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The basics of connecting to the Internet

Computers are becoming a necessary tool for business or for leisure. Connecting to the internet can be difficult for some. By learning the basics of connecting to the Internet you will find it easier to get yourself connected to the internet and online in no time.

In order to connect to the Internet you will need these three main components:

A computer and browser software An ISP (Internet Service Provider) A modem

Connecting to the Internet

There are many ways in which you can connect to the Internet. In order to do this you will need to use a Modulator-Demodulator, or MODEM. One of the most popular ways to connect to the internet is through the use of a telephone modem.

You will need to have a modem card installed on your computer. Computer technology is largely digital whereas telephone technology is partially analog. Modem devices turn digital information into analog sound signals to be carried through the telephone and then turned back again. Modems are like translators, computers have a digital language and telephones analog language.

You usually do not need to pay for the modem but the modem card. There are modems available in various speeds. These are known as baud rates. This means that is how many bits a second a modem will be able to send and receive. On average the baud rate of most modems is 56k.

There are slower modem models too. The slower the modem is the cheaper it will be to purchase. Of course the faster the modems are the more it will cost you.

Cable or a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modems are another means to connecting to the internet if you do not want to use a telephone modem. Both modems use your telephone service lines and are provided by an ISP service.

A cable modem will be provided by your local cable company whereas a DSL modem will be provided by a telephone company. Both of these allow faster connection to the Internet. You will need to pay a monthly fee. Higher fees might be required if you are using additional services or want a speedier connection.


Microsoft Windows is one of the most common operating systems in use today. Widespread versions of this software are used in Windows 98, Windows Millennium and 2000 and Windows XP. Windows uses Internet Explorer as its browser program.

For Macintosh and IBM users have Linux. This is not as popular as Windows but is in use. It uses its own browser program to connect to the Internet. You are also able to download browsers for these operating systems. Mozilla and Opera are popular choices.


ISPs allow you the means to connect to the Internet. Cable and telephone companies tend to run most ISPs. These companies provide software and sometimes hardware too. You pay for their services either monthly or annually.

What to do:

Many companies will install all software and hardware for a fee. You can manually do this too. There are installation instructions usually given to you so that you can easily do this.

Start by unplugging you computer and making sure it is turned off. You will then open the panel and find the empty slot. Follow the instructions on the manual given.

Once you have done all this you will be able to turn your computer back on. You will be given instructions on how to connect. That’s it, you’re online now.

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