if you have a router, leave it connected permanently. As for your computer, do as you please. I often leave my e-mail program running and set it to check for new mail every five mins so mail just "drops in" as it is sent to me! I have also placed the Ananova TV guide on my desktop together with a CNN clickbar, so I have the latest news scrolling accross the screen all the time! You can't do this stuff with dial-up!