August 1, 1999 By Pulp & Paper Canada
Connections to the Internet are made through “Internet Service providers” (ISP). They will normally provide you with the necessary software free.Many cable TV companies now offer Internet service to c…
Connections to the Internet are made through “Internet Service providers” (ISP). They will normally provide you with the necessary software free.
Many cable TV companies now offer Internet service to cable subscribers. This is the fastest and most convenient access available to most homes, and could be excellent for small offices. The cable company provides a special “cable modem”, which you can buy or lease, to connect the computer to the TV cable. There is no interference with the TV signal, and your telephone line is not used. Monthly costs are typically under $40 for unlimited access time. Call your cable company for local costs and advice on the details.
For those without access by cable, an ordinary telephone line can be used. A modem is required, and should preferably comply with the V90 standard. Typical cost for a modem that is easily installed in a computer is under $200.
Internet service by telephone typically costs about $25/month. While it is slower than that offered by cable TV systems, it is quite acceptable. Many less expensive rates include an hourly charge for usage beyond a defined number of hours per month. These will become expensive unless your use is low; at which point you should perhaps be saying, “I really do not want Internet access.” The “free” community access points are normally very slow, and the telephone number is busy so much that they are of little practical use to most people.
Internet Service Providers offering telephone connections range from very small local companies to International giants like IBM and ATT. If you do not need to dial into the provider from around the world, then a medium sized or large ISP providing service in your area, without any long distance charges, is the best bet. If you have any trouble finding one, contact a local computer store. I would avoid IBM and other giants to whom Internet service to small users is a minor part of their business. Sympatico, an alliance of most telephone companies in Canada is the largest, but we found them rather bureaucratic and difficult to deal with.
If you are a beginner, insist on an ISP that will send someone along to set up the connection and check that all is operational. There will be a fee for this.
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