Do you remember when there was dial-up internet?

In my first article in the 'Do you remember...' series I'm going to be taking a look back at the dial up internet connection. I fondly remember those days as if it were yesterday. Well, I say fondly now, but back then I would constantly curse the slowness of dial up.

When I got my first computer, it had a 56k modem built into it, which according to my friends was exceptionally fast compared to the 28.8k modems that they had. The thing was though, it was still pretty damn slow. Yes, it was a speedier connection than what my friends had, but it still took an age to download Windows Updates, let alone anything else.

One of the biggest issues with the dial up connection was that it hijacked your telephone line, so no one could make a phone call while you were on the interent, unless of course you had more than one phone line in your home. I'm sure others remember being told that they had to get off the internet so their mum could use the phone. Looking back at it now, its surprising that anyone actually put up with it.

The increase in Broadband availability:
Things started to change however in 2004, in the UK anyway. Broadband really started to increase in popularity, especially with the advent of video websites such as YouTube. I remember trying to watch a video on YouTube on dial-up. Lets just say it wouldn't stop stuttering. The problem with Broadband however was that it was actually pretty expensive when compared to dial-up with the former costing around £45 and the latter costing between £10-15.

As Broadband became cheaper though, it slowly but surely muscled out dial-up, and rightly so. My first Broadband speen was 1Mb/s, which, after dial-up was like going from a Skoda to a Ferrari. Just now, I'm sitting writing this with a speed of 9Mb/s, which is truly an amazing feat in just the past 9 years that I've owned computers.

It really makes me wonder how much faster we'll get in the following 9 years, and even what devices we'll use the internet on. One thing I do miss about having a dial-up connection is the dial tone. I can still hear it now, and remember the final part of the sequence, just before it would connect.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about dial up internet below.

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Comments 14 comments

scottcgruber profile image

scottcgruber 5 years ago from USA

Oh yes. And I remember the days before the web, when you had to download pictures and other binary files from gopher sites via Kermit.

I'm old!

KevinC9998 profile image

KevinC9998 5 years ago

I hate to say how old I am but I do remember 2400 modems! Interesting and voted up, Kevin

SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 5 years ago Author

@Scott, I've hard about those dark days!

@Kevin, I bet it was seriously slow back then. Although I suppose sites were much slower to it balanced things out. Thanks for the kind words!

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danieldlaine 5 years ago

I remember Kermit. I also remember writing up boot discs with autoexec, config and mscdex. himem went in config and I used to use autoexec to load mscdex... I can remember it now: @echo off, cls, set temp=c:\, path=a:\, mscdex... well, something like that anyway. Ahh! great times. That was when computer techies 'were' techies. Nowadays, Win7 does everything for you, sets up networking, internet etc. etc. -- wheres the techy fun in that??

"Back then" when I had a 56k v.90 modem I thought it was 'wicked' (compared to the 28k one previously) but when I compare it to 'top' modems today, the same 20MB file, which took up to an hour to download with the 56k one can now be downloaded in 0.45 secs!!

Old modems are still useful though... you can make recording circuits out of them :0)

Oh yeah!... 'Age' is just relative! We're all just young pups compared to my ol' Grandad, who's 96 now!!


Daniel D'Laine

JohnGreasyGamer profile image

JohnGreasyGamer 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

Damn, I HATE dial-up! I remember it as a kid, it was the sheeeeeeeet, but now it's dreadful. It was little use to me, as there wasn't a great deal of information on the net around 10-15 years ago.

Anyway, nice writings, they were totally worth the time spent to read! ^^

SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 5 years ago Author

I do remember it would take ages to wait for a photo to load it. It would always seem to come to halt when it came to the bit I really wanted to see...

SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 5 years ago Author

You're right, Win 7 really does do it all. My sister who hasn't really used a computer since XP was even shocked how they've spruced up the ability to connect to the internet so effortlessly.

Yea, and as far as I know, you can still send faxes through th old modems too.

96 is a great age!

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danieldlaine 5 years ago

Hey SolveMyMaze, your post gave me an idea. If you don't mind the url, have a listen to this: It will make you smile!! :0)



SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 5 years ago Author

Excellent! :D

talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

I remember dial-up internet - the sound and all. The provider was - drumroll please - AOL! As a high-functioning autistic, I couldn't count the number of meltdowns when either the internet shut down all of a sudden or when somebody was on call/calling somebody/waiting for a fax. Looking back at it now makes me laugh because I found those memories funny now!

unvrso profile image

unvrso 4 years ago from Mexico City

I remember those days when dial-up was the only means by which to connect. It was kind of frustating for me because I was always opening more than one page site on my computer and all of them took minutes to open completely.

Interesting hub!

SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 4 years ago Author

Ah I 'fondly' remember it. I was actually blown away when I got FF and realised you could have more than one webpage open at a time.

receivetipstricks profile image

receivetipstricks 3 years ago from Jaipur,India

haha ,, i had nightmare too with broadband connection in my early internet days,, now i like to use very high speed internet for my work,,

Thanks for the post


SolveMyMaze profile image

SolveMyMaze 3 years ago Author

Yeah the old broadband was a bit naff. Thanks for commenting.

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