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Connecting to the Internet and Surfing the Web
Surfing the Web
There are a few different ways for you to get online:  DSL, cable, or satellite.  I have omitted dial-up because very few folks use that any more.  If you happen to be one of those who do, I apologize.  Drop me a line and I'll add it back in.  Moving on...

How you connect to the internet depends on the computer you have, how much you want to spend, and what's available in your area.  Home internet access requires a monthly access fee and, depending on which you choose, the purchase of new hardware.

DSL requires a special phone line installation and DSL modem while cable (and satellite) will simply come through your existing cable TV connection and connect to a cable modem.  Your only job here is to choose a provider and make the call.  Once you've contacted the provider they will (in most cases) send someone out with the proper equipment to get you set up while you eagerly wait.  But what happens if they don't?  Unlike ye old dial-up connections, the high-speed internet connections of today are really not very complicated. 

Connecting the hardware
Once you've decided on the provider you will get a DSL or Cable modem from them.  Simply connect the cable or DSL line from the wall to the modem (it will likely have Cable or DSL printed where you need to connect).  Then connect the Ethernet cable (see connections) from the modem to your computer. (Unless you're using wireless which we will discuss later.)
Connecting modem & router to computerYou may decide to set up your own home network and include more than 1 computer, printer, scanner, etc.  In this case, may I suggest adding a router?  This way you can share files and printers in your home while keeping your info a little safer with another layer of security you control.  To set up, connect from the wall to the service provider's modem.  Then connect an Ethernet cable from the modem to your router.  Finally, connect an Ethernet cable (unless you're using wireless) to your computer.  (see image at left)

*Note:  I usually advise folks to connect in the order I have stated above.  You can connect the power source to the modem and/or router both before you begin so they can do any power on tests and be ready.  But when you begin your connections, start at the wall and work your way to the computer giving each device a few moments to start getting data before plugging in the next device.

Computer Setup
Once you've completed the connections above, turn on your computer and give it a minute or two to detect the internet connection.  At this point you should be able to open Internet Explorer (or whichever browser you choose) and be connected to the internet.  If not, please see the troubleshooting page for internet.