Frequently Asked Questions About the Internet and The World Wide Web
- What is the Internet?
- Isn't the Internet the World Wide
- I thought America Online, CompuServe,
The Microsoft Network, and Prodigy were the Web.
- What does the term "cyberspace" mean?
- What do I need to connect to the Internet?
- What kind of computer do I need?
- Do I need a special type of modem?
- Which modem should I buy?
- Where do I get a connection to the Internet?
- How much does an Internet connection cost?
- How do I view the World Wide Web?
- So how do I surf different web pages?
- What's a home page?
- What are links?
- What's a URL?
- 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
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
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
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
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