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Choosing Equipment

You need to purchase equipment that’s compatible with the particular type of Internet service you’ll be using. If you’re going to use dial-up service, your computer probably came with a modem pre-installed, so you don’t have any choices to make. If you are going to buy new connection hardware, here are some points to consider:

  • Most broadband services require specific hardware that your ISP provides. (You can sometimes buy a DSL or cable modem independently, but be sure it’s compatible with the equipment your ISP uses). In addition, broadband modems connect via USB or through an Ethernet network adapter. If your service needs a network adapter, be sure it’s Windows XP compatible.

  • If you’re going to share your Internet connection with other computers via a LAN, please read Chapter 18 before making any hardware purchases, as there are some nifty special hardware setups you might want to consider.

  • Above all, be sure any hardware that you plug directly into the computer (modem or LAN adapter) appears on the Windows XP Hardware Compatibility List. Check http://www.microsoft.com/hcl before you buy.

  • For dial-up service, choose a modem that is compatible with the fastest service level provided by your ISP. They should be using V.90 modems for 56Kbps service. If your ISP still uses X2 or K6Flex modems, they’re way behind the times. Some ISPs support the new V.92 call-waiting protocol. If you have a modem that supports this feature, ask prospective ISPs if they support it and if there’s an additional charge.


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