A Brief History of the Internet

In the late 1960’s, the United States Department of Defense developed the Internet as a military research project. At that time, this project was not even referred to as the “Internet”. It was known as ARPANET. Its purpose was to create an emergency military communication system that could withstand a nuclear attack.

Gradually over the years, ARPANET was employed in major universities and later on by scholars and scientists. As the years went by, the network quickly grew to include researchers across the country and eventually included schools, businesses, organizations and individuals around the world.

Now, people all across the world are networked together as a result of the Internet!


An email is very similar to a written letter. You write your message and then you send it. However, an email is completely digital and you don’t have to use any stamps or go to the post office!

The benefits of using email are numerous. Most importantly, it’s a free form of communication and many people and businesses utilize email and so should you.

Many people simply logon to the Internet only to check their emails or to send an email message to someone else. Email is a very important tool that you need to take advantage of.

A sample email address looks like the following: yourname@somedomain.com

Every email address has four different parts. First, there is the person’s name or nickname. For example, the “yourname” part of the email address above is your name/nickname. The second part of an email address is the famous @ sign. Anyone and everyone who has an email address will have this famous @ sign. The @ stands for “at”! The third part of an email address is the domain where the email account is registered with. For example, “somedomain.com” is the domain where the “yourname” email account is registered with.

Internet Viruses

An Internet virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer system and does harmful things against your wishes. All computer viruses are man made. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it can quickly use all your computer’s available memory and bring your computer to a dead halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.

An Internet virus attaches itself to a program or file on your computer so it can spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels. Much like human viruses, computer viruses can range in severity; some viruses cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your hardware, software, or files. A virus may exist on your computer but it cannot infect your computer unless you run or open the infected program. It is important to note that a virus cannot be spread without a human action, (such as running an infected program) to keep it going. People continue the spread of a computer virus, mostly unknowingly, by sharing infecting files or sending emails with viruses as attachments in the e-mail.

As a safety precaution, we highly recommend that you have some type of virus protection installed on your computer before you consider downloading anything.

File Sharing

File sharing is a very popular application of the Internet. Friends, coworkers, and people in general can share files including documents, software, music, and videos.

Every day, millions of Internet users share files online. Whether it’s music, games, or software, file-sharing can give people access to a wealth of information. You simply download special software that connects your computer to a network of other computers running the same software. Millions of users could be connected to each other through this software at one time. The software often is free and easily accessible.

However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions Internet users about file sharing. For example, when you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unknowingly allow others to copy private files you never intended to share. You may download material that is protected by the copyright laws and find yourself in trouble with legal issues. Or, you may download a virus or facilitate a security breach.

Web Browsers

A Web Browser is a software program that is used to view and interact with various types of Internet resources available on the World Wide Web. Firefox and Internet Explorer are two common examples. Currently there are dozens of Web browsers available. However, Internet Explorer and Firefox are more commonly used browsers.

There are several other web browsers worth mentioning. Chrome by Google is a relatively popular web browser that’s gaining a lot of recognition due to its ease of use and functionality.

About the Web

Most people confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web. However, there is a difference. The Internet, is made up of thousands of computers that are connected worldwide. In other words, the Internet is a network of computers. Contrarily, the World Wide Web, is a network of websites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks.

Websites consist of web pages which are written in a language known as hyper text markup language (HTML). These HTML web pages have links which allow Internet users to access other web pages, documents, and/or files.

Moreover, every website has its own unique website address, also known as its Uniform Resource Locator (URL). To give you a specific example, let’s examine the URL:¬†http://www.webwizardguide.com

The “http://” is known as the hypertext transfer protocol. The “www.webwizardguide.com” part is known as the domain of the URL.

Online Chatting

Online chatting is a very popular activity that is conducted on the Internet. Friends chat with friends and coworkers chat with coworkers all the time. It’s a great form of communication that allows you to stay in touch in real-time. Every time you type and submit your message, it is displayed instantly on the screen of the person you are chatting with.

There are several popular websites that offer free instant messaging systems which allow you to chat. The popular instant messaging systems are:

  • AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Skype

Searching on the Internet

Searching for information is one of the most useful applications of the Internet. You can practically find information on any subject or topic by conducting a search for it in search engines.

There are many different search engines that exist on the Internet. However, three search engines have become the prominent search engines of today. These search engines include:

Go ahead and click on any of the search engines above and search for anything that interests you. You will be amazed at how much information will be at your finger tips when you discover the power of search engines.