ISP Important Information
Whats an ISP?
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. This is the company that connects
you to the Internet. You must register with an ISP to get an account otherwise
you will not be able to access the Internet.
What Kinds of ISPs Are There?
Some Online Services require the use of proprietary access software such
as America Online and Prodigy. These companies not only provide you with
access to the Internet but also with special browser software for accessing
web sites and sending email. There are many other ISPs that will provide
you with access to the Internet and also provide you with browser software
such as Netscape Navigator which you can use to access the web. Your computers
may already come with browser software such as Netscape Navigator or Internet
Explorer installed. In this case, you don't need additional browser software
but you still will need an ISP to provide you with a connection to the
How do I set up an account with an ISP?
The easiest way to get set up is to request an Internet set-up disk from
your ISP. When you run the installation program, all of the ISP's necessary
information will be added automatically to your computer. If you're brave
or have done this before, you can request all the set-up information verbally
from your ISP and input it yourself. You will have to check your computer
manual and browser software manual to see where all the necessary
information would go. You would need to know all the information below
in order to configure your own computer to get access to the Internet.
User Login ID
ISP Phone Number(s) (check to make sure they have one in your local
DNS Addresses (Primary and Secondary)
Email Login ID (may be the same as User Login ID)
Email Password (may be the same as User Password)
Email Return Address
POP3 Server Name
SMTP Server Name
Proxy Server (ask your ISP if this is applicable)
How Do I Find an ISP?
Ironically, one of the best ways to find information on ISPs in on the
Internet itself but you need to have access to the Internet from another
source in order to do this! If you can get access through home, a friend,
or a local library, look at the website http://thelist.internet.com
which has one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date listings of ISPs.
Also, dont hesitate to ask people who live and work near you which
ISP they use. Sometimes, the best way to find a good ISP is by recommendation.
Things to consider when selecting an ISP are:
Cost: ISPs must have a local phone number to call for access
to the Internet. Otherwise, your phone bill could be enormous. Also, find
out if there is a flat fee for unlimited monthly connect time or whether
they charge on an hourly basis. Typical monthly rates for unlimited service
are around $20. Check to see if there are reduced rates for educators.
Some ISPs offer a free trial period. Take advantage of this if possible.
Dont agree to a long term contract with an ISP unless youve tried it
yourself for a few months or its highly recommended by someone you trust.
Technical Support: Your ISP needs to have expert, experienced, user-friendly,
technical support personnel who would be available in the evening hours
(at least until 8 p.m.). Also check if their technical support number is
an 800 number.
Accessibility: Your ISP needs to have sufficient facilities (modems,
servers, etc.) to insure easy-access during school hours. It is vital that
teachers not get a busy signal or be unable to connect if they are going
to use the Internet as part of their classroom activities. Reliable service
is extremely important!
Service Provider Criteria Especially for educators
to a PPP account
How to Find the Best
Local Internet Service Provider
Ultimate ISP guide
TheList ISP listings
Listing of ISPs Many national ISPs listed