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Frequently Asked Questions About the Internet and The World Wide Web

  1. What is the Internet?
  2. Isn't the Internet the World Wide Web?
  3. I thought America Online, CompuServe, The Microsoft Network, and Prodigy were the Web.
  4. What does the term "cyberspace" mean?
  5. What do I need to connect to the Internet?
  6. What kind of computer do I need?
  7. Do I need a special type of modem?
  8. Which modem should I buy?
  9. Where do I get a connection to the Internet?
  10. How much does an Internet connection cost?
  11. How do I view the World Wide Web?
  12. So how do I surf different web pages?
  13. What's a home page?
  14. What are links?
  15. What's a URL?
  16. What is the "http?"

 

1. What is the Internet?

The Internet is an all-purpose term to describe the loosely interconnected global computer network linking information and people. Using Navigator to connect to the Internet, you can read the latest headlines, tap into financial services, download new software, listen to live broadcast events, and share ideas, information and E-mail with anyone connected to the Internet.

2. Isn't the Internet the World Wide Web?

No - the Web is the most popular component of the Internet. Colorful electronic Web pages are chock-full of text and pictures, and many possess audio and video capabilities.

3. I thought America Online, CompuServe, The Microsoft Network, and Prodigy were the Web.

No, they are called online services. They are Internet service providers (ISPs) who provide a connection to the Internet and also provide proprietary content available only to their subscribers.

4. What does the term "cyberspace" mean?

It's a term for the entire online universe. It comes from a science fiction book called "Neuromancer" written by William Gibson.

5. What do I need to connect to the Internet?

Four things; a computer, a modem, an Internet connection, and a web browser program such as Netscape Navigator. (Included with your Infodisk ProPlus CD)

6. What kind of computer do I need?

The faster the better. Generally any Macintosh or Windows computer manufactured in the last few years should work fine for accessing the Internet. If you plan on downloading movies or playing games, a very fast processor speed is particularly important.

7. Do I need a special type of modem?

No. Several manufacturers such as 3Com's US Robotics, Hayes, and Motorola manufacture modems. The minimum modem speed you'll need to connect to the Internet is 14.4 kilobits bits per second (Kbps). The current standard is shifting to 33.6Kbps, and new 56Kbps standards are currently evolving.

8. Which modem should I buy?

If you don't have a modem, your best bet is to buy a 33.6Kbps modem that you can upgrade to 56Kbps. While it sounds complicated, this is very common. Just make sure when you buy a modem, you ask if it is upgradeable. Generally, there is no charge for a software upgrade from 33.6Kbps to 56Kbps modem. You will want to check and make sure the 56Kbps modem will be compatible with your ISP.

9. Where do I get a connection to the Internet?

From an Internet Service provider (also known as "ISP" for short). If you just bought a PC or Macintosh, chances are your new computer is already loaded with special offers from many ISPs. To check, left-click the Start button, select Programs, and look for a folder such as "Online Services" or "The Internet". If you see the one you want, say America Online (AOL) or AT&T, clicking on the icon starts the subscription process (you'll need a credit card to finish it). If it's not there, check into popular national ISPs such as Spryne or EarthLink, or check your local Yellow Pages for local ISPs.

10. How much does an Internet connection cost?

For a household account, you can expect to pay around $19.95 a month for unlimited access (though less expensive programs are available). In most cases, when you sign up with an ISP, you will receive special installation software that includes a Web browser.

11. How do I view the World Wide Web?

Open Windows, turn on your modem and make sure it's connected to a phone line. (If you have an internal modem, it's automatically turned on every time you start your computer.) Double-click the icon for the dialer program your ISP gave you. When the Internet connection has been established, double-click the Netscape Communicator icon. (If you have Win95, it's probably on your Desktop or listed under Start/Programs/Netscape Communicator. If you're using Windows 34.x, it's probably in the Netscape Communicator Program Group.) Then stand back as the Navigator screen opens and you're whisked onto the 'Net.

12. So how do I surf different web pages?

You can hop from one Web page to another, starting from your browser's home or start page. Click any link to go to another new page, where you can click any link to go to another page, etc. If you know exactly where you want to go, type the URL in the Location bar and hit ENTER. You also can use the Back and Forward buttons located on the toolbar to move among Web sites you've previously visited.

13. What's a home page?

It's a starting out point of a Web site, similar to a table of contents page in a book. Every site on the Web has a home page that tells you what you'll find inside. If you see a place that you want to go, simply click the links and away you go.

14. What are links?

Link is short for hypertext link or hyperlink. You'll quickly recognize a link when you visit a Web page because it's usually a phrase or image that stands out from the rest of the text and graphics on the page. For example, a link might be an underlined word or an icon that is set apart from the rest of the information on the page. Links connect you to other pages or places in a Web site. Simply move your mouse pointer over any highlighted word, phrase or image that you think is a link. If the word, phrase or image is a link, the on-screen pointer (which usually looks like an arrow) will change to a pointing finger. Another way to tell if you found a hyperlink is to look at the gray message bar at the bottom on the Navigator window. When your pointer is pointing to a link, you'll see the corresponding page's URL.

15. What's a URL?

URL is short for universal resource locator also known as a Web address. Every place on the Web has an address or URL. For example, http://www.netscape.com is the URL for Netscape's home page. The URL will appear in the Location box located beneath the toolbar.

16. What is the "http?"

The "http" stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Most URLs follow this format: http://www.name.com. It's always followed by a colon (:) and a double slash (//). Secure servers use the https protocol. Look for the added s before the colon when submitting sensitive information like credit card numbers.


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