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HOW TO GET ONLINE - OR FINDING ACCESS TO THE 'NET'
You may be on America Online (or any of the other large services) or only have email access at work and be thinking of getting access to the internet. To switch from AOL, or to find a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) assuming you have access to the web now - browse through these sites:
Also check the computer section of your local newspaper. Several national US companies offer unlimited internet access for around $20-$25/month. Just be careful that the phone number you have to dial into isn't a toll call for you. Or you could rack up a mean phone bill.
Here are a FEW national ISP's (but don't forget to check out your local options):
1-800-967-5363 AT&T Worldnet $21.95 unlimited usage
1-800-395-8425 Earthlink , Starting at $19.95 unlimited usage
1-800-939-4CNC Concentric Network $13.95 unlimited usage
1-800-373-1488 IDT Internet $15.95 - $19.95 unlimited usage
They will provide the software you need for going online. Basically, you want an account that will include email address, and the ability to access the internet. Then you need software to do each thing - a program to browse the web, a program to read newsgroups, a program for email, a program for chat, a program for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) etc. Most computers these days already come pre-loaded with the necessary software so it isn't really necessary to download anything more.