|For Beginners - What is the Web?|
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The internet is simply millions of computers connected by telephone lines. You can look at information on these computers, in webpages. You find webpages by following links or by entering a web address or by searching.
The amount of information on the web is extraordinary. You can look up bus or train times. You can read newspapers from around the world. You can find out information about health. You can find out about benefits. You can download entire books onto your computer. Most organisations have their own websites. Here are some of the best sites on the web and best websites in Cambridge. Or click on the coloured buttons on the left to explore what this website links to, and then try searching for your own.
However, the internet is more than just the web. You can send email . You can communicate in other ways. You can shop online.
The internet isn't owned by anyone or anything. No country or government currently controls what it contains or does (although some try to censor it). Most of what is on the internet costs nothing, (although some subscription services exist). You may have to pay ISP charges, or you can pay-as-you-go with an internet cafe, or use a free service such as the Cambridge Online public access points.
Remember that the information available on the internet is owned by the people who create it, and is subject to copyright laws. Although it is freely available to read, it is still someone else's property and should be treated as such.
Nobody polices the internet. Although the British government tries to enforce British law (such as consumer protection) on UK websites, it has no powers over websites elsewhere. Along with the many excellent, honest and useful websites, there is some illegal, misleading and occasionally disgusting material out there. You need to use your own judgement.
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