There are four ways to connect over the Internet to conduct a Web conference: dial-up service via existing telephone lines, a digital subscriber line (DSL), cable DSL and satellite. To have a successful Web event, the proper Internet speed is required or your content will take a long time to load at the recipient's site.
For short-distance conferencing, dial-up connections may work well. Depending on the recipients' locations, dial-up connections may not support videos. The connections are slower and tie up your existing phones lines, however, it can still support multiple users simultaneously using just one phone line. Some dial-up ISP providers can provide content compression and page caching to increase the speed [source: TopTenReviews].
Digital subscriber line, or DSL, is a good choice as it offers Internet speeds five to 50 times faster than dial-up. DSL works with existing telephone lines. DSL uses a dedicated phone line, which only needs a router, a filter, a modem for each system, and a box that translates sent and received data. Most phone companies offer DSL connections. To use DSL, you need to be within the phone company's service area as the transmission frequencies deteriorate over a short distance. Some dial-up ISPS offer accelerators to increase the speed of the transmission [source: TopTenReviews].
Another choice is a cable DSL, provided by an Internet cable provider. A modem is required which can be rented or purchased. While it's considered the fastest of all connections, its speed can be affected by the number of area users connected simultaneously. Advantages include a fast connection. Cable DSL is always on as there's no need to wait for a dial-up. The phone and Internet can be used simultaneously [source: TopTenReviews].
Satellite conferencing provides the best image quality -- comparable to television images. It's most cost-effective when used with large events in a presentation-type format, such as Webinars, because of the single broadcast location. It costs more to broadcast the signal than to receive it so setting the host location is an important consideration [source: TKO Video Communications]. An Internet satellite dish and satellite modem are required. Reliant on weather elements, satellite can be unreliable, but it's 10 times faster than dial-up.
On the next page, we'll talk about businesses that use video Web conferencing along with future developments.