Chapter 5. Connecting to the Internet

Perhaps the most important change in communication since the telephone, the Internet is a large part of our world today. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has the tools necessary to allow you to connect to that world.

There are many types of Internet connections, including:

ISDN Connection

An ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connection uses high-speed, high-quality digital telecommunication lines as opposed to an analog modem connection. This special phone line must be installed by a phone company.

Modem Connection

A modem connection uses a normal phone line to establish a connection to the Internet. Digital data is modulated into analog signals and sent over phone lines.

Wireless Connection

A wireless connection uses a wireless access point (WAP) or peer-to-peer network with a wireless network card.

xDSL Connection

An xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection uses high-speed transmissions through telephone lines. There are different types of DSL such as ADSL, IDSL, and SDSL. Internet Configuration Wizard uses the term xDSL to mean all types of DSL connections.

Ethernet Connections

Some xDSL and cable modem connections require users to set up their connections via Ethernet. The ethernet card in your Red Hat Enterprise Linux system communicates with the xDSL or cable modem, which communicates in turn with your ISP.

This chapter discusses setting up a modem (or dial-up) connection in detail. The procedures for creating connections of the remaining types is similar, but may require additional steps or information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Your own ISP may have specific connection requirements for their service which differ from the instructions in this chapter. Before connecting, check with your ISP for any specific instructions that they provide, including the following information:

5.1. The Internet Configuration Wizard

Figure 5-1. Internet Configuration Wizard

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes the Internet Configuration Wizard. The Internet Configuration Wizard is available from the Applications (the main menu on the panel) => System Tools sub-menu, or from a shell prompt via the command internet-druid. This tool guides you step-by-step through the process of establishing a new Internet connection.

When you first start the Internet Configuration Wizard, you are required to enter your root password.

Each of the types of connections are listed in the left pane of the window. Select the type of connection to establish, then follow the steps of the wizard.

The next section of this chapter goes through the details of creating a dial-up connection as an example.