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Rev It Up Longing for faster Internet access? Check out these new and upcoming options.

By Cheryl J. Goldberg

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Interest in the Internet has reached a fever pitch. Growingnumbers of individuals and companies are posting Web pages. Andthese pages are increasingly sophisticated: Instead of just text,they're likely to contain multimedia and video elements, andeven connections to a company database.

But all the bits and bytes required to transmit this informationcan really bog down computer performance. To improve performancewith these new applications, you need a bigger pipeline to shufflebits and bytes between your computer and the Web. In other words,you may need a faster modem--if not now, then most probably withinthe next year or two. (Of course, some performance problems are dueto excessive traffic on the Web. If you can't get on at all; orif you access a Web site, see that there's a text-only versionof the page, call that up, and still experience poor performance,there may just be a lot of Web traffic.)

How can you speed up access? You have several options, dependingon your time frame. New modems that were in development at presstime, and should be on shelves by the time you read this, promiseto transmit at speeds of up to 56.6 Kbps (kilobytes per second), upfrom the current 33.6 Kbps standard. Another option is upgrading toISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) technology, which offersdata transfer speeds of 128 Kbps. (ISDN service is not available inall areas, however, and is more expensive and more complicated touse than non-ISDN modems.)

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