home Virals Seniors Guide to the Internet – Part 1

Seniors Guide to the Internet – Part 1

The Internet, also known as “the net,” is a worldwide system of computer networks in which users at any one computer can get data from any other computer. The original aim was to create a network that would allow users of a computer at one university to be able to communicate with computers at other universities. A side benefit of this design was that, because information is sent along different routes that always change, the Internet could continue to function even if parts of it were destroyed in the event of a military attack or other disaster. Luckily, we’ve never had to test if it works.

Today, the Internet is self-sustaining and is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The most widely used part of the Internet is called the World Wide Web (“the Web”). On the web, you have access to billions of pages of information. Web browsing is done with a software program called a web browser (catchy name!). Currently, the most popular web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. By the way, all of these browsers are absolutely free. Depending on your connection speed, browsers can support such advanced features as animation, video, sound, and music.

How Do I Connect to the Internet?

The best type of connection to the Internet is a broadband connection. It offers the highest transmission speed which is essential if you want the best Internet experience. Cable and DSL service both provide broadband speeds. Cable provides speed twice that of DSL but DSL is more secure.

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Broadband service provides high speed data transmission. It also allows more content to be carried through the transmission pathway. Broadband provides access to the highest quality Internet services: streaming media, Internet phone, gaming, and interactive services. Many of these services require the transfer of large amounts of data that may not be technically feasible with telephone dial-up service. Today, broadband service is necessary to access the full range of services and opportunities that the Internet can offer. Broadband service is always on. It does not block telephone lines and there is no need to disconnect from the Internet network when not in use.

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