Many times, a dial-up connection is the only networking option available to you.
You establish a dial-up connection using the Network Connections window. Each connection object you create here is a logical object, and each can contain settings unique to that connection.
The dial-up connection choices are many. I'll demonstrate by walking through the setup of a dial-up Internet connection, as this is still the most common implementation of a dial-up connection. The steps are as follows:
On the left side of the Network Connections dialog box under the list of Network Tasks is the Create New Connection Task.
The New Connection Wizard launches. Click Next to proceed.
Here's about the hardest part: choosing the connection that suits your needs, as shown in Figure 9-8. There are four choices; in this example, I'll use the first choice, Connect to the Internet.
Figure 9-8. Choices when establishing a dial-up connection.
You have three choices in the next window. Assuming you've already chosen an ISP, select "Set up my connection manually."
In the next window, you chose the hardware that will be used for the connection. A dial-up connection, naturally, uses a dial-up modem.
The next several dialog boxes prompt for ISP credentials, such as the name and phone number of the ISP, as well as the user name and password. When you have supplied the necessary information, click Finish to complete the wizard.
The dial-up connection will now be represented with an icon in the Network Connections window.
To Dial or Not to Dial
You will now have a choice about how to connect to the Internet. Open the Internet Options applet in the Control Panel and choose the Connections tab to set these options. On my laptop, for example, I use wired and wireless LAN connections, and I use the dial-up only when nothing else is available. Therefore, I set the "Never dial a connection" option and instead initiate all dial-up connections manually. I don't want to see a dial-up connection dialog box every time I open Internet Explorer.
Figure 9-9. Dial-up options when connecting to the Internet.