Chapter 8. Connecting to the Internet

In This Chapter

  • Gathering connection information

  • Connecting to your Internet service provider (ISP)

  • Troubleshooting your connection


Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible.

 --Frank Moore Colby

You may already be connected to the Internet if you're on a machine that's connected to a LAN and you've configured the networking during installation. To test whether you have a connection, open a Web browser and try to go to an outside Web site (such as If it works, you're up! No need for this chapter. Otherwise, read on.

Getting Information You Need from Your ISP

Most reputable ISPs provide you with a customer information sheet after you sign up for their services. This sheet should include the following information (at minimum):

  • Local telephone dial-in numbers for modem users

  • User login name

  • User login password

  • E-mail address

  • E-mail outbound host or Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) server for routing outbound e-mail messages

  • E-mail inbound host or Post Office Protocol (POP) server for receiving incoming e-mail messages

  • News host

  • Whether your computer address will be one of these two types:

    • Static: You always have the same IP address. Static addresses are more common for servers than for desktops. If you're using static, your ISP needs to give you a few more pieces of information. You must define a nameserver IP address (which resolves hostnames into IP addresses), a gateway address (which routes your connection through ...

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