the internet

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The Internet is a worldwide system of interconnected computer networksnetworka group of interconnected computers. When you connect your computer to the Internet via your Internet Service Provider (ISP) you become part of the ISPs network, which is connected to other networks that make up the Internet.

The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW or Web for short) is the part of the Internet that you can access using a web browserweb browser:an application used to browse the Internet or view web pagessuch as Internet ExplorerInternet Explorera web browser developed by Microsoft or FirefoxFirefoxa web browser developed by Mozilla. It consists of a large number of web servers that host websites. Each website will normally consist of a number of web pages. A web page can contain text, images, video, animation and sound.

Accessing web pages

You can access a website or web page by typing its URL (Uniform Resource Locator) into the address bar of your browser. An example of a URL is

URLs will have the format 'httpHypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)a request/response standard, web browsers send requests and websites or servers respond to requests' and adomaindomainan area of control or management, eg is controlled by the BBC (such as .uk [.ukthe Internet country code for the United Kingdom ]). What goes in between is arbitrary, but often has the term "www", eg, but it doesn’t have to, eg

Https is the secure version of http. When you use https any data[datainformation without context, eg a list of students with numbers beside their names is data, when it's made clear that those numbers represent their placing in a 100 metre race, the data becomes information ] you send or receive from the web server is encrypted. For example, when banking online https is used to keep your account details safe.

Most sites have a page that links the user to the other main areas of the site. This is called the homepage.

Web pages are connected by hypertext links. When a link is clicked you will be taken to another page which could be on another serverservera computer that provides services to users, eg access to shared files, web hosting, file storage in any part of the world.

What is an intranet?

An intranet is a network that works like the Internet but is only available within a particular organisation, not to the public. An intranet may have web pages used to share company specific data within that company, such as internal telephone numbers or details of employee benefits.

Connecting to the Internet

To connect to the Internet the following are needed:

  • a computer
  • telephone line (cable being the exception)
  • modemmodema piece of hardware that connects a computer to the Internet


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