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Part III: What is the Internet?  > Getting Connected

Chapter 15. Getting Connected

To get to the Internet, your computer must be connected to a "server," a special computer that has information flowing to and from the Internet 24 hours a day. You probably have one of these situations:

You can connect to the Internet through a phone line that is attached to your computer and goes to the phone jack in the wall, or perhaps through another telephone. Typically, your modem will dial up your Internet Service Provider. You will most likely only connect for a short time each day, or maybe several times a day. You will log on to the server through your computer, do your Internet and World Wide Web business, then log off.

If you live in a larger town, you might connect to the Internet through something like a television cable or DSL (digital subscriber line). In that case, you have a special modem supplied by the service you signed up with, and you connect, not with a regular telephone cord, but with a special cord called an Ethernet cable. Your connection is "on" all the time (meaning you never have to "dial up" through the phone line).

Or maybe you work at a business or college that owns their own Internet server, in which case your computer is probably connected to that server 24 hours a day because it is on the company network. In that case, you do not "dial up" through a phone line to connect to the Internet—your computer has access all day and night (it's "on" all the time). All you need to do is open your browser or email program.


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