The Internet

What Is The Internet

The internet is a global network of computers that woks at sub-second speeds. Just as the postal service enables people to send one another envelopes containing messages, the internet enables computers to send one another small packets of digital data.


WWW

The Internet is to the World Wide Web as Europe is to France. One is the container, the other is an item within the container.

The world wide web is part of the Internet but is much younger. The Internet is about 40 years old whilst the WWW is merely 20 years old.


Uses of the internet

The internet is made up of millions upon millions of small computer networks all brought together to form the Inter-Network. That word never caught on, so it was shortened to the much to say Internet.

The internet opens up many different possible ways to communicate with others. Here are some:

  • Email
  • Blogs
  • Social networking sites e.g. Facebook, Myspace, Bebo
  • Chatrooms
  • Forums
  • Voip - internet telephone



Benefits of the internet

Always available

The Internet is aways available for you to use, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You don't have to wait for it to open or wait for someone to make it available. It is just there, when you need it and for whatever you need.

Of course that does not mean every web site is always open. For instance it is common for bank web sites to shut down at midnight and open again at 7am. Overnight, they are updating and checking all the money transactions that have taken place over the last day.

Vast range of information

Think of any search term and type it into a search engine. We can pretty much guarantee that you will find web sites with information on that term.

It doesn't matter what you want to know about, you will find something on the Internet that can provide the information you need.



Issues with the internet

Information overload

There is almost too much information on the Internet. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is out there.

When you type a search term into a search engine, you won't just get a few results, you will get millions!

Search engines do a good job at prioritising which are the most relevant sites for your search term. However that one piece of information that you are after might be on page 345 of the results. There is very little chance that you are going to find it.