DSL Network Guide Chapter 17: TCP/IP

TCP/IP is the standard protocol for the internet. All computers from all manufacturers, regardless of the operating system or platform, can communicate with each other on the internet as long as you have TCP/IP installed on your computer. Most mainstreem computers by default have TCP/IP installed automatically.
If your TCP/IP becomes corrupted then your computer will be unable to connect, or if you can connect it can prevent you from being able to communicate on the internet.
Mac OSX and Windows based computers have a ping tool to check your TCP/IP. First try to ping a domain name like yahoo.com. Next ping an IP address like (yahoo's IP address.) If you cannot ping either then your TCP/IP needs to be removed and reinstalled. If you can ping and IP address but you cannot a domain name then your TCP/IP stack is not recieving DNS servers appropriately. You can contact your ISP for you DNS servers and they should also be able to tell you how to manually add them to your TCP/IP settings. If you can ping both then your TCP/IP should be functioning properly.

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