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Now you have a working modem/TA you are ready to configure connection to your ISP.
First, make sure that there is no other application running on your computer. Check Task bar. If you see another application, right click it and Close.
You will need to have your ISP dial-up number, account username and password to hand. If you donít know what these are, just telephone ISP and they will give you this information. If they say something about not needing it because their CDROM does it all for you automatically, tell them that you want it anyway. Donít get into a discussion about configuration of Internet connection. They wonít understand what you are talking about. Just palm them off with some guff and get information you want. After all, you only need them to give you access to Internet/WWW, after that, you donít need them at all. Your ISP is a simple Ďgatewayí to Internet, thatís all. They have little else, other than advertising, to offer.
Now we have all information, grab a quick coffee and then get settled to do business! Lock door and ignore all requests for access other than those from angels bearing drinks and snacks. Priorities dear reader, priorities.
With all things Ďcomputerí there is always a dozen different ways and routes to achieve same result. I am going to set out just one way of doing job. There are others, but I am going to show you easiest and most practical method.
Right click on Desktop icon named Network Neighbourhood or My Network Places. Choose Properties and you will see Create New Connection icon or New Connection icon. Double click it and a connection Wizard will start.
Now that you have Wizard on screen, choose Connect To The Internet. This will lead on to a dialog box that will ask you if you want to Choose From A List Of Service Providers, Use The CD I Got From An ISP or Set Up My Connection Manually. Choose Manually. Next you will be probably be asked which kind of connection you have. Choose to connect using a Modem. This will also be choice for your ISDN terminal Adapter (TA). You will then be asked which modem you want to use (if you have more than one connected to your computer). You will probably only have one, so select that one. You will be asked to type name of your ISP or name of this connection. Itís same thing. So type something that you will recognise when you want to make a connection. Now you will have to type in telephone number that your ISP gave you. Just type it right in without any spaces or hyphens. Next you will be presented with a dialog box that will ask you to enter username and password for connection. These are your Internet account details that your ISP gave you. Fill in boxes and make any other choices that are presented to you. If you are using XP uncheck Firewall checkbox. If you want to use Microsoft software Firewall, leave box checked. However, there are far better and more effective Firewall programs to use than built in software that Microsoft provides. But, choice is yours. Now you will be at end of Wizard and you may be asked if you want a shortcut on your Desktop. Make choice and click on Finish button.
Great! If all has configured properly itís time to test your handiwork. Go to your Desktop and right-click on Network Neighbourhood or My Network Places. Choose Properties and you will see connections that are currently setup on your computer. You probably only have this one. If you are on a network you will see your Local Area Network connection icon too. Double click on icon named with title you gave it during configuration. The connection box will appear. Make sure that all is as it should be and click Dial. There will be a slight delay and then you will hear modem dialling out to your ISP. If you muted modem/TA speaker, you will be able to check that things are happening by watching LEDs flashing on front of modem/TA unit. You will have a bit of a wait while modems talk to each other and then you should get authenticated onto ISPís system. Once that is done you will see a message at bottom right of your screen that tells you that you are connected and what bandwidth you have been allocated. Start your browser and enjoy.
Notice that your browser is unaltered, you donít have to go to a special web page and you can use any search engine you like. You wonít have any spy-ware lurking in your system and your ISP will have no control over you and your activities at all.
Just to whet your appetite (but beware)Ö
If you have a small network at home or at your office, you can configure one computer to provide an Internet connection for all others and set it up to dial up on demand when someone on another computer starts their web browser. This process is called Internet Connection Sharing and Demand Dialling. Quite a mouthful, but not difficult to set up. However, there are a couple of technical details that you will need to understand concerning protocols. So, be careful if you find yourself trying this out. You may end up losing connections to your other computers and ruining network connectivity. To be quite honest, ICS is not a particularly efficient method of multiple Internet connectivity. There are far easier and less fraught ways of providing that kind of service.
Get yourself a PopUp killer and a decent firewall. I suggest Zone Alarm Pro for firewall. I also suggest that you get a copy of AdAware. It will protect you from spy-ware and other nasties that bad guys will try and sneak into your operating system when you are on Web. You can set your browser security to resist cookies and Java. But, that will severely restrict your experience and will stop all fun animations and like. So, donít be too restrictive, just get right software to protect you, then you can free-up your browser and see and experience all fantastic stuff that is out there in Web-Land. You can obtain all these applications by entering their names into a search engine, say Google for instance, and you will receive a list of URLs to contact where you can download Shareware versions to try before you buy.
Robb Kimmer is an experienced networks system engineer and IT instructor. He has worked for over 14 years in the IT industry in both the UK and USA. He is a member of the British Computer Society Elite Group. Robb writes for several magazines and you can get more information about him on the WWW.