A Practical Guide to Using the Internet.

If your computer has a broadband connection you are already on line so you can skip the next few lines and go straight to "Now open Internet Explorer."
Get on line.
If you are using dial-up or mobile broadband then you are required to go on line using your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Click on the "Desktop" icon (an icon is just a small picture or logo) on the bottom left of the screen. It is just to the right of "Start" on the taskbar.
Now click on the icon of the ISP. This icon will vary, depending on the provider.
A dialogue box will appear on the screen. Click on "connect".
There will be a slight delay while the ISP computer verifies your details.
A box will appear on the bottom right-hand side of the screen telling you that you are connected and also the speed of your connection.

Now open Internet Explorer.

Start → Programs → Internet Explorer.
Alternatively you can click on the Internet Explorer icon.
Internet Service Provider.
Just as you need a telephone service provider to connect your phone to the number you want to call, so too do you need an internet service provider to connect to the website you want.
Most telephone companies also act as internet service providers (for an extra fee) but there are also many other ISPs.
Prices vary depending on the type of connection, the speed of the data transfer and the amount of data transfer. They also vary from company to company.
Unless you want to download movies or music it is probably best to start off with a cheap, short-term plan. As you work out your patterns of internet use you will be able to adjust the plan as the need arises.
If you already know the internet address of the site you want to connect to you can type it in directly and then press "enter". Exercise: Type in the following internet address and then press "enter".

Each web site has its unique address known as its URL (Uniform Resource Locator) sometimes known as its domain name.
The full URL usually begins with http:// (hypertext transfer protocol) and is followed by www (World Wide Web).
The next bit identifies the site.
The first of the endings identifies the type of organisation operating the website.
.com is for companies.
.org is for organisations such as charities or professional groups.
.edu is for educational institutions such as schools and universities.
.gov is for government and local government departments.
.id is for individuals.
.net is an alternative for businesses and individuals
The last two letters refer to the country of registration. Domain names registered in the USA do not have a country of registration suffix and simply end with .com
Australian URLs end with .au, New Zealand URLs end with .nz and URLs registered in the United Kingdom end with .uk

Internet Explorer is a browser. A browser is a software program that enables you to navigate the web. It translates the code from the site that you want to connect to into a form that can be read by your computer and displayed on the screen.
Internet Explorer is the most common browser because it is included with Windows. However other browsers can be downloaded from the web (usually free). These include Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, Opera and Safari to name just a few.
Websites can display differently in different browsers.

Search Engines
There are more sites on the web than there are people in the world so without some sort of search strategy looking for something on the web would be harder than finding a needle in a haystack. This is where search engines come in.
Search engines scour the net for key words and phrases and store them in a database. When you search for a particular reference the search engine goes through its database and gives you a list of possible sites.
The most common search engine is Google but there are several others such as Yahoo, Alta Vista and Lycos.
Using search engines.
Suppose you want to find some information about computers for seniors. You can type computers for seniors in the search box and click "search". This will give you a collection of sites that contain the key words in any order and in any part of the document. The words may be in different paragraphs and not related to each other.
The search may be narrowed by searching for "computers for seniors" in quotation marks. This will limit the search to sites that have the exact phrase.
You can also exclude terms from your search. For instance you can type in Prime Minister NOT Barton.This will give you sites that include the term Prime Minister but not Australia's first Prime Minister; Andrew Barton.
Suppose you are a keen gardener and want to look up information about gardens. You can enter "garden*"
This will search for the word garden as well as words beginning with garden but having a variety of endings such as gardens, gardener, gardeners, gardening and gardenia.
To help you find a particular word on the web page press the Ctrl and f keys at the same time. A box will appear on the upper right of the screen.
Type the word you are looking for into the box and press "Enter".
The key word will then be highlighted wherever it appears on that page.

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