Learn how the internet works in this internet primer for absolute beginners. Do you hate it when people assume that because we live in the so-called “age of technology” then you should automatically know how to use the internet for your job or access government benefits?
If you have been wondering what strange words like Browser and search engine mean then this post is for you.
If you feel as if you are in the dark when it comes to understanding how all this tech stuff works, you are not alone. Many people who use the internet everyday have the same blank feeling when they think about it.
Do not let the seemingly magical obscurity of how the internet works scare you from learning more about it. Remember, you don’t need to know everything about it. You just need to know enough to use it in a way that you can benefit from it.
Here are the fundamental things you need to understand.
- All smart devices are computers. That includes your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or your desktop computer, server, internet modems.
- All smart devices are made with the ability to communicate with each other in an orderly way. These are called protocols.
- The internet is a network or group of computers that can talk to each other with these protocols.
- Computers can store information called files
- computers can send and request files from each other
- Files can be pictures, text (written words), videos, or audio recordings. There are other file types but for simplicity, we will leave them out.
- Each computer has an address, the same as how every apartment in the United States has a specific address.
- To get a file from another computer then each requesting computer must know the address of the computer that has the file.
- Software programs are tools that make it easier for humans to use computers.
- A browser is a software that allows humans to search the internet for other computers that have files they may need.
- Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all examples of browsers.
- A server is a special computer that can store and send files over the internet.
- A website is a collection of files on a server that has the same address.
- A website address can be a string of numbers called an IP address or a domain name like www.stayathomeworker.com
- A search engine is a software that can search all the websites on the internet and find the file that is most related to whatever you searched for. For example, If you search for a baked chicken recipe. Google will search through its database to find the addresses of files that have the word ‘baked chicken recipe’. And return the one most relevant to what you searched for.
- When you use your device to access a website. It accepts a piece of software, called a cookie, from the website so that the website server can recognize your computer the next time you visit.
- Cookies are used to personalize your experience on a website and to serve advertisements that you may be interested in.
- To be continued…