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Chapter 9. Hooking Up to the Internet > Five Degrees of Online Readiness

9.1. Five Degrees of Online Readiness

If you have any intention of making your PC a citizen of the Internet, you probably fall into one of these categories:

  • Your PC can already get online. This is the case if, for example, you upgraded to Windows XP Professional from an earlier version of Windows. (The XP installer is thoughtful enough to preserve your old Internet settings.) If you can already access the Internet, you don't need the advice in this chapter, which explains how to set up an account yourself. Just skip to the following chapter.

  • You have an Internet account on another PC that you want to transfer. In this case, consider using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, described in Appendix A.8. It teaches your new Windows XP machine all about the settings that worked on the old machine. Alternatively, if you know all the configuration details for your existing account—your account name, local access number, password, and so on—you can use the New Connection Wizard described on Section 9.3

  • You want to sign up for a new America Online account. Microsoft, an AOL rival, no longer includes the America Online starter software with Windows. You'll need to secure the AOL installer on your own—using one of the several billion AOL starter CDs that come with magazines, in cereal boxes, and sometimes out of the faucet.

  • You want to sign up for a new MSN account, or a standard Internet account (EarthLink, AT&T, Sprint, or whatever). In this case, use the New Connection Wizard described on Section 9.3.

  • You want to access the Internet, but don't yet know the best way to do it. In this case, read on.


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