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The web is a lot more than a bunch of pages pulled together. It is a sophisticated system of interconnected computers, held together and able to communicate with one another through a variety of technologies and standards.
Think you know how it all works? Take our quiz and find out.
Do you think you know Web basics? Find out by taking this quick quiz.
Time: 5 minutes
How did you do? If this quiz was hard, you’re in good company. Most people don’t fully understand how the Internet works, any more than they understand how their television works. But the more you know about how websites function, the easier it will be to navigate the increasingly large online world. Take a moment to view this quick animation, How the Web Works, and then visit our Surf the Web page to learn about the standards that make web browsing possible.
If you aced this quiz, feel proud. You understand web technology better than most. But a word of caution, once your friends find out, they’re going to expect you to fix all of their computer and Internet problems! We recommend you study the articles on our Master the Basics page, so you don’t disappoint them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much of this stuff do I really need to know?
You can get by without knowing most of it, but life online may be tough. Not knowing what a server is won’t keep you from enjoying the Internet, but don’t you feel smarter now that you do? You don’t need to understand how web addresses work if you plan on searching for anything you ever need, but from time to time it helps to be able to go directly to a website, and you’ll need to know URL standards to do that. On the other hand, if you don’t know how hyperlinks work, you’re going to have a very hard time getting from one page to another. And knowing what all these things are called just makes you sound cool. At least, we think so.
Do I need a server to create my own web page?
Every web page needs a server to run, but thankfully you don’t have to set up or maintain that server yourself. Instead, you need to find a good web hosting company that will host your website on one of its servers. There are many types of web hosts available, and the cost of hosting your own site varies from free to thousands of dollars a month. If you’re interested in launching your own website, visit our Publish Online page to find out how to get started.
Where do I find my history file?
Most web browsers either have a history icon or it can be selected from the menu or toolbar.
What are bookmarks?
All modern web browsers allow you to save links to websites you may want to return to. Some browsers call these saved links bookmarks, while others call them favorites. When you bookmark a website, your browser places it in a list of other sites you have saved. You can organize your favorites into easy-to-navigate folders and even have frequently accessed bookmarks appear directly on your main browser screen, in a toolbar. You can learn more about saving and managing website links in our Bookmarks and Favorites guide.
The easiest way to know if a link is safe is to stay on trusted websites, but that’s not always possible. So when you’re unsure whether or not you can trust a link, there are a couple of things you can do. First, make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software installed. Antivirus software can alert you if a website contains a virus or is trying to access your computer without your permission. Second, check the link before you click on it. When you hover your mouse over a link, the web address it is linked to should appear either next to your cursor or at the bottom of your browser window. This is a good way to ensure the link is taking you to the location it claims. To find more tips for safe Internet browsing, visit our Stay Safe page.
How can I tell if I mistyped a web address?
If you get an error when trying to get to a web page you typed into your address bar, the first thing you should do is make sure you entered a proper web address. If the address you entered was valid, next make sure you spelled the company’s name correctly. If you’re not sure, try searching for the company. If your spelling is close, most search engines will suggest the correct spelling for you. If the search engine lists the site you were trying to visit, click the link, rather than typing it in again. If you continue to get an error from the search engine’s link, chances are the site is temporarily down or has moved.