I'm new to the Internet. Where do I start?

The Internet is a vast network of interconnected networks. It can be daunting for a beginner to navigate this system but with a little practice you will be able to tap into this rich resource of information and content. Here is a quick primer on some of the key elements of the Internet.

Internet Addresses (URL)
An Internet Address (also known as a URL, or Uniform Resource Locator) is how you connect to a location on the Internet. Addresses come in many forms, the most popular of which are on the World Wide Web (www). To get to a location on the internet, simply type in the address you wish to visit in the browser's address bar, for example:

These are all locations on the world wide web, as designated by the www in the address. The "http" portion of the URL stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and lets the browser know what type of resource it is accessing. A browser can handle other types of resources, for example:
    ftp://(File Transfer Protocol)
    file://(when opening a local file on your system)
    https://(a secure server will use this, the "s" stands for secured.)

Search Engines
Search engines exist to help you locate resources and pages on the Internet. Many search engines allow for advanced search capabilities, but they all share common functionality. Here are some of the ways to search for information on the Internet:

    Keyword search:
      Web Design Moscow Idaho Internet
      This will return all sites that have any of these keywords, in any order.
    Text string search:
      "first step internet"
      This will return sites that contain this exact phrase.
    Boolean Search:
      First AND Step AND Internet NOT Bank NOT Construction NOT Microsoft
      this allows for refinement of a search to include certain keywords together, but also tells the search engine to exclude results that are not relevant.
Some of the most popular search engines available are: