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Chapter 21. Doing the Internet Shuffle > Finding an Entrance Ramp - Pg. 195

Doing the Internet Shuffle 195 · Permanent connection--If your company or university has a network that is part of the Internet and your computer is connected to the network, you have access to the Internet through the network. This is the least expensive (and fastest) way to go. Ask your network administrator if you're connected. If his eyes light up and he starts raving about a T1 line, you're connected-- and you have a very fast connection. · Internet service provider (ISP)--One of the least expensive ways to connect to the Internet is through a local service provider. Most local Internet service providers charge a monthly fee of $15 to $20 for unlimited connect time (or for a huge chunk of time, say 200 hours). You use your modem to connect to the service provider's computer, which is wired to the Internet. To find an ISP, ask at a computer store or users group in your area, or check the phone book. To set up your account, you need information and settings that indicate to your computer how to connect to the service provider's computer. Obtain the following information: · Username--This is the name that identifies you to the ISP's computer. It typically is an abbre- viation of your first and last names. For example, Bill Fink might use bfink as his username. You can choose any name you like as long as it is not already being used by another user, and it conforms to the system's rules. Some providers have strict rules about the number of characters you can use and whether or not you can use special keystrokes, such as spaces, periods, or dashes. Inside Tip If your search for a service provider comes up short, use the Internet Connection Wizard (as explained later in this chapter) to set up your account. The Internet Connection Wizard can display a list of popular service providers in your calling area, and you can start your account simply by providing some billing information. · Password--The ISP might enable you to select your own password or may assign you a pass- word. Be sure to write down the password in case you forget it. Without the right password, you are not able to connect to the service provider's computer. (And be sure you hide your password in a secure area away from your computer. If your computer is stolen, you don't want the thief to have access to your account.) · Connection type--Most ISPs offer PPP ( Point-to-Point Protocol ). If your service provider offers only the older SLIP ( Serial Line Internet Protocol ), consider using a different service provider. Point-to-Point Protocol is easier to set up and provides faster data transfer, so most service providers don't offer SLIP. · Domain name server--The domain name server is a computer that's set up to locate computers on the Internet. Each computer on the Internet has a unique number that identifies it, such as Each computer also has a domain name, such as, which makes it easier for people to remember the computer's address. When you enter a domain name, the domain name server looks up the computer's number and locates it. Many services assign the domain name server dynamically --that is, when you initiate a connection. In such cases, the Domain Name Server option on your computer will be disabled.