Internet - Hardware and Software

The hardware needed for Internet access is divided into two distinct classifications:
•   client side
•   server side

Client side

Strictly speaking, the client is the connection that links you to the network. However, most people think of themselves, or their computer, as the client. So, what do you need to get online and ‘surf the Net’?

•   A computer.
•   A modem.
•   A telephone line.
•   Browser software.
•   An Internet service provider.


The computer is needed to allow you to run the browser software and interact with the Internet.


A modem is a device, which converts the computer’s digital code so that it can be sent along the telephone line. Standard telephone lines cannot send digital information. Instead, they send information by varying, or modulating, electrical voltages.

When information is received, the modem converts the voltage into digital code. Most modern computers have internal modems, which can be configured to run at different speeds. Modems modulate digital information and demodulate analogue information. Hence the name MODEM.

Modems are a combination of digital-to-analogue converters and analogue-to-digital converters. Note that even broadband requires a modem.

Telephone line

The telephone line links you to an Internet service provider (ISP). You might use a cable service at home, instead of a telephone line. The principle is much the same. Network Internet access generally uses dedicated cabling and/or wireless transmissions.

Internet service provider

An ISP is an organisation/company that will link you to the Internet. You will pay your ISP for this access.

Some ISP’s are:
•  Sky
•  BT
•  Tiscali
•  AOL

Download and complete Worksheet 7.






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