The internet is a giant library of information. On the internet you can keep in touch with friends and family, read the news, follow your hobbies, watch your favourite TV programmes, shop, compare prices, pay bills and much, much more.
What is the internet?
The internet is a worldwide network of computers all connected to each other by telephone lines, cables and satellites.
Using a web browser
The information on the internet is contained in websites and on webpages. To connect to the internet you need an 'Internet Service Provider' or 'ISP'.
Your mobile company, home phone, cable television provider or even your local supermarket chain can offer you an internet connection.
A broadband internet connection allows you to access the internet.
A web browser is simply a way of being able to view web pages. All web browsers have similar features. You can normally open your web browser from a shortcut on your desktop. Two of the most popular browsers are 'Internet Explorer' and 'Mozilla Firefox'.
At the top of the web browser you will find the address bar. To go to a website you need to type the name of the website. If there is already an address in the address bar, click on it to highlight it and start to type. The new address will start to appear.
Every website has an address, which is also called a 'URL'.
For example, the URL for the nidirect and BBC websites are:
The 'www' stands for World Wide Web. Most websites have this at the beginning.