In the forty years since the invention of the modern computer, our lives have changed immensely. Changes in society have been at the heart of this, but it has also been in no small part due to the introduction of computers into common use, and in my opinion, one of the most important advances in computing science has been the concept of the computer network.

Computer networks have been around since the '50s but have only really risen to prominence in the eyes of the public with the advent of the Internet. The Internet itself has been around for decades in one shape or another, but has only risen to prominence since the development of the World Wide Web in the early '90s. Ever since then, its popularity has exploded as more and more people have come online and the inevitable result of this explosion is a growing demand for higher bandwidth connections.
The humble modem that has served us for the past twenty or so years is now considered too slow. ISDN, xDSL, cable modems all claim to offer apparently huge bandwidth links but what are these new technologies, What do they offer and what are the relative merits of each. These are the questions that I will attempt to answer on this site.

I will consider a high-level treaty of each of the options available to travel the last mile over the following pages with links for those of you who want more detail on a particular issue.

[ Modems next page

Introduction - Modems - ISDN - DSL - cable modems - Mobile comms - Conclusion - Glossary