Connecting to a Network
Before you can use Outlook for e-mail or to share information with people who use other computers, you must have a connection to some sort of network and have the protocol the network uses installed on your computer. This book doesn't provide information about connecting Outlook to an Exchange server or other LAN-based messaging system because those connections are usually managed by administrators and their staffs. However, the next few paragraphs do provide some basic information about connecting Outlook to the Internet that is likely to be useful to people who use Outlook at home or in a small office.
Refer to a book such as Special Edition Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 (ISBN: 0-7897-2278-0) for detailed information about administering Exchange Server 2000.
One of the common mistakes people make when they first try to connect to an Internet service provider (ISP) is not making sure that the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol is installed on their computers. All Internet communication depends on the TCP/IP protocol, so you must have it installed to send and receive e-mail, access Web sites, or interact with newsgroups. You don't need to understand TCP/IP; just make sure it's installed.
The most common way to connect to the Internet is by way of a dial-up connection over a telephone line. You also might consider using a high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or cable connection, although you should take precautions about the security issues involved with these always-on connections.
Refer to TCP/IP and Dial-up topics in Windows help for information about these subjects. Alternatively, refer to such books as Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows 98, Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Me, or Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, all published by Que.
For information about connecting to the Internet using DSL or cable, consult the companies who provide these services.