How do the internet and search engines work?

In this lesson you will learn about how the internet works and how you can use search engines to use the internet.

This lesson includes:

  • Two videos
  • Two activities to help you learn more


The global computer network called the internet is part of our everyday lives at home and at school.

It is made up of millions of computers all over the world that are digitally connected to each other by cable, fibre or wireless links.

You can use the internet to browse websites, communicate with people, download pictures and videos, listen to music or do lots of other amazing things.

Watch the video below to find out how the internet works

Search Engines

The world wide web is a big place. If you know the web address, or URL, of a site you can go to it by typing the address into the address bar along the top of your browser.

But what if you don’t know the URL?

It is usually possible to find webpages by searching for them with a search engine.

These are programs that search an index of the world wide web for keywords and display the results in order.

Watch this video to find out how search engines work


Activity 1

When browsing the internet you will need to make accounts and create passwords to make sure you are safe online.

Download this worksheet from Twinkl and follow the instructions for ideas about creating your own password.

Perfect passwords

Activity 2

When you search the internet you will leave a digital footprint. Download this worksheet from Twinkl and make your own digital footprint.

Your digital footprint

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

Bitesize Daily lessons
BBC Teach - Computing
KS2 Computing