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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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Internet Connectivity 101

A few words regarding broadband options (DSL and cable) are in order before I begin. The word broadband has a technical definition, but I just use it to mean high-speed Internet access. Although a dialup modem can typically transmit information at speeds up to 56 kilobits (thousand bits) per second, broadband connections can reach 50 times that speed. Nowadays, the Web contains lots of images and multimedia elements, and enjoying these features through a 56 Kbps dialup modem is similar to drinking a cold glass of water with an eyedropper when you’re dying of thirst.

Don’t let high-speed providers discourage you from using Linux with their services. Just because they don’t support Linux directly doesn’t mean that the technology doesn’t work with Linux. TCP/IP (the set of traffic rules for the Internet) was developed for the UNIX operating system, from which Linux descends.

If you are dual-booting to Windows, your ISP can help you install your broadband connection, and then you can tinker with getting Linux connected as you have the time and inclination. In the list below, I point you to some sites that can help you configure your broadband connection as you look at the types available:

Cable modems: When you subscribe to a cable Internet service, the installation technician typically provides you with a special device, called a cable modem, along with a standard network adapter (like an Ethernet card). The technician then installs the network adapter into ...

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