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Selecting an ISP

Finding an Internet service provider that fits your needs isn’t easy. Here are a few questions you might want to ask during your investigations:

Do you want a commercial online service?

Companies such as America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy offer their own version of access to the Internet and also their own proprietary content. Many beginners find this experience enough. But not all companies offer the most convenient and useful Web access.

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What about price?

Prices generally run about $20 a month for unlimited usage. Some providers have more complicated fee schedules based on time.

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Are there any other fees?

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Some ISPs charge fees for setup or e-mail. Be sure your ISP choice has a local telephone number, because you will be charged for long-distance connection calls. Some providers offer free trials.

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What do I ask for?

An account called a SLIP/PPP is the best option for most users.

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Are there any measures for performance by an ISP?

ISPs may list a “user-to-modem” ratio. The lower the number, the better for you, because that probably means fewer busy signals when you call. They may list modem speed they support (the higher the better) or the Usenet addresses they support (the more the better).

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Is there an easy resource for all of this?

On the Internet, look at https://www.mindspring.com/~mcgatney/isp.html


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