The Internet is a vast ocean of knowledge. Anything you want to know or learn about is on the Internet. Putting it in technical terms the Internet is an interconnection of millions of computers around the world creating a vast computer network. The Internet has become part of our everyday life. This largest computer network can be used to do many activities from online shopping to communicating with a person on the other side of the world.
Knowing common internet terms is vital for using the internet effectively. Some of the typical internet terms are www, HTTP, router, ISP, etc
Here are most common top 20 Internet terms for beginners.
1) World wide web
World Wide Web is a subset of the Internet. It is referred to as the Web in short. All the documents and services you find on the Internet are part of the Web. So, when someone tells you they are surfing the Web they mean they are accessing the vast collection of documents and services on the World Wide Web.
These Documents on the Web are linked together using hypertext links, and the Hypertext Markup Language governs the way these documents will be displayed.
Some internet terms related to the World Wide Web are:
- Webpage: A single page of information on the World Wide Web.
- Website: It is a collection of Web pages.
- Homepage: It is the first webpage when you open a website.
- Hypertext links: These are the addresses in a webpage that will redirect you to another webpage.
2) Web browser
Web Browser is a software that allows the users to access the web. Web Browsers are available to be downloaded free of cost, and sometimes they are preinstalled when you purchase a computer or a mobile.
Web Browser acts as an interface to the World Wide Web. The vast collection of documents and services on the Web are displayed as web pages to the users by the Web Browser. Browsers primarily use the hypertext markup language programs to decide how the web pages appear to the users.
A user can have many Web Browsers installed on her/his device. There are many Web Browsers available the most popular ones are Internet Explorer for Windows, Google Chrome, Safari for IOS.
HTML known as Hypertext Markup Language is a programming language that is used to make sure that the browser displays the web pages in a specific format. The browser compiles the HTML code and then displays the webpage as the HTML program commands it.
The companies or organizations or individuals that create website use HTML to design their web pages.
4) URL (Uniform resource locator)
There are millions of web pages a browser can display to the user, but how does the user uniquely refer to a specific web page? The answer is using the URL. Every webpage has a unique URL. This URL is typed in the search bar of the browser to retrieve that webpage.
The URL has a syntax as follows.
URL syntax: protocol://domainOrIPAddress:port/path/filename
Let’s take an example to understand the syntax of the URL.
URL Example: https://www.stemjar.com/intermittent-fasting/
Here the protocol is https and the domain or the host name is Stemjar. Domain name or hostname usually ends with .com, .edu, .in, etc. depending on the type of the host. Intermittent-fasting refers to the path that takes you to the specific web page.
5) HTTP and HTTPS
HTTP known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the set of standards or rules used to exchange data between the browser and the Web. HTTP is not a secure protocol. Ports on the system listening to the HTTP signal are usually left open.
HTTPS is known as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket. Here the exchange of information between the browser and the web is administered over a secure layer. This protocol is used when the user accesses websites that are encrypted or sites that require a login.
6) IP (Internet Protocol) address
The Internet consists of an interconnection of many computers or nodes, each of these computers or nodes have an IP address assigned to them. IP address helps to identify a computer connected to the Internet uniquely. When we refer to a resource on the Internet like the website we use domain names.
These domain names are then translated to an IP address by the computers so that we can access the right computer or node on the Internet that hosts that website.
IP addresses are numbers that may look like this 172.16.254.1, the format of IP address depends on which version of Internet Protocol you use.
7) Internet connection methods
This method connects you to the Internet using a telephone line. Dial-Up is the slowest connection method. This method requires the users to own a dial-up modem.
Broadband connection makes use of cable or DSL or satellite. It is a quick connection method.
This method makes use of optical fiber. Here the data is transmitted as light pulses through the optical fiber.
The users can connect to the Internet Wirelessly using Wi-Fi. Many of the public places offer Wi-Fi hotspot so that the people can access the Internet.
8) Internet service provider (ISP)
Internet Service Providers are the companies that provide your connection to the Internet. They charge the users for the connection. The ISP consists of local, state and national level ISP. The national level ISP connects to the main Internet Structure.
The state-level ISP connects to national level ISP. The local ISP connects to the state ISP. The end users connect to the Local ISP.
Different Internet Service Providers provides different connection methods. We should choose our Internet Service Providers depending on the kind of connection method we want.
It is a hardware device that connects to the local ISP to gain access to the Internet. A router can provide internet access to devices at home or work wirelessly or through a wired connection. A router also takes care of directing the data or signal to the right connected device. It also protects against malicious attacks.
For the high speed, uninterrupted internet access we have to ensure that the router is correctly configured and maintained.
Downloading refers to transferring the data you found on the Internet to your device. We can download any data like mp4 file, mp3 file, pdf, software programs, jpeg, etc. from the Internet. When a website contains a specific content to download, there will be a down arrow symbol or download button next to the symbol.
Clicking on the symbol or the download button will start the download and will store the content in the location specified in the browser.
11) Web Server
Web Server is a computer on the Internet that consists of the documents or services users or clients wants to access. As Web surfers, you will encounter an error called 404 not found at least once in your life this refers merely that the webpage or document you were trying to retrieve from the server is not available.
Web browsers on the client or user side interact with web servers to extract the required document or service.
Electronic mail is the most popular means of communication via the Internet. The different form of data like text, images, other file formats can be transmitted from one person to another using Email. To communicate through Email, you must first create an email account.
When creating an email account each person decides on a unique name called email address. The email address is used to identify the person uniquely. Many companies like Google, Yahoo, etc. provide the Email service.
You can use email address firstname.lastname@example.org to contact us.
13) Instant messaging and chat rooms
These applications allow the users to communicate with each other via the Internet simultaneously. The significant difference between these tools and Email is that with Email you need to wait for the other person to receive the email, read the email and then reply to it but with Instant Messaging you can interact with the person simultaneously.
A Blog is an article or post on the Internet that is available for the public to read. It is a short form for Web Log. Millions of Internet users write and read blogs about the topics of their interest. Certain blogging websites also allow the readers to express their views as comments on the blogs they read.
15) Social networking
Social Networking helps the Internet users to connect with billions of people around the world. Some of the major social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. These social networking portals are called social media.
Most of these social networking sites are used to stay in touch with people, but in current time it’s not just used to keep in touch with people but also used by companies, organizations, political parties, etc. to promote their campaigns.
16) Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) and video call
VOIP is used to transfer voice as data from one point to another via the Internet. Skype is one such application that helps the users to place calls over the Internet. Skype users can make calls to other Skype users for free.
Many applications use the Internet connectivity to help users to make video calls. Skype, WhatsApp, IMO, etc. are such applications. The users connect to the Internet to make the video call.
A firewall can be a software program or a hardware device. A firewall limits the access to the internal network from the external network.
A firewall consists of rules that tell the firewall which connections it can allow and which connects it need to deny. Most of the organizations that have critical data to protect like the data on the server use a firewall to prevent hackers from getting into the organization’s internal network.
Windows firewall, Norton Internet Security are some of the Firewall software programs.
It is a malicious software program. Malware could be a type of virus program or a trojan program. The hackers create malware with the intention to cause damage to user’s data or system or to gain information about user’s data or system.
Malware could get into user’s system through downloading of an untrusted file, through hidden unwanted program attached to a legitimate downloaded file.
It is always a good practice to have anti-malware programs installed on the system to detect and prevent malware attacks.
A significant application of the Internet is Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce). E-Commerce refers to buying and selling goods through the Internet. Through E-Commerce people can buy things from the comfort of their home. The sellers can reach a broader array of buyers.
The sellers create websites that give the details of the products, and the site also includes functionalities for buyers to create profiles so that future transactions will be secure, the websites also make use of many security protocols and mechanisms so that the buyer’s information is not vulnerable to hackers.
Phishing is the way for criminals to get your personal information through spam emails, through illegitimate websites, etc. You could get spam emails saying it is from the bank or a company and asking for your personal information like account number, address, etc.
We need to be aware of such spam emails and not give out our credentials without further inquiry.
There can be illegitimate websites created that almost look like real ones, and we have to be careful before entering details on sites. Always check if you entered the URL correctly.
Over to you – On top 20 internet terms
The internet is now an integral part of our life and without this surviving even a day seems impossible. Be it our work, social media, emails, chat or even making calls (through VOIP), we depend on the internet. Internet keeps you connected with your friends and families and keeps you updated with changes happening all around us.
As the internet is so vital for us, it is quite essential to be familiar with common internet terms. This will make you understand internet better and use it effectively.