The Internet is without doubt one of the most important inventions in history. It was started in 1968 by the US government, but at first it was used mainly by scientists. Since 1990, when the World Wide Web was created, it has changed the world, and its uses are growing every day.
1 (a)... What exactly is the Internet?
The Internet is a network (several networks, in fact) of millions of computers around the world, connected by phone lines, satellite or cable, so that all the computers on the net can exchange information with each other.
Not quite. The Internet links computers, and the World Wide
Web is a system which links the information stored inside these computers.
A company or organisation stores its information in electronic documents on one of the Internet computers, somewhere in the world. This computer space - the company's web site - has an address, in the same way that every telephone has a number. To visit a web site, you simply enter the address. Your computer is connected to the web site, a document is downloaded, and a page appears on your computer screen.
When you visit a web site looking for information, some words
on the page may be underlined, showing that there is more information about the subject in another document. If you click on one of these words, the Web automatically connects your computer to a new document or web site, even if this is stored thousands of kilometres away. You're surfing the net!
The main use of the Internet is to find information — for your
schoolwork or job, or just to find out more about your hobbies, sports or current events. You can also use the Internet to read newspapers and magazines, play games, plan your holiday or buy things from your favourite shop. E-mail makes it possible to send electronic messages anywhere in the world in seconds, and you can use the Internet to 'chat' with people and make new friends.
If you don't already use the Internet, all you need to get started is a computer, a modem and a phone line. Using the Internet is getting cheaper and easier all the time.
Are you ready to surf the net? There's a whole exciting Internet world out there waiting for you!
a What exactly is the Internet?
b What do I need in order to use the Internet?
ñ How do I "surf the net"?
d That's the same thing as the Web, isn't it?
e What can I use the Internet for?
f What is a web site, and how do I visit one?
Ex.2. Fill in the words from the list, then make sentences using the completed phrases.