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TACTIC: If you get an Internet account, use a quality service, and consider a permanent email address.

There has been an explosion in companies that will provide you with Internet access. You can spend around $20 per month for unlimited access to the Internet and your own email account.

Here are some things to consider when considering an ISP:

When you sign up with an ISP, the email address assigned to you will usually include the name of the ISP. For example, your email address might be yourname@earthlink.net or yourname@aol.com. You can give out this email address to your friends and contacts, but what if you switch your Internet service provider? Your email address will change. You will have to tell all your contacts. You may also have to reprint your business cards and re-enter your email address in many places.

You can give yourself a stable Internet identity by establishing a permanent email address. This may cost extra, but the permanence you gain may be worth it. Here are two ways you can do this:

TACTIC: If you want your own Web site for business purposes, get your own domain name.

You may get some Web space as part of your Internet access. This is fine for your informal or hobby use, but for your business, you need more stability and a professional identity. It is better to give out your own domain name than a partition of your ISP's site.

Ask your Internet Service Provider if they can set you up with your own domain name and provide Web space on their server.

As part of the Web space package, you will usually have access to electronic mail forwarding. This gives both a permanent email address in addition to a permanent Web address.

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