Dial-Up Access

Refers to connecting a device to a network via a modem and a public telephone network. Dial-up access is really just like a phone connection, except that the parties at the two ends are computer devices rather than people. Because dial-up access uses normal telephone lines, the quality of the connection is not always good and data rates are limited. In the past, the maximum data rate with dial-up access was 56 Kbps (56,000 bits per second), but new technologies such as ISDN are providing faster rates.

An alternative way to connect two computers is through a leased line, which is a permanent connection between two devices. Leased lines provide faster throughput and better quality connections, but they are also more expensive.

Also see Dial-Up Modem Standards in the Quick Referencesection of Webopedia.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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