How to connect to the Internet


  • This Information Sheet is for those organisations that, after reading “Genealogy on the Internet” (1) or “Internet for Greenhorns” (2) or similar material, or having been convinced by other means, have decided to establish a presence on the Internet. Its purpose is not to duplicate information contained in these references but to provide practical advice as to how, after hardware and software requirements are in place, to arrange an Internet connection and to get it working.
  • Many members of the Federation are too small to have their own premises and computer equipment. In many instances they can still enjoy the benefits of Internet connection by using the equipment of one of their members, possibly at the relatively small cost of providing a modem plus a dedicated telephone line to the member’s home. It would be unusual to not to be able to find a member willing to agree to such an arrangement in return for the enhancement of his/her system in this way.

How to select an Internet Service/Access Provider (ISP/IAP)

  • Reference (1) includes a comprehensive list of Australian service providers, most of which are commercial organisations. Minimising of costs is a prime requirement of societies and it is possible to find service providers that are prepared to assist voluntary not for profit organisations at rates that are considerably less than those charged by the commercial providers. For example, some universities come into this category.
  • The ability of a service provider to provide good service is an important consideration. Their attitude to small users, and technical capacities such as modem ratio and speed of connection, should be assessed.
  • Selection of a provider should therefore be made only after assessment of both costs and service offered by a number of providers.

Web page design

  • The Web home page is the document that Internet users will find when an address (home page/uniform resource locator URL) is called for on the Internet. Design of these requires knowledge and experience so it is necessary to find a suitable person to execute this work – it can be done professionally but there are capable enthusiasts within most societies who may be prepared to assist.
  • The designer of the home page will have to be advised as to what is to be included and if there are any specific requirements for the design such as logos, colours, etc. plus detailed information that is to be included.
  • Home page addresses for links that are to be made to other societies, organisations, etc will have to be provided.

Domain Name

  •  A domain name is a customised portable Internet address. As such a domain name may reflect elements of the name of an organisation. This makes addresses, including email, more identification specific and usually shorter. For example, a home page address of:
    “…./….main.htm” could be “http://www…”

NOTE: It is now possible to provide an indication of society status in a home page address by the inclusion of the letters “asn”.

  1. Domain names must be registered to protect their uniqueness.
  2. Further information can be obtained from your internet service provider.
  3. The obtaining of a Domain Name for a web site has two benefits:-
  4. It projects a sense of authority and permanence compared to names given by most service providers.
    1. Changing of service provider is easier because your web site address, and possibly your mail address, does not change.
    2. On the negative side, a domain address has a cost for maintaining it. Using an USA agent will prove much cheaper!

How to Operate

  • How to operate your Internet facility (in the broad sense, not the detailed how to use) will depend very much on whose computer has been used to achieve the connection and where it is located. A regime for operation will have to be customised to suit these criteria. Two important aspects of this regime must be:-
    • Who deals with email received, particularly enquiries for
    • Who regularly updates the home page?

Call Waiting

  • Problems can occur with the use of the Internet on telephone lines that have the “Call Waiting” facility if it is not disarmed when on the Net. Disarming is done by pressing #43# before connecting to the Net, and restoration by *43#.

What does Connection Achieve?

  • Connecting to the Internet makes possible another valuable communication medium – email. This service enables instant communication with other organisations/persons who are connected, thus eliminating what has become known as “snail mail”!
  • dot There are therefore significant benefits to be achieved by societies which connect to the information super highway.


  • Foxworthy A, “Genealogy on the Internet”, Coherent Publishing, Melbourne, 2nd Edition, 1996
  • Internet for Greenhorns,” Forum”, Federation of Genealogical Societies;
  • Communication from Federation of Family History Societies by C Hanna.