I was watching someone on the bus today use his smartphone to check his AOL email. That got me wondering - is dial-up internet access still available anywhere in the U.S.?
Yes, literally millions of people still have it and use it. There are areas of the U.S. where no form of broadband is available. Some (mainly older) people just don’t know or care enough about the faster alternatives to make the switch.
AOL still has 2.3 million dial-up subscribers and they are very profitable. There are other dial-up providers still in service as well.
There’s plenty of places that have no DSL or cable. Or finances could be very tight. I used to get dial-up from this place for $100/year.
sure lots of places don’t have cable or DSL.
Anybody know if there are still any Freenets? I think Traverse City, Michigan, was one of the last with dialup, still connecting in about 2005 through their Lynx DOS-based browser, operated through the public library.
I bet it would be even higher if they still mailed out those CD’s.
And I just realized that many kids don’t have a clue as to what I am talking about. So get off my lawn!
Hell I recall the day before I had my first PC mouse. We had a light pen and a metal grid in screen to sense it’s position. And we liked it.
Youngster! I came across an AOL floppy disk the other day. I’m sure more are lurking somewhere in my basement.
I had Juno, briefly, when I moved from my apartment with its cable internet to my new place and got connected to its internet. I was about like I remembered AoL: slow, and they got whinny when I tried to leave “I’m unemployed and too poor” “We’ll cut you a deal!” “OK, your deal still costs me money and I don’t have any” “But pay us anyway” “No.”
I was on dial up until 2007 because I didn’t have access to DSL or cable.
I am on dial-up right now. It only costs me $10 a month. I’d love to have some form of high speed connection. I just can’t afford one.
Oh, AFAIK, no manufacturer makes a computer with a built in dial-up modem these days. I had to buy a dial-up modem that connects to a USB port. It cost another $10.
If you ask this question 10, 20 or even 30 years from now, the answer will almost certainly still be yes for some small percentage of people. That is the way technology transition curves work. Most people convert to newer technology fairly quickly as it becomes available but there is always a small percentage that can’t or won’t switch over for a variety of reasons. Those people may be small in percentage terms but they are more than enough to support the last remaining providers of those services. There is a lot of shockingly old technology that is not only still regularly used but officially supported by vendors and service providers.
I doubt that broadband lines are going to be run to all areas of the U.S. in the foreseeable future just because it is too big and too sparsely populated in huge parts of it. Current satellite alternatives have cost and practical problems and even those won’t work for everyone. What if you just want to hook up a computer in your barn in rural Montana so that you can download a simple file from a beef supplier once a day? You have electricity and an old phone line already in there but not much else. A dialup connection is still the best solution for those types of uses.
I’d like to hear the connection noises just for old time’s sake.
So would I. The one failing of the USB modem I have is that it doesn’t make noises. Besides missing the cool computer wangy ran whine whine and such, I also can’t hear if I’ve mistakenly dialed a wrong number.
Excellent!! Thank you very much. I think I’ll turn the d/ls into my ring tones!
A few free BBSes still exist, but you’re more likely to get to them through telnet nowadays, as they probably only have a couple modems. (It’s one user per modem.)
If you have free long distance or live in a big city, you almost certainly can get your hands on some free dialup (PPP) Internet, though. I relied on that to get online for a little while when we lost DSL for a while. The only problem is that you’ll probably need to search online to find them. (I used the limited free NetZero account to find it. It was like 10 hours a month or so.)
I also suggest using Opera as your web browser, as it has a built-in proxy you can used to speed up slow connections called Opera Turbo. I recommend it for any dialup user.
Strange question from my perspective.
Just this week they turned off the copper lines in the area where I live. It is all fibre to home and there is no choice. The phone circuits in my house are instantly obsolete. I couldn’t use dial up even if I wanted to.
(And for the record, it isn’t a big improvement for us. We get a bunch of electronic boxes attached to our walls in various parts of the house. We don’t get that much of an increase in speed. It costs about the same. And everything dies if there is a power cut - including our house phone. It only cost the country $44 billion and counting. (Around $2000AUD per citizen.))
My parents, 94 and 89, living five miles from the closest town in rural Minnesota, still use dial-up. Lack of broadband options, no desire or need for faster connections, and no desire to pay more even if they had other options are some of the reasons they still use the phone line.
It’s frustrating visiting them though (I use my cell phone’s data plan for my own access when I’m there). I wanted to show them a video that their grand-daughter had placed on YouTube, and of course it was taking forever to load. I suggested we just watch it later (and let it buffer for a while). She agreed and said she’d watch it later, and turned off the computer! Arrgh!
If Net Neutrality dies a congressional death, perhaps all of us can enjoy some sites loading at dial-up speeds.
It’s possible this could be fixed with AT codes. If you can open a terminal window connected to the modem and issue the following commands:
Then close the terminal window and try to dial your ISP. Hopefully, you’ll have your connection tones back.
PS - I can’t believe I remembered these commands after so many years!