Computer Basics: Connecting to the Internet

You will need a working internet connection before having access to the internet on your computer. Once you have set it up, you can check your emails, browse the web, watch movies, and more. You can purchase an internet connection from internet service providers. Their job is to handle the infrastructure of delivering you a network connection by installing physical wires from their home office to your home, along with providing you with a modem. Now there are different kinds of connections to choose from like Xfinity internet plans have deals that range in prices and internet speeds, each different for a different location, and you will choose the one that meets your browsing experience. We will explore this further ahead.

Type of internet service

The type of internet service you choose depends on the internet service providers in your area and the type of services that they offer. Some of the common types of internet connection are: 

  • Dial-up. It is the slowest type of internet connection, and unless this is the only internet service in your area, you should avoid buying it. Because dial-up internet connection uses phone lines to connect to the internet, and if you do not have multiple phone lines, you cannot use your phone and internet at the same time. It has become pretty much obsolete but it is still the cheapest option available.
  • DSL. DSL internet connection is much faster than dial-up and uses a broadband connection. DSL also uses phone lines to connect to the internet, but you do not need to own a phone to have a DSL internet connection. If, however, you do own a phone, you can use both the internet and phone at the same time, unlike dial-up.
  • Cable internet. Just like DSL uses telephone lines to connect to the internet, cable internet does so via cable TV. Cable internet also uses a broadband connection, and it is much faster than DSL and dial-up internet connection. You do not necessarily need to own a cable TV to have this internet connection, and it is only available in areas that have cable TV. Also, the physical connection for cable TV is shared around the area, so you will experience interference in your internet connection.
  • Satellite internet. This type of connection does not need cable or phone lines, rather it connects to the internet via satellites that are orbiting around the Earth. This means that you can be anywhere in the world and have this kind of internet connection, however, it is mostly referred to in remote areas where there is less or no physical infrastructure for the internet. Satellite internet connection is slower than DSL and cable, and the internet connection might also get affected by the weather patterns. 

Which ISP to go for?

The kind of ISP you choose depends on your location. ISPs in remote areas offer satellite internet service so that might be your only option if you are living in remote areas. Some remote areas have ISPs that offer both the DSL and satellite connection, and you can choose from either. In urban areas, cable and DSL internet is available and you can choose one of them according to your needs. Apart from location, choosing an internet connection also depends on your browsing requirement. If you only need the internet for browsing or social networking, then slower internet speeds up to 10 to 15 Mbps will work for you. But if you are a heavy internet user who plays online games or downloads heavy files, then you need to pick a faster internet connection. Also, your budgetary needs should be kept in mind as well.

The hardware you need

The ISP you decide to sign up with will provide a modem device to you which receives an internet connection from the ISP home office. You can get one from ISP or you can also buy your own. Another device you will receive from your ISP is the router, which allows multiple computers to be connected to it for internet access, wired or wireless. Many such devices even have a built-in modem and router in the same hardware. Computers are usually connected through physical cabling, however, if you prefer a wireless connection on your computer, you will need to get a wireless USB adapter that will pick up networking signal from the router.

Home networking

Your router sends an internet connection to multiple computers around the house, whether they are connected through Wi-Fi or a wired connection. This allows for everyone or multiple devices to be able to use the internet at the same time. Keep in mind that there should be a working network connection for devices to be able to use the internet, otherwise those devices will disconnect.

Browsing the web

After you have made sure that your internet is working, it is ready to be used. Most of the information you need on the internet is available by exploring websites. You use a browser for opening a website. Websites can be anything from a music platform, newspaper webpage, an online library, a social networking website to a movie streaming website. The browser is not the internet itself, rather it shows your information available on the internet. 

Navigating the web

Navigating is when you click on a text or an image on a webpage, and it leads you to another webpage, that replaces the previous one. And when you click on another text on the new webpage, it leads you to a newer webpage full of new information. A website doesn’t have just one page for you to explore, there are multiple and you can open them by clicking on texts or images or files that are hyperlinked (programmed to take you to another page).

As long as you have a working internet connection, there is so much information you can look up, anything that comes to your mind. Apart from that, you can stay updated about news, pay your bills, manage your bank accounts or even learn a new skill. You can also send an email to stay in touch with a loved one or apply for a new prospect. The internet can be useful in every aspect of your daily life. 


Name: Shumaila Ahmed


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Adam Ali