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What will I find on the Internet?

The Internet by itself is not much use. It is like a series of roads which can take you to many destinations — hence the now old-fashioned term “Information Superhighway”. Of practical use are the services that use the Internet to function.

Most commonly used:

  • Email: Email is a way to send a message from one user to another. Users must have an email address.

  • World Wide Web: (WWW, or just “the Web”) is probably the bit of the Internet you'll be using most frequently. The World Wide Web is a way to present information via software called a web browser. You will find that suppliers, clients, schools, libraries, colleagues and friends have web sites. It is filled with billions of pages containing text, pictures, sounds, videos, interactive software, and more. In fact, this article you are reading right now is a little bit of the Web.

Less commonly used:

  • Newsgroups are online noticeboards where people chat on subjects of interest. Virtually every subject you can think of has a newsgroup. Newsgroups are not dissimilar to email except that the messages are placed in a public location where everyone else can read them and reply to them.

  • Char allows users to communicate in real time. As you finish typing a message, it immediately appears on the other person's screen, and they can write back to you. This is much faster than email or newsgroups, but obviously you both have to be logged on at the same time if you want to chat. Some chats are more like meetings, where a group of people get together at a pre-arranged time to talk about something specific.

  • Blogs: A blog (short for “weblog”) is often a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.

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