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Part: 4 Going Global with Modems, Online... > First You Need a Modem - Pg. 175

175 Chapter 19. First You Need a Modem In This Chapter · List three available Internet connection types from slowest to fastest · Read a modem ad and understand what it says · Figure out which type of software you need to do what you want to do · Hook up an internal or external modem A modem is the single most liberating tool for your computer. With a modem and a computer, you can connect to other computers located down the block, across town, or anywhere in the world ... assuming the remote computer lets you in. Add an online Internet service and you can start cruising the Web; exchanging email; and chatting with friends, relatives, and complete strangers--but first you need a modem. Smart Shopping for a Fast Connection For your PC to access the Internet or establish a connection with a remote computer or network, it needs a device that can receive and send signals. For many years, standard modems have served this purpose. However, with the increasing popularity of the Web and the ever-increasing demands of media files, standard modems are becoming obsolete. If you spend much time on the Internet, you want the fastest connection possible. How do you strike a balance between performance and cost? The following sections help you decide.