Internet Overview

If you're new to the Internet, you may be confused atmany of the terms that come with it, such as hyperlink or URL. Here's a briefglossary so you won't be lost reading about the Internet. The Internet is a system connecting millions of computers around the world.It's best known feature, the World Wide Web, presents rich content, including multimedia clips and even live radio and video. You viewthis content on Web pages by using a Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator. Typically the top-levelpage of a Web site is called the home page, from which other pages branch off. When you start Internet Explorer or NetscapeCommunicator, the first page you see is also called your home page.

Getting around on the Internet
Each Web page has a specific address, sometimes known as a URL (uniform resource locator). You can type theaddress to go directly to the page. It indicates a number of things: for example, with, HTTP (HypertextTransfer Protocol), tells your computer how to communicate with the Internet computer. (Hypertext is a method of writing content for theInternet.) WWW indicates that the site is on the World Wide Web. The .com suffix indicates a commercial site(as .edu is used for educational institutions, or .org for other organizations). New Web address suffixes are governed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names (ICANN). Recently, new suffixes have been added to the mix: .info for general information, .biz for businesses, .name for individuals, .pro for professionals, .museum for museums, .coop for business cooperatives, .aero for the aviation industry and .tv for the television broadcast industry.

The most common way to move around the Web is by clicking text or pictures calledlinks, or hyperlinks, which have addresses coded into them. Your mouse pointer changes to a hand shape when it passes over a link. Youcan either browse (surf) the Web at random or search for a page of interest to you by using a search service, which can search theInternet for words you specify. Also, portal sites (such as contain preselected links to popular pages.

Using the Internet safely
You may find pictures, sounds, or programs to download (install) to your computer from the Internet. Security settings in InternetExplorer or Netscape Communicator help you download safely, to avoid unreliable software or viruses, and to make online shopping oremail communication more secure. Also, because some information on the Web may not be suitable for everyone, with Internet Explorer orNetscape Communicator you can control what sites are viewable from your computer.

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