SECURE YOUR CONNECTION WITH A FIREWALL FIRST
Before you go online with Windows XP, make sure you have installed firewall software or activated the Windows firewall on your internet connection (especially if your Windows version is not provided yet with SP2). After you have gone online, start the Windows update immediate and download all essential updates first. If you don't do this, the chance of being infected with a virus within 5 minutes is very high!
Now Windows XP is installed, it's time to get the internet connection working. Most popular are the DSL or Cable connections, but a connection through your phone line is also possible. Follow the instructions of your service provider.
The most simple connection is through a gateway router. The gateway router (provided by some of the internet providers as the modem) keeps the DSL or Cable internet connection alive, and makes sure that every connected computer is able to enter the internet. If this is the case: you only have to plug in the ethernet cable and the connection will probably be there automatically.
NOTE: If you don't want to share any of your files or printers, disable this option: Control Panel, Network Connections, right click the connection and select Properties, tab General, disable File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks.
YOUR IP ADDRESS
If you would like to know your IP address, start the Command Console (Start, Run, command CMD). In the Command Console use the IPCONFIG command. The IP address is also visible by double clicking the connection icon in the system tray, tab Support. If the connection is not visible go to the Control Panel, Network Connections, right click the connection and select Properties, enable Show icon in notification area when connected.
If the IP address starts with 10.0.x.x or 192.168.x.x, you have an internal IP address. If the IP address starts with 169.x.x.x, there is something wrong with the connection. On this website you will find more information about setting up your network.
There are increasingly more households with more then one computer. By placing these computers in a network, all computers are able to connect to the internet at the same time. Besides using the same internet connection, you are also able to share printers and files as well!
Theoretically, creating a network with a gateway router is not that difficult, in most cases easier then sharing the internet connection within Windows. Practically however, many are having a lot of problems, especially if a secured wireless connection is on the wish list! Most internet providers use a modem with DHCP to get connected. By setting up the router with automatic IP address you are probably quick online (sometimes you have to clone the computers MAC address). Although there are routers which support an USB modem, I advise to buy an ethernet modem. Besides that, I advise to use a modem supported by your internet provider (if you buy a combined modem-router, you will probably get no support if needed).
On this website you will find more information about networking and sharing files and printers.
INCREASING DOWNLOAD SPEED
If you have a fast internet connection, it's wise to increase the Window Size, using the registry editor. By doing so you prevent the decreasing connection download speed, while downloading a file. The receive window is the number of bytes a sender can transmit without receiving an acknowledgment. By increasing the Window Size, you are able to increase your download speed. Use the registry editor to add or edit the DWORD-value GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize to value 00007fff (or even: dword:0000ffff) in the following key: [HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters]
NOTE: Try some values and time the download time of a big file to optimize this setting (you need to restart Windows each time).
With every visit of a website, all sort of information and files are stored on your computer. There are a few tools to erase this information easily. I like the following utilities most:
Active Eraser actually overwrites the data, so they are no longer recoverable!
Comodo Internet Security
Installing Windows in 10 steps
Move personal files
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