Basic IT Skills
Where Am I? - Internet Basics
The Internet consists of all computers and networks across the world which are able to communicate with each other using telephone, fibre optic, microwave, radio, satellite or any other type of link. The Internet includes private, commercial, government and military computer systems.
As an individual, you cannot access the Internet directly. You need to have a link to an organisation that does. Special types of businesses have arisen to provide links to the Internet. These companies are called Internet Service Providers or ISPs. In many countries, these companies are also the suppliers of telephone numbers and wireless communication and will bundle their service charges for all types of communication. The speed of the connection determines the quality of the service. If the Internet connection is provided by dialing into a telephone connection it can be slow and expensive to access the Web. Dial-up connections can be too slow to view a video or other media. Broadband access via dedicated service lines (DSL) and wireless connection make it possible to enjoy all the features of the Web and often for a more affordable cost.
The World Wide Web (WWW) or in short the Web is part of the Internet. What distinguishes the Web is its support of a variety of media, including text, graphics, audio, video, and animation. The Web is a network of servers that store web pages, which can be read by browsers (programmes/applications that are able to read the Web) such as Internet Explorer®, Firefox®, Google Chrome®, or Safari®. A browser is an application that is able to read (but not create) web pages.
When you use email or an internal private network such as your employer’s company network, you are on the Internet but you are not on the Web. When you search for information, book online travel, log into Facebook®, watch YouTube® videos etc., you are on the Web.