3.1. Dedicated versus dialup connectivity

Connectivity, also referred to as Internet access type, refers to the physical connection between your site and your ISP. How you connect to your ISP affects the speed of your Internet connection, which, in turn, impacts such things as how quickly your web site is displayed to visitors.

Dedicated connectivity refers to a full-time connection to your ISP. Although they are more expensive than the alternative, dedicated connections are generally faster and allow you to use the full range of services on your server. There are several common types of dedicated connectivity. ADSL provides relatively fast data transmission over phone lines. A cable connection links you to your cable company, which provides you with many (though not all) of the same services as a traditional ISP. The speed of transmission over a cable network can vary widely (from quite fast to very slow) based in part on the usage within your neighborhood.

If you have dialup connectivity, your server is not permanently connected to the Internet. Rather, it connects to your ISP over a phone line using a modem or ISDN adapter . Because your connection to the Internet is not permanent, some of the services on your server cannot be provided to the outside world. For example, having your server host your external company web site would create a problem because whenever your server was not connected to the Internet, the web site would not be available. (However, it could certainly host an intranet web site because the local network would always be connected.)