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Setting Up Windows98

Part 3

Internet Connection Wizard:

Using the Windows 98 Internet Connection Wizard, you can configure your connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) easily. The Internet Connection Wizard is the primary Internet connection tool provided with Windows 98. It takes you through all of the steps required to set up your connection, and uses smart code to detect existing configurations. Depending on your requirements, you can also perform these steps manually.

The following choices are provided for in Windows 98 for connecting to the Internet:

Windows 98 supports all the protocols you need to connect to an ISP, including a 32-bit implementation of TCP/IP, as PPP or SLIP. In addition, Windows 98 provides File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and telnet clients, which can be used to browse the Internet and download files from Internet servers.

You can also use the Internet Connection Wizard to sign you up with an ISP if you do not already have an account with one, or it can help you configure your Internet software if you already have an ISP and do not need to sign up. Once the wizard starts, there are four possible avenues that the wizard can take once it is started and which are determined in part by the wizard, and in part by the tasks you wish to accomplish. Let's start with how all of this works.

Understanding how the Internet Connection Wizard works!

There are five possible ways you can run the Internet Connection Wizard in Windows 98:

When the Internet Connection Wizard starts, it analyzes your computer to determine if there is an existing Internet connection. If it finds one, the path it follows is determined by where the wizard was run from. If the wizard does not find an Internet connection, then it gives you the option of signing up with an ISP or using the Manual Internet Configuration Wizard (Inetwiz.exe) to manually configure Internet settings for an existing ISP account.

The code that the Internet Connection Wizard runs during Windows 98 Setup searches your computer for evidence of an existing Internet connection. Once this determination is made, there is either a Connect to the Internet icon on the desktop (in lieu of the Internet Explorer and Outlook Express icons) and an Internet Connection Wizard shortcut in the Start menu, or the regular Internet Explorer and Outlook Express icons appear on the desktop and an Internet Connection Wizard shortcut appears in the Internet Explorer program group.

Starting the Internet Connection Wizard

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of different ways you can start the Internet Connection Wizard. The entry points from the Windows Welcome, the desktop icon, and the Start menu are only available if no existing Internet connections were detected during Windows Setup. Similarly, the only way that Internet Explorer or Outlook Express will run the Internet Connection Wizard when they are started is if you have not already configured an Internet connection. You can however, always run the Internet Connection Wizard from the Internet Explorer program group, and from the Connection tab of Internet Options in the Internet Explorer View menu.

Signing Up with an ISP

If you choose the path in the Internet Connection Wizard that allows you to sign up for an Internet account with an ISP, you will be connected to an Internet Referral Server. If the Internet Connection Wizard detects that there is no modem configured, it will run the Install New Modem Wizard to help you configure your modem. Once you have configured your modem, the Internet Connection Wizard gathers location information from the dialing properties to pass to the Referral Server.

Once you are connected to the Referral Server, you can choose from a list of ISPs available in your area, and set up an account with any one of them. Certain ISPs will provide a free trial period of Internet service. With this option, you will not have to supply any credit card or other billing information when you sign up. When the trial period expires, the ISP will contact you to offer a continuation of service and request your billing information then.

Configuring Settings with the Manual Configuration Wizard

If you choose to set up an Internet connection for an existing Internet service in the initial screen of the Internet Connection Wizard, the Manual Internet Configuration Wizard does the following:

If you are connecting to the Internet over a corporate network, you may need to supply the Internet Connection Wizard with proxy server information and, in some cases, TCP/IP information. You can check with your network administrator, and obtain the appropriate information.

If you are connecting to the Internet by dialing in to an ISP with a modem, you will need to supply the Internet Connection Wizard with the following information which you will need to obtain from your ISP.

Once you have completed all of the tasks required to configure a connection to the Internet, and exited the Internet Connection Wizard, you can return to it at any time by pointing to Programs on the Start menu, then pointing to Internet Explorer, and then clicking the Connection Wizard.

Generally, your ISP will walk you through any specialized settings that they require in order to logon to their service.


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