Internet – Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I download?
Downloading, or transferring files from an internet site to your computer, can be accomplished in one of several ways. The first option is to click on a link (usually underlined text on a page), which will bring up a dialog box asking you where you wish to save the file. It is a good idea to make a directory for files that you download, to make them easier to find later.
A second option is to use an ftp program, which is a type of program that is specifically for uploading and downloading programs. This requires you to log into an ftp (file transfer protocol) server and navigate through a directory system.
A third option is to use what it called a download manager. These programs usually run separately from your browser. You can set some of them up to take over a download when you click on a link, while others require that you drag the link into the program. These are ideal for large downloads, where you don’t want to worry about your browser encountering problems. You can also use these programs to schedule downloads for low-traffic times on the internet.
- Is it safe to purchase items on the Internet?
Buying merchandise over the Internet is a relatively safe practice, although there are certain guidelines to keep in mind. While there are many merchants on the Internet who are trustworthy, the Internet does offer an opportunity to less scrupulous vendors as well. As with any offer, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some online businesses are listed with the Better Business Bureau site at http://www.bbb.com. When ordering, it is a good idea to make sure the vendor has a secure server. Most browsers will warn you when entering a secure site.
Many people worry about sending their credit card information, fearing that it may be intercepted in transit. However, with encoding standards used today, this is unlikely. Furthermore, since these transactions are computer to computer, there is a far smaller chance that an unauthorized person will see your information.
- What can I do to block unwanted material from my computer?
There are several options for blocking unwanted material from your computer. One option is to purchase or download one of several packages that “screen” sites for objectionable content. The advantage of these systems are that are easy to set up and configure, and they can be changed according to the users that will access the computer.
A software package, such as NetNanny or CyberSitter, usually works in one of two ways. There is either a list of sites that have been reviewed and rated as objectionable, or they are set up to block sites according to certain key words. The disadvantage of this system is twofold. First, sites on the internet change daily. New sites may be added that may not be on this list, although updates may be available. Second, the use of key words to block sites may block not only objectionable sites, but also innocent or informative sites, such as a site about breast cancer or an educational anatomy site.
A second way to block unwanted material involves a service from an Internet Service Provider. An ISP may have a filtering system in place either in their hardware or in their proxy settings. This system will work in the same manner as a software package, blocking sites either on the basis of keywords or content. The main difference is that you do not have to worry about purchasing or maintaining a software package, although you will normally have to pay a nominal fee for the service. The ISP will handle the configuration. The disadvantages are that you cannot have different configurations for different family members, and the possibility of blocking innocent sites still exists.
Yet a third option, popular with businesses whose employees have access through work, is to install monitoring software, which will not block material, but will allow an administrator to monitor the usage of sites and determine who might be visiting objectionable sites.
- How can I protect myself from viruses?
Your first line of protection from viruses is a good anti-virus program. These can be purchased from any computer or software store, and are generally easy to install and configure. However, any anti-virus program is only as good as the last update. Most manufacturers offer free updates for a certain time period, which varies per program. The updates are available from download on the internet, frequently as often as once a week or once a month.
A second way to protect yourself is to refrain from downloading programs and other items from sites with which you are not familiar. And to be careful when opening email attachments such as programs. Even when the program shows it is from someone you know, that person could unknowingly be infected.
- Why does my computer lock up when I am surfing the net?
There are several things that could be causing this problem. If you notice that it happens on certain sites, then perhaps there is a graphic or plug-in on that site that is incompatible with your browser or hardware. These graphics or plug-ins may also be taking up too much memory, depending on your system setup.
Another option is that a program file in your browser may be corrupted, which can usually be fixed by reinstalling it.
Finally, there may be an item in your cache (your temporary internet files) that doesn’t work well with your browser. You can call a technician who can tell you how to clear out your cache directory. Although it is a simple process, it does vary between browsers.
- Why do I need telephone service with DSL?
Eastex Telephone Coop., Inc. (“Eastex”) is sometimes asked by its members why they must get telephone service in order to obtain DSL service. The reason for Eastex’s practice is related to relatively complex National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (“NECA”) tariff issues. Eastex is a member of NECA and therefore participates in and is governed by the NECA tariff. (For more information concerning NECA you can go to www.NECA.org)
As a NECA member, Eastex is able to recover “loop” costs from a NECA pool when telephone service is provided. (The local “loop” is the subscriber line – essentially the line that connects the customer’s telephone to Eastex’s network.) This means that if a subscriber has telephone service with his or her DSL service, then Eastex is able to obtain loop support from NECA. Eastex then passes those lower rates on to the subscriber.
However, this NECA support is available only for traditional telephone service; it is not available for DSL-only service. This means that if Eastex were to offer Eastex Net DSL service by itself, then the NECA tariff rate would not support the loops costs, and Eastex would have to add the total loop costs to the price. The cost for DSL-only service would thus be higher then the costs for DSL and telephone service combined-sometimes as much as twice the price.
Eastex’s goal is to offer the most reliable, cost-effective service possible to its members. Because it is less expensive to bundle home telephone service with Eastex Net DSL than to offer our subscribers DSL service by itself, Eastex Net has chosen not to offer our customers a DSL-only service. By adding telephone service to the DSL package-even if the customer does not want or use a home telephone-the customer is getting a lower price on DSL service than they would otherwise receive.
Eastex’s priority is providing its members with the best possible service at the lowest possible cost. For that reason, Eastex continually works with NECA, consultants, manufacturers, and others within the industry to find ways to lower costs. Should other reliable, lower-cost options for DSL service become available, Eastex would pass any savings on to our members.