2.1: What is the internet? Level 3

  • Understanding how the internet works
  • Using a web browser
  • Browsing the internet

Understanding how the internet works

The internet is a worldwide network of computers all connected to each other by telephone lines, cables and satellites. It’s like a huge library of information. On the internet you can read the news, shop, pay bills, send emails, watch television programmes and more.

What is a Web Browser?

You view websites and webpages in a web browser, which you can normally open from a shortcut on your desktop. Two of the most popular browsers are Internet Explorer now called Edge, Firefox and Chrome.

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, and broadband. Your mobile phone company, home phone, cable television provider or even your local supermarket chain can offer you an internet connection

The Address Bar displays the address of the website you are on.

Every website has an address, which is also called a URL. For example, the URL for Tech With No Limits is: www.techwithnolimits.co.uk

  • The www stands for World Wide Web. Most websites have this at the beginning
  • The Tech With No Limits is the name of the website
  • The UK shows that the Tech With No Limits website is in the United Kingdom

All web browsers have similar features. At the top of the browser you will find an address bar.

To go to a website, you need to put an address into the address bar:

  • Click on the address bar with your cursor and type the web address you want to visit
  •  If there is already an address in the address bar, click on it to highlight it and type the new web address.
  • Press the Enter key to go to the website

To protect yourself when shopping online follow these tips:

  • Always make sure that you are on a secure site when you need to give credit or debit card details. There will often be a padlock symbol  either next to the address or at the bottom right corner of the page
  • PLEASE NOTE: A secure site will start with:  https:// The ‘s’ indicates that the site is secure


A web browser also has a toolbar. You use the toolbar buttons to move around websites and update webpages. Click the:

  • back button to go back to a page you have already visited
  • forward button to go to the page you were on before you pressed the back button
  • refresh button to reload or update a page you are on
  • history to access this hold down the left mouse button over the back button this will show you a list of sites you have been to
  • Tab button is if you want to keep your exiting page open but start another so you can compare them

Browsing the internet and using links

A website is like a book which has a front cover or home page, and lots of other pages, which are called webpages. To explore a website, you need to click on its links. This is called ‘browsing’ or ‘surfing’ the web. A link can:

  • take you to a web page in the website
  • take you to a different website
  • can be text, a button or an image

Links are highlighted and your cursor will change to a hand when it moves over one.

Bookmarking pages – This feature come in handy when you are trying to save a page to show a friend or if you want to come back to it later

To activate it Left click the star at the right-hand side of the Address bar this will display a menu

The star turns blue and this box appears
1) In the box labelled 1 you have a choice you can either leave the label as is and Move on to next box or you can enter a custom name for this page.
2) This is where you can choose your location to save your page You can choose from Bookmarks Bar, Other Bookmarks, you can choose the option Choose another folder this will bring up another box for you to create a new custom folder.
3) Click the Done button to save your bookmark.