## Speeds Explained

Written by Richard Lowe

So how fast is your internet connection anyway? Yeah, I know that many companies now (especially DSL - for more information see http://www.internet-tips.net/System/DSL.htm, and cable) are advertising speeds of upwards of a megabit or more. Well, what does that really mean? And how fast is 56K or 28.8 anyway?

I know this is hard to believe if you're relatively new to world of computers or internet, but back in 1978 modems were running at 110 or 300 bits per second (the technical term is baud). The table below is not precisely accurate but gives a rough idea of how speeds have been working their way upwards for past few years.

Speed Timeline

1978 100 to 300 baud 1988 1200 to 2400 baud 1993 14,400 baud 1995 28,800 baud 1997 33,000 baud 1998 56,000 baud 1999 1,500,000 baud DSL and cable mode connections

In comparison, local network connections run at 10,000,000 bits per second at least and it is becoming more common for these to be running at 100 million bits per second.

But what does all this mean? Well, a character is eight bits (a bit is a zero or a one, and it takes 8 of them to make a single character). The letter K means 1,024, so a 28K modem is 1,024 times 28 or 28,672 bits per second (also called bps).

Now divide 28,672 by 8 and you have maximum number of characters per second that your modem can run at. This works out to 3,584 characters per second, which in today's world is considered pretty slow (you will understand why shortly).

Interesting fact: Modem speeds are all standardized by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU defines 28.8K bps modems as v.32 and 33.6K bps modems as v.34.

All right, now you are getting 3.5 thousand characters per second, if you have a 28K modem, right? Well, not exactly. First off, quality of your phone line may drop that down significantly. What happens is your computer sends some data to "internet"; it is received but there was an error, so internet computer requests that data be resent. The worse quality (you can hear how bad it is by amount of static you can hear when you listen on line) more times data has to be resent, slower line.

## Help! I Can't Handle One More Virus!

Written by Maria Marsala

"There are 500 new virus/worms created each month", according to McAfee.com website. Whenever I learn out about another virus or worm that has developed into "medium or high" status, I shake my head in disgust. Have you ever wondered what would happen if that virus programmer turned their energies around and instead developed a positive program for us to use? Can you imagine how terrific that program would be?!?!

If you haven't heeded latest slew of virus warnings then you've probably been hit with a virus or worm. It's likely you've also lost use of your computer for at least a few hours if not a few days. In some cases, you've lost very important computer files or programs, too. Take some steps today, so that you'll have a virus free year.

Now every anti-virus website tells you to not open attachments from people you do not know. The thing is, that even attachments from people you love, could infect your computer with a virus. I'm going to come clean and admit truth. I too have had a virus wreak havoc on my computer - ONCE! And once since April of 1994 was enough for me! Actually it was a beautiful attachment of fireworks that a friend sent me. Well, it looked like fireworks before it destroyed some of my Word documents and other programs!

So, I won't tell you to not open attachments. That's a crazy suggestion anyway. Instead, take time now, right now, this moment, to protect your computer.

~Subscribe to an ezine list, such as ones listed below where owner provides their readers with an added value. This value comes in form of important Internet alerts. Maria's Place - Helping You and Your Business Grow http://www.coachmaria.com/popup.html Web Chamber http://www.webchamber.com

~Most new computers come with an anti-virus program and often data files for that program are out of date by time you receive your computer. Locate anti-virus program on your computer, get on Internet and download latest .dat (data files) or zip files (large group of files compressed so they download quickly).

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