What is the Internet?

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The internet is a system of interconnected networks of computers that communicate easily to one another and exchange large amount of documents written in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). The internet helps you find and share information. You can communicate with people via e-mail. You can chatt to others, shop online, listen to music, play games. You can also create your own online store and sell products. You can learn and study online. It is almost impossible to list all what you can use the internet for. Internet advertising has become one of the most effective ways of marketing products and can reach various places all over the world.

A very well known internet service is the World Wide Web (WWW). It is based on HyperText which is a set of rules in writing web pages with links to other pages. In WWW, the interaction of the client (computer seeking information) and the server (computer that has the information) is made possible by two important features of the web and these are the HTML language and the HTTP protocol which is a set of rules used to communicate between server and client. A server contains pages with information written in HTML language.

Client Server Relationship.

Fig. 1 - Client Server Relationship

Browsers such as the Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari are software applications that may be used to navigate and view internet resources such as text and graphics. Once HTML pages reach your computer, browsers translate HTML documents into text and images and display them on your screen.

In order to use the internet, you need to connect to it and for this you need the following:

  1. A computer
  2. A broadband modem ( cable and ADSL) or a modem with a phone line. Note that broadband is much faster than phone line.
  3. An Internet connection
  4. An Internet account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)- (a company that provides Internet access.)
  5. A browser software such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, ...

When a user types a web address (example: www.myexample.com), a server is contacted which replies with the IP address and then the browser retrieves, from another computer the web page and displays it.