This article is from the FAQ, by with numerous contributions by others.
Using WinSock applications to access the Internet requires:
- A suitable connection to the Internet.
- A TCP/IP stack (which includes it's own WINSOCK.DLL).
Your connection to the Internet may take the form of a direct
connection via a network card or a dialup account using a modem. Most
users reading this FAQ will be using the latter. You'll probably need
to acquire an account with an Internet service provider (or else
get an account through work or school, if available) either a
SLIP or PPP account (these are protocols for communicating with the
Internet via modem; either is fine, though PPP is generally preferred),
or a shell account which allows you to run a SLIP emulator (covered in
The TCP/IP stack you use depends upon your needs. Some operating
systems include stacks, such as Microsoft Windows 95 and IBM OS/2. For
other operating systems, like Microsoft Windows 3.1/3.11 or Microsoft
Windows for Workgroups 3.11, you'll need to add a stack. Section IV.
of this FAQ covers some of the most popular. Some are free, some are
shareware (if you continue to use them after an evaluation period, you
must pay a small fee), and others are commercial. Some include no
WinSock applications, while others include all the basic apps you'll
A fast computer, 8MB or more of memory, and a high speed modem for
dialup connections (at least 14.4k) are also recommended.
And, of course, you'll need some WinSock applications. Section VII.
points to lists of WinSock applications available.