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What do i need?

Quote-"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." Popular Mechanics, 1949

First of all you need the equipment, a computer loaded with appropriate software, a device to connect to a phone or cable line, and Internet service provider (ISP), you have these already, otherwise you would not be reading this.
The ISP you choose to use will not only provide you with access to the internet, but also e-mail addresses, and varying degrees of little extras to make your surfing easier and safer.
Most offer several types of connections to meet customers needs and price range. There are pay as you go, where you only pay for the amount of time you spend on-line, or a monthly fee for unlimited use. Both these options are for a dial up connection on your telephone line and is capable of transferring up to 56 kilobytes of data per minute, called strangely enough, a 56K connection.
Broadband connections allow much more data to be transferred quicker, and allow a telephone to be use the line at the same time. Most now offer a range of broadband speeds to suit peoples pocket.

Internet Service Providers
Company Pay as you go Unlimited, dial up Broadband Free trial
Boltblue NO NO YES NO
Homechoice NO NO YES NO
Telewest NO YES YES NO

The speed of your Internet connection is one of the factors which determines how quickly data is transferred from the server to your computer. Dial up modems have a speed of 56K (56 kilobytes of data per second)
A connection to the broadband service requires a broadband modem and a standard broadband connection allows 512 kilobytes per second to be transferred, (nearly 10 times faster). Even faster broadband connection speeds are now finding their way onto the domestic market in the UK, with some Internet service providers offering up to a 24 megabytes service.

Lets have a quick look at three bits of your computer you will physically use. The mouse, the keyboard and the monitor.

The mouse is by far the most common way of controlling your computer, so If you are sat wondering why there are two clickable areas or what that wheel is for, and did you know you can reconfigure your mouse to ease any problems you may have with sensitivity, coordination, sight or just simply being left handed. Click here. Cleaning and maintenance is also covered.

The keyboard, is used in conjunction with, or instead of the mouse, to control your PC.
You will also use it for your input into a web site, if you are not used to the QWERTY layout and get frustrated because 'it would be so much easier in alphabetical order ', I can only say it does get easier quicker than you expect.
Some keys can be used to perform tasks at a single stroke, called shortcut keys and can replace the mouse.

One everyone should learn is the three fingered salute.

Holding down Ctrl, with Alt and Delete (or Del) will open the task manager, it will allow you to close any programme running or not responding, very useful for those little freeze ups.
To find out more about your keyboard and short cut keys, Click here.

Your monitor my appear to be a harmless inanimate object, but its size and settings are very significant. If you are not familiar with 'pixels', or do not understand 'screen resolution', or would like to check if yours is set as good as it can be, Click here

You will need sufficient memory in your computer to hold the software provided by your ISP.
If you would like to increase your computers memory, take a look at for orders and step by step installation instructions, it really is within most peoples capabilities.

It is also advisable to have sufficient memory to hold software to protect your privacy and security. You will need at least anti virus, anti spyware, anti Trojan and a firewall (see our Privacy and security section for more information and downloads).

To find out how all this fits into the internet and how to use it, click next

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