study conducted by the Missouri Public Service Commission. This doesn't mean those families aren't using the Internet, however, as most of them go online using dial-up Internet connections.

While it's true dial-up is slower than its broadband counterparts, the myth that new and emerging technological advancements are out of reach for dial-up users is simply not true. Dial-up users often don't realize the many things they can take advantage of online. All they need is a bit of technical know-how.

Many new online activities are primarily text-based and therefore load relatively quickly on a dial-up connection. Dial-up users can actively engage in posting, reading or commenting on blogs, or interactive online journals. Wikis, informative Web sites resulting from the collaborative efforts of several individuals, are also composed mainly of text and therefore do not require a high-speed Internet connection.

Quite possibly the best news for dial-up users is that multimedia content is in fact attainable, contrary to the belief of many dial-up users. Many podcasts, games and streaming radio broadcasts are available in a dial-up-friendly format. To find some, check out or

Even if a dial-up version is not provided for desired music, video or other multimedia content, it does not mean it is out of reach. Many dial-up users download content overnight or during other times when they aren't otherwise using their computers. Utilizing a simple download manager can make this process even easier.

"A download manager is a great piece of software which allows dial-up users to resume interrupted downloads upon reconnection," said Corey Wyatt, a technical support representative for Socket, a Missouri Internet and telephone provider. "That way, if you get a phone call or lose your Internet connection, the download will start from where it left off."

Wyatt suggests Fresh Download, a reliable and convenient download manager. Download it free of charge at

Dial-up users even have the ability to do one thing broadband users can't—send and receive faxes through their dial-up modems. Microsoft Windows typically comes with a pre-installed program to facilitate faxing via a computer. Refer to the owner's manual to find out how.

Finally, all dial-up networks are not created equal, so dial-up users on a quality, local network maintained and upgraded with newer technology will often experience better connection speeds.
Socket Tech Talk is provided as a service to distribute general information concerning technology-related topics. Please consult your local computer expert for information specific to your situation.