To connect to the internet first of all you need a computer with proper configurations like, a minimum of 64mb Ram (which is a must for cable lines) a LAN card (which is usually built in on the Mother board, though some companies and older version computers attach LAN cards separately). After this is done you will have to contact your an ISP service provider from who you will have to purchase internet usage rights.
The Internet Service provider (ISP) will offer to you various schemes which you will have to select depending upon the speed and limit that you want for example: Home users are generally offered Dial-up or DSL lines.
After choosing the specific scheme suited to you, and purchasing the right for internet usage. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) will set up lines connecting your computer to the nearest router and will provide you a specific IP address. You will also be given an own user name and password which will be used to dial and connect to the internet.
What Do I Need to Connect to the Internet?
To connect to the Internet you need the following four things:
A modem and telephone line (if you are using dial up access)
A data line of some sort (if you are not using dial up access)
An Internet browser (software) and software to connect you to the ISP
An account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Souvenirs
These things work together in the following way:
The Computer is essential.
The Modem is necessary if you are using a telephone line to access the Internet. It translates the language that computers talk into a language that can travel across the phone lines, and vice versa.
The ISP is your gateway to the Internet. You access the ISP over the phone line, and the ISP will connect you to the Internet. The ISP provides you with e-mail and access to the Internet. It does this through thousand of dollars worth of hardware and software, which the average user can not afford. You will have an account with the ISP - you will pay $X per month in return for accessing the Internet through the ISP. This account will come with a user name and a password that you use to log on to the Internet.
You need two lots of software to connect to the Internet. The first is the software that connects you to your ISP. This is different for each ISP. Some ISP's will give you a disk with the connection software on it. Other ISP's will use the connecting software that comes with the operating systems Windows 95, OS7 and OS8. They will give you the settings to put into this software.
The second lot of software you need is a Browser. Browsers go and get web pages and display them on your computer. The two most popular and commonly used browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. These browsers also provide the software for e-mail and to read Usenet newsgroups. If you have a browser that is just a browser, you will also need software for e-mail and for reading newsgroups.
To get connected to the internet you will basically need three items; a computer, a modem and a telephone connection. The computer should be preferably of the latest configurations with respect to memory, hard disk space and processor speed while the speed of the modem, which is measured in kilobytes per second (kbps) should be at least 14.4 for optimum performance. The modem could be an internal modem or an external one.
The telephone connection enables your computer to access other computers but at the same time you cannot make or receive calls when you are using the internet unless you have a digital line (ISDN). Today there are various new ways in which you can get connected and not all of them require you to have a telephone connection. For example if you are accessing the internet through a local area network (LAN) or a satellite connection. One can also get connected using cable internet via the same cable that your TV set is connected to or a wireless connection via a cellular phone.
One will also need the right software preferably a Windows operating system and a browser like Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer which is generally part of the package that the internet service provider (ISP) is offering. There are a number of companies that offer different types of internet connection packages and it would be better to select one that would be compatible with your requirements like the amount of time that you would be online and the internet features like graphics and animation that you would want to access.