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

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Selecting an Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Because of the meteoric rise in the popularity of Linux, many ISPs are training their support staff in the ways of Linux. If you already have a dialup service, give one of them a call to let them know of your Linux pursuits. Chances are, that person already has information pertinent to Linux subscribers and can provide you with that information. If you’re shopping for a new ISP, this section offers some practical selection advice.

Some ISPs provide their own proprietary software that you must install on your PC to connect to the Internet. The software they provide is likely to run only on Windows. Several free dialup services don’t work with Linux because of this fact. The proprietary software meddles with the operating system to ensure that banner advertising isn’t hidden or that you stay dialed in for only a specified duration.

If you’re shopping around for an ISP, consider these questions:

Can you get local dialup numbers across the country and around the world? If you travel often and need Internet access from different cities, this service is a handy money (and headache) saver.
Does it provide technical support for Linux? If you’re planning on running Linux, this consideration is an important one. It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but it is handy.
Can you get a recommendation? Ask a friend. An ISP’s best friend is an endorsement ...

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