Why Do I Need an ISP?

Everybody needs three things to connect with the Internet: a computer, web browser software, and an Internet service provider (ISP).

You already have the computer, be it a tablet, laptop, or desktop PC. And Windows 8 comes with a pair of web browsers. The Start screen’s Internet Explorer browser works for full-screen, quick information grabs; the desktop’s Internet Explorer browser offers more in-depth features.

Most people only need to find an ISP. Ask your friends and neighbors how they connect and whether they recommend their ISP. Call several ISPs serving your area for a rate quote and then compare rates. Most bill on a monthly basis, so if you’re not happy, you can always switch. 

ISPs let you connect to the Internet in a variety of ways. The slowest ISPs require a dialup modem and an ordinary phone line. Faster still are broadband connections: special DSL or ISDN lines provided by some phone companies, and the even faster cable modems, supplied by your cable television company. When shopping for broadband ISPs, your geographic location usually determines your options.

You need to pay an ISP for only one Internet connection. By setting up a network, you can share that single connection with any other computers, cellphones, TVs, and other Internetaware gadgetry in your home or office.

Connecting Wirelessly to the Internet

Windows constantly searches for a working Internet connection. If it finds one that you’ve used previously, you’re set: Windows passes the news along to Internet Explorer, and you’re ready to visit the web.

When you’re traveling, however, the wireless networks around you will often be new, so you’ll have to authorize these new connections. To connect to a nearby wireless network for the first time, either one in your own home or in a public place.

Read more computer use instruction