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On top of that, there is a certain amount of overhead associated with each connection. This is "handshaking", which means modem is asking internet computer if it got data and internet computer is responding "yes" or "no". There is also a certain amount of data to define what is being sent (an email or a web document or whatever) which eats into line speed.
Well, okay, let's assume you are actually getting 20K from your 28.8K modem. There's worse news to come. The internet has lots of things that actually have nothing to do with content. There are cookies (http://www.internet-tips.net/Security/cookies.htm), advertising banners, comments, web bugs (http://www.internet-tips.net/Security/webbugs.htm), and a host of other things inserted into your web experience. A typical advertising banner is 7.5K, which in our 20Kbps example requires several seconds to load to your machine.
What can you do? First, if you can get a DSL or Cable modem connection to internet. It will probably cost about same or only slightly more than your dialup connection and will improve your surfing experience by many times.
Second (or if you cannot get a higher speed connection) get an ad blocker (http://www.internet-tips.net/Security/adblocking.htm) installed on your system to remove those ads before they are downloaded to your machine. Why even bother downloading banners that you are never going to look at anyway?
I hope that helps clear things up a bit.
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