Dialup Internet Access for Your Laptop

By Dan Gookin

Need dialup internet for your laptop? Dialup modems were once the only way to get on the Internet. It was rare in the 1990s to find any computer — desktop or laptop — without a dialup modem as standard equipment. Eventually, desktops eschewed the dialup modem for Ethernet Internet access. Laptops have been slower to make the transition.

Rare today is the laptop that features a built-in dialup modem. If your laptop sports one, you can use it to dial into the Internet or dial into any computer with a dedicated phone line. And, yes, such things are rare today, but not unheard of.

Also rare these days is the landline. Your laptop may have a dialup modem and you might even have a phone cord. Great! What can you plug that cord into?

If everything falls into place, and the laptop has a dialup modem and you have a place to plug it in and you have another computer you can phone, then great! Windows still accommodates dialup modems.

To configure a dialup connection on your laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Press Win+I.

  2. Choose Network & Internet.

  3. On the left side of the screen, choose Dial-Up.

  4. On the right side of the screen, choose Set Up a New Connection.

    The Network Connection Wizard appears.

  5. Choose Connect to the Internet and click the Next button.

    If your laptop is already connected to the Internet, choose Set Up a New Connection Anyway.

  6. Choose Dialup.

    This option doesn’t appear if your laptop lacks a dialup modem.

  7. Fill in information about the connection.

    You need to type the phone number, your user name, password, and a name for the connection.

  8. Click the Create button.

    The new connection is created.

The connections all appear in the Settings app. That’s where you go when you need to access a dialup service: Open the Settings app, choose Network & Internet, then choose Dial-Up. The connections appear at the top right part of the screen. Click a connection to dial.

After the connection has been made, a tiny “modem connected” icon appears in the notification area. It’s your clue that the laptop is connected to the Internet. You can then use any Internet software.

To disconnect the modem from the Internet, right-click the little modem icon in the notification area. Choose the Disconnect command from the pop-up menu.

  • Dialup access is slow. Don’t expect blazing speed on anything.

  • Connect the laptop’s modem to a phone jack before you dial the Internet