Chapters 2 : Internet and the World Wide Web

Sections 1 : Connecting to the Internet

Internet Service Provider

Historically, most individuals and small work groups connected to the Internet through computing systems, Local Area Networks and mid-level connections supplied by the universities or research facilities with which they were affiliated. As the Internet has become attractive to a wider variety of users, a demand has grown for someone to supply connection services for persons not affiliated with institutions that historically had Internet connections. Performance Systems International ("PSI") is one of the largest vendors of Internet connection services. It offers a variety of plans to larger corporations, with varying bandwidth, levels of service, and price, and increasingly offers lower-priced service packages to individuals, and small entities like law firms.

There are three ways for an individual user to connect his desktop computer to the Internet. The best, but most expensive, way is the traditional institutional connection through a dedicated line at 56 kbps or 1.5 mbps to an Internet service provider. The cost is about $1000 per month. The cheapest form of connection is a terminal connection, and though more cumbersome, it is attractive to individuals and very small entities. They access the Internet by establishing accounts on host computers which have Internet connections, and dialing into the host through modems and ordinary telephone lines, to establish terminal connections. The third type of connection offers more functionality to low-volume users It involves making the user's desktop computer an actual Internet node over a dialup telephone connection, using Point-to-Point Protocol ("PPP") or Serial Line Internet Protocol ("SLIP"). SLIP and PPP connections have become much more widely available and the price has fallen to the $15-20/month level in recent months. . 1

The number of Internet provides continue to increase. To find providers in your local calling area call, check out the internet list.

1 See VCILP Technical Note, How to Connect to the Internet (1994) for more details on how to establish connections.

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