What is 56K Dial up access?
Dial-up Internet access is a type of Internet connectivity that operates through a standard telephone line. By running the telephone line to a modem device in the personal computer, and configuring the computer to dial a specific phone number, the computer is granted Internet access.
Dial-up connection of phones requires no additional infrastructure other than the telephone network. As telephone points are available throughout the world, dial-up remains useful to travelers. Dial-up is usually the only choice available for most rural or remote areas where getting a broadband connection is impossible due to low population and demand. Sometimes dial-up access may also be an alternative to people who have limited budgets as it is offered for free by some, though broadband is now increasingly available at lower prices due to market competition.
Dial-up requires time to establish a telephone connection (several seconds, depending on the location) and perform handshaking before data transfers can take place. In locales with telephone connection charges, each connection incurs an incremental cost. If calls are time-charged, the duration of the connection incurs costs.
Dial-up access is a transient connection, because either the user or the ISP terminates the connection. Internet service providers will often set a limit on connection durations to prevent hogging of access, and will disconnect the user — requiring reconnection and the costs and delays associated with it.
Why would I need 56K Dial up access?
Dial-up service is the least expensive but also the slowest type of Internet access. Due to the limited bandwidth - the ability for the modem to send and receive data - dial-up service can take up to five minutes to download just one megabyte of data. Caching frequently visited pages, and other software tricks and tweaks can speed up the experience of dial-up access in some cases. However, if your main purpose online is multimedia-centric, (music, movies, and graphic-laden websites), dial-up service may be so slow as to be unsatisfactory.
Faster Internet options are the DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
What do I need to use 56K Dial up access?
Before a person can subscribe to a dial-up service, he or she must have a computer and dial-up modem. A modem is an inexpensive component that fits into a free slot inside the computer. There are also external modems that sit alongside the computer, connected to the computer by a serial or alternate type cable. A telephone line feeds into the modem.
The modem is controlled by software in the computer; for example, the Network Connections utility that comes with Microsoft Windows operating systems. Here you can setup a profile for the ISP, which will tell the modem what phone number to call and how to communicate with the dial-up service. The ISP itself provides this information.