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Chapter 21. Doing the Internet Shuffle > What You Need to Get Started - Pg. 194

Doing the Internet Shuffle 194 What You Need to Get Started Just because the Internet offers some pretty cool stuff does not mean that you're going to have to retool your computer. In fact, you probably already have everything you need to connect to the Internet now: · 28.8Kbps (or faster) modem--Web pages contain graphics, video clips, and other media objects that take a long time to travel over phone lines. You should have a modem that can receive data at least at a rate of 56Kbps. For e-mail only, you can get by with a slower modem. (See Chapter 19, "First You Need a Modem," for details.) · SVGA monitor--The same graphics and video clips that take so long to download look fuzzy on anything less than an SVGA monitor. (See Chapter 1, "Savvy Consumer Guide to Buying a Computer.") · Speaker and sound card--If you want to listen to recordings or music clips on the Internet, you better have a sound card and speakers. · Internet service provider--The Internet service provider connects you to the Internet. Your mo- dem dials the service provider's computer, which then establishes the required connection. · TCP/IP program--This program dials into your Internet service provider's computer using your modem and establishes the basic connection. You then can run specialized programs, such as a Web browser, e-mail program, and news reader to access specific Internet features. Fortu- nately, the TCP/IP program you need comes with Windows--it's called Dial-Up Networking. · Credit card--Perhaps the most important item, the credit card, enables you to start an account with an online service provider.