to the Internet
Some data outdated but much still valid
are various ways to connect to the Internet. For all practical purposes,
the terms Web, WWW, & Net all refer to the Internet and are used
interchangeably. There are some differences, but unimportant to the
the web consists of 3 basic functions: 1) Connecting, 2) Using a program
called a Browser, and 3) E-Mail
and now (in 2007) includes a lot of new stuff like Chat, IM, UTube,
Connecting: A company that provides a service to connect you to the
Net is called an ISP (Internet Service Provider). There are custom
ones like AOL and CompuServe. There are ISP's that do nothing but
provide the connection for a fee and there are ISP's that provide
the connection at no charge in exchange for advertising, much like
a newspaper. There are ISP's that provide fast connections using Cable
or DSL, satellite and wireless.
Click Here or Here
to learn about broadband.
Browser: Check the Browser page for information
Surfing: Click here to learn tips on surfing
Connections: 56K modem connections are quickly becoming obsolete as
they are replaced by cable and DSL. A modem is a device that sends
electrical information into the telephone line or cable so it can
be received by another modem on another computer. You can get technical
discussions of modems elsewhere on the Net. Our purpose here is to
explain the general concept.
computers may still be using slower modems, but have mostly been replaced
by newer equipment. A fax machine transfers data in the same way and
is limited to 14.4K.
operating on a standard phone line rarely achieve 56K transfer speed
due to line limitations. If you get over 40K, you are doing as well
as possible. If you are below 40K, you might consider improving the
connection. Move up to a 56K modem or if you already have one, check
the phone line.
telephone modems are inside the computer. They can be identified by
the telephone jack outlet in the back of the computer. External modems
are available, but rarely used on home computers. New computers may
or may not be supplied with a modem. Be sure to ask if you need one
for using the computer for faxing or other needs.
ISP's charge from $10 to $25 per month. Add that to the need for a
second phone line at around $20 and the next two services don't look
most free services have been dropped.
type of modem is used for high speed connection to cable or DSL or
wireless. These are special modems that connect to the telephone line
(for DSL) and to the television coax cable in the case of Cable or
to a receiver box for wireless.
is a service that transfers data over the telephone line at a frequency
that does not interfere with regular phone calls. This means you can
have only one phone line for the telephone and your computer and use
them at the same time. In order to have DSL service, it must be available
in your area. Even though it uses the regular phone lines, there are
special equipment requirements in the phone system.
typically costs about the same as Cable at about $40 to $50 per month
after Installation cost that can run from $100 to $300 or more. Many
services run a special when it is first made available to provide
a free modem and free DIY installation.
DSL, you are not usually locked into using just your telephone company.
There is even one free DSL provider at www.freedsl.com if available
in your area. The DSL modem has a connection for the phone jack in
the wall and a network connection to your computer. Your internal
modem is not used for Internet service. If you use your computer as
a telephone answering machine or for sending and receiving faxes,
your internal modem will still be connected to the phone line.
modem service can only be provided by your local cable provider and
also may not be available yet in your area. Information is transferred
over the coax TV cable. The modem has an outlet to connect the coax
to and another outlet to connect to your computer with a network wire.
Network wire is similar to a telephone wire, but the plugs are slightly
larger. The statements for the internal modem above in the DSL discussion
apply here as well.
service is available in any location. It typically is more expensive
than the others, but if you have no cable or DSL services in your
area, it may be your only choice. Check out www.wildblue.com/
for more info.
ISP's may be available in your area. Most are higher speed than dialup
and are also somewhat more expensive. In our area, we have a number
of competing services. Look in your yellow pages for local services.
Check carefully on prices. Installation, contracts and monthly charges
vary widely. You might even question existing customers about reliability.
That also may be a problem.
the first 3 years in Pahrump, I used a company called Keyon
based in Las Vegas. For the most part it worked well for me, but some
customers had a lot of down time. Most wireless providers work by
putting a special antenna on the outside of your house aimed at a
tower receiver somewhere in line of sight to your house. Then a cable
is brought into the house to your computer.
November 2006, I switched to AT&T Wi-Max service. This is a new
concept being tested by AT&T currently in Pahrump & some place
in Texas. The antenna is on a small box that can be placed inside
your house or even carried around in your car or moved to a new location.
Great for service techs. There are some problems with it as with any
service. Here are pics of the receiver.
more info about WiMax, search for it on the web. AT&T is only
one of many companies using the technology. It was developed by Intel.
www.wimax.com is the main site but there are many worth checking out.
This technology has the potential of replacing cell phones and many
other wireless services and being truly mobile. The antennas cover
much larger areas that current cell towers.
is an article about it in Wisconsin and http://www.wimax.com/commentary/spotlight/analystscorner2005_05_01
is another article from Soma (the antenna supplier)
WiMax from AT&T equipment is mailed to you & you install it.
It is easy plug-in. I did so in November of 2006 and had good service
for about 3 months. I was not happy with the wireless network iside
my house, so I moved the equipment tyo another room allowing me to
hard wire the computer to the network router. Then the system went
to pot. I did not connect the problem to the move as I thought the
antenna was not location sensitive. Turns out I was wrong. After many
phone calls, I discovered that this service has a problem when you
are in an overlap area between two towers.
the antenna is placed correctly, I get download speeds from 700 to
1100 kbps. The speeds do seem to vary a lot. I run tests with speakeasy
and with AT&T's
own test. Here is a typical test when it is running good.
you have any questions about any of this, feel free to E-Mail me using
the link below