The most important factor in determining the kind of equipment you need for Internet access is how quickly you wnat data to move into, through, and out of the system. For IBM-based computers, you probably need a minimum of sixteen megabytes of system memory, although 32-, 64-, 96- and even 128-byte systems are becoming more common. As far as processors and modems go, the faster the better. It's possible to access the Internet with an old 486, but increasingly complex websites demand at least Pentium speeds. If you're connecting through telephone lines, a 56-K modem is the fastest available. Even faster data transfer is available through dedicated I-S-D-N lines or new technologies that use cable or fiber optics. A fast video card and super V-G-A monitor are necessary to see the sights that the Web has to offer, and a sixteen-bit sound card with speakers are needed for sound. Finally, you'll need a mouse for all the pointing and clicking you'll do while exploring the World Wide Web.
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