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2012-05-15

A+: Dial-Up Internet Service Providers and Connections

An Internet service provider (ISP) provides a connection between the user with an analog (dial-up) modem (or other connectivity device) and the Internet. ISPs that provide dial-up access have several modems and dial-up numbers that their customers can access. The ISP’s modems are connected to the Internet via high-speed, high-capacity connections.

An ISP can be selected from many different sources:
• National companies
• Local or regional providers
• Specialized providers such as those that provide filtered, family-friendly access
Choose an ISP based on its rates, its reliability, or special services (such as content filtration or proprietary content) that are appropriate to your needs.
Creating a Dial-Up Connection
 
Windows Vista creates dial-up networking (DUN) connections within the Network and Sharing Center window. Windows XP and 2000 create DUN connections within the same window that stores other types of network connections:
• Windows XP stores all types of network connections in the Network Connections window.
• Windows 2000 stores all types of network connections in the Network and Dial-Up Connections window.

Note

 
If an ISP provides customized setup software, the software will usually create an icon for you in the folder used for DUN connections. This icon contains the settings needed to make your connection.
Requirements for a Dial-Up Internet Connection
 All ISPs must provide the following information to enable you to connect to the Internet:
• Client software, including the preferred web browser, dial-up information, and TCP/IP configuration information
• Dial-up access telephone numbers
• Modem types supported (33.6Kbps, 56Kbps, v.90, v.92)
• The username and initial password (which should be changed immediately after first login)
Even if the client software provided by the ISP configures the connection for you, you should record the following information in case it is needed to manually configure or reconfigure the connection:
The dial-up access telephone number— This might be different for different modem speeds. Users with a 56Kbps modem should know both the standard (33.6Kbps) and high-speed access numbers if different numbers are used.
The username and password— Windows will often save this during the setup of a DUN connection, but it should be recorded in case the system must be reconfigured or replaced.
The TCP/IP configuration— This is set individually for each dial-up connection through its properties sheet.
To determine this information, right-click the icon for the connection and select Properties.

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