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Back to dial-up in 2021!

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    Back to dial-up in 2021!

    So after being constantly frustrated with my ISP for over a year I have decided to go back to something I know, good ol' dial up. I've been using it now for a few days and I'm very pleasently surprised by just how well it still seems to work. I'm getting consistand 30-40Kbps connection speeds and I'm not getting randomly knocked off the internet like you might expect out of such a dying form of connection. Also believe it or not I actually have 1/4 the ping with dial-up than I had with my previous provider (down to 300-400 from 2000!) so at least as far as gaming and the such goes dial-up is actually FASTER than the high-speed I had before it. I must thank dialup4less and their one loan support tech who still mans the phones everyday to this day. I'm so happy that I can still enjoy dial-up in the modern era AND it's even saving me tons of money by being dirt cheap.

    #2
    How many minutes did it take to load this website for you to post this?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Trixter View Post
      How many minutes did it take to load this website for you to post this?
      Actually it takes no more than 10-15 seconds on average. If it's really chugging at 30+K it'll load it 5ish

      Comment


        #4
        With those ping times, it sounds like you had some sort of satellite internet like HughesNet.

        Dialup is of course going to have a far lower latency because the satellites that most current satellite internet providers use are in high earth orbit, around 22,000 miles away from earth. Assuming a 100% perfect theoretical connection, the lowest latency you could expect is 260ms, but due to how HughesNet and other providers buffer packets before sending/receiving them, it ends up being usually several seconds at best. So it's great for general web usage, but terrible for everything else. Some providers also use dialup in conjunction with satellite. A common setup is using the satellite for the downlink and dialup for the uplink since historically, you're pulling in data far more than you're sending out.

        Gaming and video streams are terrible on satellite internet, at least the old high earth orbit based internet. Tesla's StarLink and Amazon's Project Kupier have satellites in very low earth orbit and avoid the problems of high latency by a shorter distance and better uplink gear. If you live out in podunk, you may consider StarLink. It's expensive to start because you have to buy the equipment though.

        But you're definitely not getting 30-40 kbyte/sec on dialup, that's impossible. The fastest dialup standard to be widely deployed (56k) has a maximum speed of 7 kbytes/sec. Your provider is most likely doing some sort of compression, which was common in the waning days of dialup back in the early 2000s. Netzero dialup touted it in their advertisements back in the day by loading pages so many times faster than their competitors using compression. This however only worked on pages with little multimedia content.

        Comment


          #5
          We're on the brink of having the new low orbit satellite internet providers going live. Those are going to be far better experiences for folks living in remote area that aren't hardwired.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
            With those ping times, it sounds like you had some sort of satellite internet like HughesNet.

            Dialup is of course going to have a far lower latency because the satellites that most current satellite internet providers use are in high earth orbit, around 22,000 miles away from earth. Assuming a 100% perfect theoretical connection, the lowest latency you could expect is 260ms, but due to how HughesNet and other providers buffer packets before sending/receiving them, it ends up being usually several seconds at best. So it's great for general web usage, but terrible for everything else. Some providers also use dialup in conjunction with satellite. A common setup is using the satellite for the downlink and dialup for the uplink since historically, you're pulling in data far more than you're sending out.

            Gaming and video streams are terrible on satellite internet, at least the old high earth orbit based internet. Tesla's StarLink and Amazon's Project Kupier have satellites in very low earth orbit and avoid the problems of high latency by a shorter distance and better uplink gear. If you live out in podunk, you may consider StarLink. It's expensive to start because you have to buy the equipment though.

            But you're definitely not getting 30-40 kbyte/sec on dialup, that's impossible. The fastest dialup standard to be widely deployed (56k) has a maximum speed of 7 kbytes/sec. Your provider is most likely doing some sort of compression, which was common in the waning days of dialup back in the early 2000s. Netzero dialup touted it in their advertisements back in the day by loading pages so many times faster than their competitors using compression. This however only worked on pages with little multimedia content.

            Yeah when I say 30-40Kbps I mean kiloBITS per second. And I switched back to dial-up for two reasons. 1. being that hughsnet is unreliable and annoying as hell to deal with on a day to day basis. And 2 is because I honestly hate the internet and about 82.3 percent of the people on it so I honestly love being mostly disconnected from it. So dial-up's natural slowness is nothing more than another reason for me to stay away from the degenerate hell known as the world wide web.

            Comment


              #7
              You mean kilobits/sec. But I think the founders meant kilobaud. They're not exactly the same thing as I understand it.

              Comment


                #8
                Yes. "Baud" is the measure of "symbols" per second. So, a 2400 bps connection (note small 'b') using QAM passes 600 symbols per second. Practically speaking, the limit for a voice grade line is 2400 baud. Higher bitrates are achieved through sophisticated modulation and encoding.

                That being said, in a wire-connected PC-to-PC setup, baud = bits per second.

                Question for the OP: May I assume that you're using the mobile version of the VCF forum pages and not the full-blown desktop/graphical ones?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I seem to recall the download utilities like xmodem and zmodem using CPS or characters per second for downloads.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My ISP offers dial-up as sort of a backup. I even tested it the other day and it still worked.

                    It's enough to check my mail, pull up soylentnews, and a couple of other web sites including this one. During an outage some years back I had to use it to pull up some "important" site. I forget what that was now, but it took forever to load and do whatever it was, perhaps half an hour.

                    I think more web developers should be forced to use dial-up.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Is it even possible to get a true copper loop phone line anymore?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I don't believe it's previously occurred to me that baud is derived from baudot. Better late then never.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
                          Is it even possible to get a true copper loop phone line anymore?
                          In most places in the US it’s required to be available, but I’ve heard some people have had a very hard time actually getting it delivered in some neighborhoods. I’ve been tempted to get one for nostalgia, but I can see the box at the and of the street. It looks like it’s been hit by every car and truck in the neighborhood and most of the time is covered in a plastic bag. I cannot imagine the quality is what it once was.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jafir View Post
                            I seem to recall the download utilities like xmodem and zmodem using CPS or characters per second for downloads.
                            True, because async has overhead; e.g. start and stop bits, though the "stop" bit is just a pause of some fixed duration. That's why, for example, 134.5 bps used for Selectric terminals is spec-ed at 1.5 stop bits.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I used dial-up regularly as a backup ISP until 2018, unfortunately since I have moved into a house without working landlines I have no hope of ever going back (at least until I move again). Unforunately too slow for those awful Gurgle-controlled websites like Meet anyways, though it was great for Spectrum outages (good God I hate Spectrum) or even power outages (as the phone lines usually stay up even without power). As long as you avoid heavy websites bogged down with unnecessary JavaScript, dial-up is actually very usable in 2021. Good enough to check my email, various forums including this site and TalkWeather, DuckDuckGo, NOAA/National Weather Service websites, among others.

                              You also have a point about the internet being mostly full of... well, inconsiderate people to say the absolute least.
                              Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
                              IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

                              Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

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