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The Internet

Connecting to the Internet

To connect to the Internet the following are needed:

  • a computer
  • telephone line (cable being the exception)
  • modem [modem: a piece of hardware that connects a computer to the Internet ] and/or router [router: a device for connecting computers and other network capable devices together to form a network ]
  • an ISP (Internet Service Provider)
  • Web browser [web browser: an application used to browse the Internet or view web pages ], eg Internet Explorer [Internet Explorer: a web browser developed by Microsoft ], Firefox [Firefox: a web browser developed by Mozilla ], Chrome [Chrome: a web browser developed by Google ], Safari [Safari: a web browser developed by Apple ], Opera [Opera: a web browser developed by Opera Software ] etc.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

ISPs provide access to the Internet. Commonly used ISPs include Sky, Virgin and BT but there are many more. Most offer the same basic package of Internet access, email [email: electronic mail - a message written or typed on a computer and sent electronically rather than by post ] addresses and web space [web space: the amount of storage given to a website ].

You need a web browser to view web pages [web page: a page designed for, and viewed in, a web browser ]. The most widely used are Internet Explorer and Firefox. All browsers will have a number of similar features to help you use the web such as:

  • forward and back buttons to move between pages
  • a history folder which stores details of recently visited web pages
  • a stop button if a page is taking too long to load
  • favourites and bookmark options to store often visited pages
  • options to cut, copy, paste, save and print elements of web pages

A connection made to the Internet will be either analogue [analogue: continuous data, eg the second hand on an analogue watch displays each second and the space in-between ] or digital [digital: data measured at discrete intervals, eg a digital watch typically moves from displaying one second to the next without displaying the values in-between ]. It is important to know the difference between the two and the technologies they use.

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