System and network administrators faced with the challenge of building and maintaining permanent LAN-to-Internet connections are often in need of additional information in order to complete this complex task. This practical handbook is a guide to the entire process of connecting a private network to the Internet and then maintaining that connection. Comprehensive yet succinct, “Connecting to the Internet” provides essential information without the burden of extraneous detail. Using a step-by-step approach, this book covers the processes of planning, designing, implementing, and maintaining an effective and secure LAN-to-Internet connection–from TCP/IP essentials, to choosing the most appropriate Internet Service Provider, to setting up a firewall. Specifically, you will find coverage of: TCP/IP essentials and standard Internet service protocols, such as DNS, FTP, Mail, News, Telnet, the Web, and SSL Criteria for choosing an Internet Service Provider, including connection capacity, installation services, Web hosting, security, VPNs, remote access, multicast, knowledge services, and pricing Circuitry and equipment configuration for your WAN Security technologies–packet filters, circuit proxies, application gateways, network address translation, firewalls, vendors, security policies, and auditing Network design and equipment selection Staging and testing the design, including how to run routing diagnostics and security testing Implementing the new connection, going live with the ISP, and troubleshooting the WAN Managing the LAN-Internet connection, with discussions on security breaches, usage monitoring, and performance issues Each technical chapter contains checklists to help you track critical steps in the process. In addition, experienced-based tips throughout the book will keep you from falling into expensive and time-consuming pitfalls.