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3 percent of American adults still cling to dial-up Internet

A few dedicated individuals buck the broadband trend and still use dial-up Internet-access services at home.

Phone cord
Mommy, what's a dial-up?
Amanda Kooser/CNET

Dial-up Internet was the first online access many people ever knew. It's just that most of them weren't content to stick with it as faster options emerged over time. There are, however, a few dial-up stalwarts still out there. A new home broadband report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 3 percent of American adults get online at home using dial-up.

Those same 3 percent of people are probably the only ones to not illegally download "Game of Thrones." One group that outnumbers the dial-up users (other than the 70 percent of people with broadband), are the 20 percent of people with no home broadband and no smartphone.

"Many dial-up users cite cost and access as the main reasons they don't have broadband, but for adults who don't use the Internet at all, a lack of interest is often the main issue," says Kathryn Zickuhr, research associate for the Pew Research Center.

Let's take a trip down memory lane. Back in 2008, Pew found that 10 percent of American adults used dial-up. It looks like five years have changed some minds..

Dial-up is still cheap. For example, you can sign up for service through Earthlink for $9.95 per month. It manages to persist thanks to that pricing and the needs of people in remote areas where broadband options are limited or nonexistent.

Dial-up is still slow, though. Streaming "Breaking Bad," downloading large image files, and getting instantaneously loading Facebook updates aren't in the cards. Checking e-mail and basic low-data Web surfing, a dying art, look like they will persist among ever-shrinking numbers of Americans for a little longer. All the while, we'll hear that little dial-up modem voice, peeping, "I'm not dead yet!"