One of the pre-requisites to being on the Internet, is having an Internet account.
There are 2 basic types of Internet accounts; access and hosting. Both types of account are purchased through an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
There are several factors to consider when choosing an ISP: reputation, reliability, "backbone", user-to-modem ratio, etc.
Phillips Design has chosen Netwalk, an ISP located in Columbus, Ohio, as our ISP of choice. We have done so for several reasons: First, they have a reputation for being VERY reliable as regards their access (getting a busy signal is rare indeed!). Second, they are extremely customer-service oriented. Third, their rates are industry standard, and they do not try to "nickel and dime" you to death. Fourth, they offer several packages for each type of account, making it easier to find a cost-effective solution that's just right for you.
If you have any questions as to what you should look for when selecting an ISP, please feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to answer your questions.
A dial-up access
account is the type that allows you, an individual, to access the Internet
so that you can receive & send email, "surf" web sites, etc.
There are two main type of access accounts: a direct connection through
an ISP, and an account through an "on-line" service. A direct
Internet connection through an ISP is usually the best type to get, since
it will be the most direct connection and therefore the fastest, given the
caveats above. An account with an "on-line" service will typically
be slower and more expensive, since you are connecting to a private computer
system. Examples of "on-line" account providers are AOL, CompuServe,
the Micro$oft Network, etc. These types of accounts are good if you have
need for the other services these types of providers offer, but if all you
want/need is a straight connection to the Internet, then going through a
local ISP is the best way to go.
A dedicated access
account is similar to a dial-up access account, except that you are connected
constantly. These types of accounts are useful for businesses that have
a very active web site due to a large amount of on-line sales, technical
support, etc. This type of account is more expensive than a dial-up account
however, so you must be sure that the cost is weighed against your needs.
A hosting account is for a web site. Once you have a web site built and a domain name registered, it must be "connected to the Internet", so that those who are interested can "surf" to it. Again, this is accomplished through an ISP. A good ISP has very reliable and fast "server" computers that are constantly connected to the Internet using more than one electronic connection. A good analogy is your business telephone or a yellow pages ad: if you're going to have a business telephone, you're going to have a monthly business telephone bill. If you have a yellow pages ad, you pay a (large) monthly fee to have it published. When you have a web site, you will have to pay a hosting fee.
Phillips Design will work with you to determine your true needs, then suggest the type of account that best suits you. The choice of services and ISP's is always yours, however, and we will work with whatever ISP you choose.