What do you need in order to make use of Dial-up?

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A computer

The first thing you will need is either a laptop or desktop computer. There are no specific computer requirements with dialup. This means it doesn't matter if your computer is 8 years old and you are using Windows '95 as your operating system. Dialup will work on almost anything.

A regular phone line

Any standard telephone line will work for dialup, even pre-paid. If you have a dial tone, you've got the internet. With our nationwide access number each time you connect to the Internet, you will only be charged a local call for the period of time you are connected to the Internet.

A modem

This little device translates the tones from the Internet into a language your computer can understand & vice versa. Most computers already have a built-in modem so you might not have to purchase one. The easiest way to check if you already have a modem is to see if there is anywhere to plug your telephone line into the back of your computer.

Checking your modem

Comparison of ethernet and telephone connectors
Comparison of phone line and ethernet connectors. The smaller connector is a phone line connector. This is the type of port you'll find on a dial-up modem, not the larger ethernet port

Firstly, for the hands on approach (you won't get dirty, we promise), you can just check the back of your PC or the side of your laptop. With your phone cord in hand, try and see if there is any place where it will fit. There should be an opening that resembles a phone jack slot. If your phone line fits snugly – WooHoo, you have a dial up modem! If it does not fit securely, you have found your connection for your network cable. The difference in slots is minimal, about 2mm, but you will notice that your phone line does not fit properly if it is not the right slot for it.

Secondly, If you feeling a bit technically minded, you can check for your modem within your computer system. Follow these simple bullet points to see if you have an inbuilt modem.

Go to your start menu and click on control panel. Locate a icon called "Phone and Modem Options" (on older systems, this will just be called "Modems"). Click on this. Enter your geographical location and your location extension (e.g. 011 for Johannesburg). Enter the number you dial to access an outside line. This is 0860007249. (Universal) Then select “tone dialing” and press enter. You will then be presented with a new popup. Click on the “modems” tab. It will then display whether or not you have a modem. If you try both of these tests and cannot find a modem, chances are you will need to purchase one. Luckily they are rather inexpensive.

Alternatively, if you are still struggling or don’t know how to make sense of the information you get, click on the Need Help button at the top of your screen and we will contact you.

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