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What Kind of Internet Services are Available in Kansas City? Highspeed Internet, Dial-Up Internet

If you’re one of those people who practically live at your computer, choosing the right ISP company is probably on the top of your list when it comes to moving. If you’re not, the decision can be a little confusing because of all the options out there. From small, local companies that provide internet access to huge conglomerates, the choices in ISP companies can be stagger.

Since not everyone was born with a keyboard stuck to their hands, let’s talk about the different options available in Kansas City in plain English, starting with the acronym ISP. This in real terms stands for Internet Service Provider, which means any company that gives you access to the Internet from your computer. It can translate to a cable system, DSL or even telephone landline or cellular telephone. This is where it gets a little confusing.

Let’s talk about the different ISP options available in Kansas City for Internet access and their pros and cons:

  • Cellular Internet access: Some cell phone companies offer specialized service where you can hook your cell up to your computer, dial in and gain access. This is great if you have a good minute per month package or you only go online after 9 p.m.; the typical free time period. The cons with this service are occasional dropped connects, slow download rates if you’re trying to get pictures or other large files and costs if you want to go online when the time counts against your monthly minutes.
  • Landline telephone access, also called “dial up:” The ups of this service are plenty, especially if you don’t have a lot of extra money. This kind of ISP access lets you use your regular telephone line, hooked up to a computer modem, to call into the internet or “dial up.” There are no extra charges unless the number you need to call is long distance and it’s pretty convenient for anyone with a telephone line. The downside to dial up is the speed for accessing large files, occasional drops in service and the loss of your telephone line while you’re on the computer. This service is great for those who aren’t online a lot or don’t need to get big files. It’s awful for online gamers because the transfer rate (the time it takes your computer to talk to another) is very slow over most telephone lines.
  • DSL: This is one of two general “broadband” ISP options. Broadband is a faster than telephone line service and enables much faster transfer of information between your computer and the Internet. Generally offered by telephone companies, DSL typically uses specialized phone lines, fiber optics for example. The transfer rate here is pretty darn good, much better than regular phone lines in fact. The downfalls, however, are the fact it costs more than dial up and there are occasional drops in service.
  • Cable Internet access: Also using fiber optic lines, this service is considered the Cadillac of Internet access at this point in time. The advantages here are very fast transfer rates, good connections and in most cases a pretty good reliability rate. The downfalls are it’s expensive, generally quite a bit more than other services, but it does eliminate the need for another telephone line, which can actually cut overall costs if you’re online a lot. There are sometimes “blips” in the service, but cable Internet access is typically the choice of those who handle lots of information and large files and is the choice of most gamers who enjoy graphic intensive programs.

The trick to finding the best ISP for you is to know what you need. If you’re only online once in a while to check e-mails, you probably don’t need more than dial up or cell access. There’s no reason to spend a lot of money on the bells and whistles that come with ISPs that offer high-speed access. Should you be a fan of “surfing the net,” you might want something that adds more speed like DSL or cable.

For those who use Internet access for their livelihoods or for serious surfing or gaming, broadband, either DSL or cable, is almost the only way to go. Where some large file downloads can take as much as 20 hours on dial up, the broadband service can handle massive amounts of information in literally minutes. The difference in speed is comparable to a snail and a rocket ship.

Once you figure what kind of ISP you need, shop around for the best deals. Sometimes local companies are the best route. In other cases, the most solid connections come from major telephone companies or cable providers. Compare prices, perks and benefits against your individual needs and you should have a pretty good ISP to meet your needs.

by Tiffany Lewis, Kansas City Premier Apartments, Inc.

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