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Chapter 19. Connecting to the Internet > Connecting via a Commercial Online Ser...

Connecting via a Commercial Online Service

A typical dial-up or broadband ISP does nothing but connect you to the Internet and provide you with an email address and inbox—and, in some cases, storage space for your own personal web page. You can probably find a few local ISPs operating in your city or town, or you can turn to one of a handful of national ISPs. These national ISPs offer dial-up numbers all across the United States (great for when you're traveling).

If all this sounds a little confusing to you, you might want to opt for a service that provides a little more hand-holding, such as that offered by America Online (AOL) or MSN. These commercial online services function like ISPs but also provide their own unique content and interfaces. If you sign up for AOL, for example, you use AOL's software to connect to the Internet and can also access AOL-specific content and services not available anywhere else.


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