Before DSL and the cable modem made broadband Internet a household commodity, the dial-up modem reigned supreme. In this dark age of bandwidth, connecting to the Internet was not only painfully slow but also took up your land line. Worst of all, it was annoyingly loud. Dial-up Internet access required a computer's modem to literally place a phone call to an Internet service provider before the user could begin surfing the World Wide Web. This connection process involved a mixture of screeches and garbled static that sounded like your computer was dying a painful digital death noises not exactly conducive for teenagers looking to do some, ahem, late-night research.