Setting up the browser

Setting up the browser is usually pretty straight forward and doesn’t require much effort. After installing the browser on your system, launch your Dial-up connection. Once you’re connected, launch your browser and see what happens. Most likely, it will work right away as the browser is smart enough to check for itself to see whether you’re online, and if so, it will use that connection to retrieve the web pages you request.

Customizing your browser

In MSIE, you can customize the settings for your dial-up connection. If you have multiple, you can choose your default, tell MSIE to always dial automatically, and make changes to your dial-up settings, by going to the Tools (or View, depending on what version you have) menu, selecting Internet Options, and clicking the Connections tab.

You can use this Options dialog also to customize the browser in many other ways, such as choosing what page you would like to see first when the browser starts, your security settings (how much control you want web sites to have over your browser), colors, fonts, content control and much more. In Netscape, you’ll find similar options under Edit/Preferences.


If you don’t use a regular dial-up connection via modem, you might have to enter one extra setting. If you are using a cable modem, DSL, or similar type of network, you might need to supply the browser with proxy information. This will tell it how to connect to the Internet over the network. If you have any of these type of connections, your provider should have supplied you with that information. In MSIE, you enter this information in the same Options dialog mentioned above, under Connection/LAN Settings. In Netscape, you’ll find the proxy dialog under Edit/Preferences/Advanced/Proxies.


The browser’s main function is to download web pages and display them on your screen. But sometimes you will run into web sites that offer additional things, such as live audio or video. The browser itself is not equipped to handle those type of things and needs additional software to perform tasks such as playing music from the Internet, showing videos, etc. These additional programs are called plug-ins. They are extra modules that plug into the browser to enhance its functionality.

Nowadays browsers already come standard with a number of common plug-ins. But if you run into a web page and try to play music or video that requires a type of plug-in you don’t have yet, you will get an error message telling you so. The error messages will most likely also tell you the type of plug-in that is required, where to get it, and a lot of times give you the option to download and install it on the fly. Very handy! The most common plug-in is Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, which comes already with Windows 98. You can get an updated version from Microsoft’s web site. Windows Media Player supports all the most common formats like Windows Media (WMA), MP3, WAV, AVI, MPEG, and more.

Page 1: Choosing a browser

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