When I was a kid, we had dial-up internet.
You would connect your phone cord to the back of your computer tower and it would tie-up the phone line while you stayed connected.
That’s one reason some people had more than one phone line in their houses, but these days that’s becoming rare. Aside from the phone connection, you had to pay for an internet service like AOL or Netscape to actually connect to the world wide web. I’ll never forget the ear shattering sounds the computer modem would make whenever it was dialing the number to connect to the internet. When broadband internet was unveiled, it allowed people to pay a set fee for data access with their phone or cable provider while bypassing a web portal like AOL. This also coincided with the rise of wireless internet, or WIFI. Nowadays few people connect with actual cables when they’re browsing the internet. Amazingly enough, I have a thermostat that can communicate with my internet router through my home’s WIFI connection. Once it is recognized on the network, I can control it with my phone or computer. I can set the temperature remotely while I’m on vacation if I want to. However, I’m having issues getting it connected to the router because the menus aren’t as intuitive as I would like. Once I get my new smart thermostat working, I’ll be happy with my upgrade and the tools it puts at my disposal. You can let it run automatically on cycles generated by the system’s AI. This way you can let the system determine the most energy efficient temperatures from one hour to the next.