For millions of people, using the Internet is one of the most important functions of a PC. Few computer features have the potential to change your life as profoundly as the World Wide Web and email.
To join the Internet party already in progress, you need three components: a connection, such as a modem, cable modem, DSL, or corporate network; an Internet account; and Internet software, such as a Web browser or email program. This chapter guides you through setting up your computer for Internet access, and then shows you how to use Internet Explorer to find your way around the Web.
Microsoft constantly improves and updates Internet Explorer. Windows 2000 comes with version 5.01, but that version has been succeeded by Internet Explorer 5.5 (or an even later version). Use the Windows Update tool (see Section 3.11) to upgrade your version to the latest available.
While you're at it, you may want to install the free software component called Windows 2000 High Encryption Update. Doing so not only adds a few features to your browser, but also improves the security and stability of your system.
Most people in big corporations connect to the Internet through the office network. The company sets up a high-speed Internet connection and attaches it to the network using a device called a router; if that's your situation, you've been spared the process of setting up and configuring an Internet account.
Most people at home, however, connect to ...