As a very quick and short overview: the internet is a worldwide network of information and data. This network permits you to access to other computers that have made themselves accessible. These are called hosts, or host computers, and they store, or contain the web site pages just like our own.
1 Internet services
If you arrived here, you probably know how to access the internet. To recap., you connect to the internet via an Internet Service Provider, or (ISP).
There are several methods of access. The first and probably still the most used connection type in the world is a dial up connection. The connection is established through your computer's modem (a type of telephone dialler). This is a basic connection that does not offer very much speed, especially when transferring larger files such as pictures etc.
Nowadays, people want more speed (greater bandwidth), and for this they turn to CABLE, or DSL and in some very new neighbourhoods via optical cable. Other options which are more practical in remote areas are through satellite connections.
Your computer connects to and is able to see the internet through a browser. Standard deliveries of Windows (which encompass all versions such as 95, 98, Me, XP Vista etc.) automatically come with the Microsoft browser called Internet Explorer (IE). The European versions of Windows now come without IE pre installed due to anti competitive lawsuits in Europe. Edge can now be downloaded from Microsoft here. There are other browsers such as FireFox, Opera, Safari etc....
An email client is a program that is used to retrieve the emails that are on your internet service provider. Standard deliveries of windows up to and including XP (95, 98, Me, XP) automatically come with Outlook Express. With Windows Vista, Microsoft included a new program called Windows Mail. This works just like Outlook Express, except that an e-mail filter, as well as protection against phishing messages was added. Other email clients would be the Outlook program that comes with the Microsoft Office suite, or Mozilla's Thunderbird. There are many more clients available on the market, and you can compare them all here.
In the index to the left, we explain how to set up an Out of Office automatic reply.