How do I connect to the Internet?

Before connecting to the Internet, you must determine how you're going to connect to the Internet. Are you going to be connecting to the Internet using a modem or a broadband Internet connection? Or do you want to use your smartphone to provide Internet service to your computer? Below is additional information about each of these connections and how to get connected with them.

Connecting to the Internet with a modem
Connecting to the Internet with a broadband connection
Connecting to the Internet using a smartphone

Connecting to the Internet with a modem

Connecting to the Internet using a computer modem is the most widely available method of connecting to the Internet. Although connecting to the Internet with a modem is a much cheaper solution, it will be a much slower connection. If you plan on doing more than the occasional web surfing and reading and sending e-mail, you should consider broadband.

To connect to the Internet using a modem, your computer must have a modem installed internally or externally and be in reach of being connected to your home phone line. Almost every computer from 3 years ago or earlier included a modem. Since then, many computer manufacturers have not included a modem because of the increased popularity of broadband connections.

Once you've verified your computer is compatible with connecting to the Internet, you'll need to determine who you're going to connect to the Internet through. In order to connect to the Internet, you're going to need to have an Internet Service Provider (ISP). In most areas you'll be able to connect to the Internet either using a local ISP, which is a company in your city that sells Internet connections, or you may want to consider a large ISP, such as AOL and MSN, which are large, International companies with locations all over the United States and the world.

Note: Your ISP should provide you with instructions on how to connect your computer modem to their Internet service, as well as support if you have trouble connecting to or using their Internet service.

Check your local listings for available companies capable of providing you with an Internet connection and talk with your friends or family to see who they like to use for connecting to the Internet.

Connecting to the Internet with a broadband connection

Connecting to the Internet over broadband is a popular solution for connecting to the Internet today. Broadband is a much faster solution for connecting to the Internet when compared to a modem and allows you to do more exciting things on the Internet, such as watching movies, listening to music, playing games, and have a much more enjoyable experience loading web pages without having to wait long periods of time for each page to load.

Unfortunately, broadband service is not available in all areas. Therefore, before getting this service, you must first determine if it is available in your area. Most broadband services are provided by your local phone companies or cable companies. Contact your local service providers to see if they have a broadband service available in your area.

If the broadband service is available in your area, the company will provide you with the hardware required in order to connect to their service which connects either to a Network card (RJ-45 connector), USB connection, or wirelessly over Wi-Fi.

Note: Your broadband ISP should provide you with instructions on how to connect your computer modem to their Internet service, as well as support if you have trouble connecting to or using their Internet service. Some broadband ISP companies will even send a technician to your home and set up Internet service to your computer for you.

Connecting to the Internet using a smartphone

You may also be able to use your smartphone as an Internet provider for your computer. Doing so requires you to use tethering software, which allows the smartphone to act as a modem or wireless access point for the computer to use for Internet access.

However, not all smartphones are capable of tethering, and not all cell phone carriers allow smartphones on their network to be used for tethering. Cell phone carriers that allow tethering may not provide support for tethering. If you choose to tether your phone, you may need to search the Internet for instructions on how to make it work for your smartphone model.