Saturday, 6th June 2020
Computers & The Internet Article

This Month's Magazine

Internet FAQs for the inexperienced surfer

What to do to get connected to the Internet and the answer to some frequent questions.

Internet FAQs for the inexperienced surfer

      Many people are connected to the Internet and millions more are caught in the rush to get 'On-Line'. What modem to utilise, how to use a browser and to 'surf the net ' can all seem daunting when you first 'log-on'. To help you find the information you want from the internet, we have composed a list of questions and answers about modems, browsers and surfing.

Connecting to the Internet.

Q. What sort of modem should I use?

A. The modem you should use would preferably be the fastest so that the information you require can be brought to you a lot quicker. There are many types of modems and the majority these days are built into your computer.

     To connect you to the 'net', Analogue lines run off your telephone lines, (this was the first type of connection used).

     ISDN is what the majority of people now use for a standard connection; this is a digital line that runs up to 20 times faster than the standard analogue line.

     ADSL is the latest development in Internet connection and runs over 100 times faster than the standard analogue line.

Q. Why is the internet slow sometimes and fast at other times?

A. The Internet is world wide and like a greatly improved telephone switch board it follows the principle that the more users there are, the slower the operator can connect them. If you live in Europe you will find that the Internet is at its fastest during the hours of 10am to 4pm. During this time period, America is usually fast asleep so the telephone lines and servers are not blocked up. After 4pm about 50 million Americans log on to check their e-mails and work over the net, so everything slows down.

Q. What does a browser do?

A. A web browser is the software you use to gain access to the graphical portion of the World Wide Web. Although various programs exist, the two that constitute nearly 99% of all browsers are the Netscape Navigator and the Microsoft Internet Explorer , which, without a doubt, are the two most advanced browsers available. All this is common knowledge but few people know how to get the most out of what is a truly useful piece of equipment.


Here is a list of a few of the more important features on a browser.

  • Back Button. Returns you to the page you previously visited.
  • Forward Button. Takes you forward to the page you just visited.
  • Reload/ Refresh. Reloads the page you are on, the reason for doing so is because some pages either do not down load fully the first time because the transfer of information was interrupted or the page you are on is one that is updated almost immediately such as live sports results.
  • Stop. Stops the loading of information on the page you are on. You will use this when a page is taking too long load up or you accidentally click on a link you do not want.
  • Search. Connects to the pages at Microsoft or Netscape that list a range of Internet directories and search tools.
  • Bookmarks and favourites. This is where you can store the addresses of all your favourite websites. Click on the Bookmark/ favourite and you have a list of options from that allow you to organise your life on the Internet.
  • History. If you click the down button on a Netscape browser you will get a list of the websites that you have visited recently so if you can't remember the site you were on it should be listed here. What gives Internet Explorer the advantage over Netscape is it has a history button that gives a detailed record of every single page on every site you have visited. Stored by folder you can find where you were on what day and at what time making it good for reference.
  • Status Bar. The status bar is where you can see information on the size of the download, if the host has been contacted and the speed and progress of the download .

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