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Access level descriptions

Toronto Free-Net offers the following types of Internet connections to its members.  See also the price list.

Dialup levels:

Basic dialup

Sufficient for off-line use, eg to download and upload email or to upload pages to your webspace.  You will be asked to renew your access every six months.

HalfPlus dialup

For light use.

1Plus dialup

For light to moderate use.  It is quite popular!

442Plus dialup

Designed to seem unlimited to most people.  It provides several features:

Unlimited dialup

Connect whenever you want, for as long as you want!  Not many people need this level of access, but some people just like it.  Others use this level to support TFN to a greater extent.

DSL levels:  (aka broadband, aka high speed)

High speed Internet access is also called broadband because it relies on technologies that use a wider range of transmission frequencies than dialup (a broad frequency band).

For TFN's high speed services, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technology is used to send signals over your existing telephone line but on a range of frequencies different from telephone signals.  This lets you make phone calls and send faxes at the same time as you surf the web!  DSL is available almost everywhere in the greater Toronto area.  To use TFN's high speed services, you need a DSL modem, not a dialup modem.  TFN's DSL service is also called ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) because the technology allows the upstream and downstream speeds to differ.

Lite DSL

An affordable always-on connection.  It is the lowest cost of TFN's broadband ("high speed") options.  Lite is approximately ten times faster than the fastest speed possible with dialup.  This level has no cap on how much you can download per month!  Its downstream and upstream speeds are matched.  This makes it well-suited to running small Internet servers from home, though most people just use it for affordable web browsing.

HiSpeed DSL

Like Lite, but downloads are ten times faster.  (100 times faster than dialup!)  It is next to impossible to exceed its high cap, no matter how many movies you watch online!  So, this level feels like Uncapped yet costs much less.  It is the most popular of TFN's broadband ("high speed") levels.

Uncapped DSL

Like HiSpeed, but without the cap -- download as much as you want!  Relatively few people consume enough bandwidth to justify this broadband level.  It is great for people who use BitTorrent, and similar peer-to-peer file-sharing applications, and who leave them running non-stop all day every day!

Business Lite DSL & Business HiSpeed DSL

Available for business phone lines (the Lite, HiSpeed, and Uncapped DSL access levels can only be offered on residential phone lines).  Descriptions for business broadband levels are under construction; please call for details.

DSL modems

TFN does not rent modems; you must buy your own.  Nowadays, DSL modems are very affordable: TFN volunteers have found them as cheap as $30 in Toronto computer stores (Nov/2010).  Sometimes, TFN finds and purchases DSL modems and other equipment in bulk, to sell to members at more affordable prices.  TFN's stock changes, so please call for details.

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