Getting Started (Dial-up)
Dial-up Quick Configuration Info
This article has some basic information about dial-up internet access and how to set it up for use.
To set up your computer for dial-up connection to the internet though NCF, please follow the step by step instructions below for the type of operating system you use:
- Puppy Linux
- Windows 8
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- Windows 95, 98 and ME
- Windows 2000
- Mac OS 9
- Mac OS X
- Mandrake Linux
- For setting up older computers using the text system, see FreePort.
Note: For NCF members who want to use Linux for dial-up, particularly on old computer hardware, Puppy Linux supports dial-up very well right "out-of-the-box" for external modems.
What phone number do I use to dial into NCF?
Consult the yellow 'Quick Configuration Info' box at the top-right of this page.
What equipment do I need?
- a computer
- a modem
- a telephone line
Your computer must have a jack for the phone line and a telephone modem. Dial up modems were common on computers in the early 2000s, but as dial-up has been largely displaced by high speed internet, dial-up modems have become less common and today are rare on new computers. Be sure to inquire when you buy a new computer if you need dial-up access. An internally-mounted dial-up modem is usually inexpensive (about $20). There are also external modems available that plug into a USB port on your computer. These are slightly more expensive (typically about $30), but very easy to install as they just plug into a USB outlet.
The US Robotics model 5637 has been recommended as a good external modem for Linux, Mac and Windows.
To browse the internet, you will need a web browser. These days all operating systems come with browsers installed, but alternate browsers are available for free, such as:
- Apple Safari for Mac OSX
- Chromium for Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
- Gnome Web (formerly called "Epiphany") for Linux
- Google Chrome for BSD, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
- Midori for BSD, Linux and Windows
- Mozilla Firefox for BSD, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
- Mozilla SeaMonkey for BSD, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
- SRWare Iron for BSD, Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
- Vivaldi for Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows
How much connection time can I get?
NCF operates 276 modem lines, shared by members. Connection time is unlimited from midnight to noon, and unlimited from noon to midnight unless all modems become busy. If all modems become busy, total connection time for each user from noon to midnight may be limited, but will still be at least two hours per day.
During non-peak time, from midnight to noon, you may connect for as long as you like. In busy times, these connections may be limited to one hour at a time. You can also connect for five minutes at a time to get/send your email anytime.
Does NCF offer high-speed access to the Internet?
Yes, NCF offers high-speed DSL internet access. DSL technology ('Digital Subscriber Line') gives you high-speed internet access over your existing telephone line. It is always on, without blocking your telephone and is up to 100 times faster than dial-up, enabling you to do new things on the internet, like watch videos.
For more details, please see our DSL page where you can also sign up.