You need an Internet service provider (ISP) and some hardware to connect to the Internet:

  • ISP. An ISP provides access to the Internet. You sign up for an account with an ISP just as you do for telephone service or utilities.

  • Hardware. For a broadband connection such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or cable, you need a DSL or cable modem. This is usually included as part of the start-up hardware from your ISP when you sign up for a broadband account. For a dial-up connection, you need a dial-up modem. Many computers come with this type of modem already installed.