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Internet Terms

This week: demystifying a few internet terms that are often confused and misused.


Internet Service Provider

This is the service you pay to bring the internet into your house. Service comes in by cable (Comcast), phone line (AT&T), or fiber optic (Verizon Fios) and plugs into a modem/router. (Modems and routers used to be two separate boxes but now they are together in one; it’s the box with all the flashing lights). You now have a unique wi-fi network in your house.

Web Browser 

This is how you get to the internet. Once you have internet service and a computer connected to the network (select your network name and enter your wi-fi password), use a web browser like Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox to access the internet. Where you go on the internet is up to you.

Home Page 

This is the page that opens when you first open your web browser. You can set your home page to any page you wish. Choose wisely; you will see it every time you open your browser. (Suggestions: front page news, sports, weather, financial info, email inbox, etc.). From your home page, you can go anywhere else on the internet.

Search Engine

This is your personal internet searching assistant. Type a few precise keywords into search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, or DuckDuckGo and choose from among the results provided.

The combination of choices from among each category is uniquely yours. You can pay Comcast for internet service, click Edge to get to the internet, set ESPN as your homepage, and search Google for the best ice cream in your neighborhood. Or you can pay AT&T for internet service, click Safari to access the internet, set SavannahNow as your homepage, and search Bing for the perfect pair of shoes. Or any other combination of the infinite possibilities.

Nice to have choices.