Internet Technology

We look to the Internet for news, socializing, shopping, research and more. From HTML code to instant messaging, we'll break down what's really going on whenever you log on, send an e-mail, visit a popular Web site or post to a blog.

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What do you call the symbol used in e-mail addresses?

The funny little "a" with its tail circling back around it is probably one of the most commonly used symbols today. So it is truly amazing to learn that there is no official, universal name for it.

Why does my Web browser display some book-marked sites with a custom icon?

To make it easier to pick out a particular link from your list of favorites, Internet Explorer versions 5.0 and higher include custom bookmark icons for some sites. Learn how they do it and how these icons make your web surfing easier.

How Internet Search Engines Work

Internet search engines are special sites on the Web that help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various search engines work, but they all perform three basic tasks.

How Cable Modems Work

Learn how a cable modem works and see how dozens of television channels plus any Web site out there can flow over a single coaxial cable into your home.

How Web Pages Work

You can put anything you want on a Web page, from family pictures to business information, to your random thoughts and musings. Learn how to create, upload and promote your pages so they're available all over the world.

How Banner Ads Work

Banner ads generate a big part of the revenue for many Web sites. Learn how banner ads work, how much they cost and how much you might earn if you put them on your Web page.

How DSL Works

When you connect to the Internet, you might connect through a regular modem, a local-area network connection, a cable modem or a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection. DSL is a very high-speed connection that uses the same wires as a regular telephone line.

Where are all the Internet domain names registered and maintained?

One of the greatest things about the Internet is that nobody really owns it. It is a global collection of networks, both big and small, that connect together in many different ways to form the single entity that we know as "the Internet." How is this possible?

How does a T1 line work?

What's so special about a T1 line? It means the phone company has brought a fiber optic line into your office that can carry data at a rate of 1.544 megabits per second!

Why do some Web sites include www in the URL while others don't?

Once you spend a good deal of time on the Web, you start learning the language of internet addresses. Have you come across sites that use something in place of www? (Hint: you're on one now!)

If I want to create my own Web site, what do I have to do?

Are you ready to get your brilliant idea online and active? Here's the breakdown of what you'll need to do.

Why do some Web pages end in htm, html, asp, etc.?

While .html may be the most common file extension, what do the others mean? What about .htm, .asp or .php?

Why is it that some Web pages seem to trap me so I can't get out?

When you try to leave a Web site, either by using the Back button or by closing the browser window, the site reappears in a new window. Or maybe the site pops up in three or four new windows when you try to leave it. What's going on here?

How do I add applications to the task bar in Windows 98?

One of the funny things about the Graphical User Interface is that while the interface is graphical, the help files are textual. Learn how to overcome this dilemma.

How do large Web sites handle the load of millions of visitors a day?

How do large Web sites handle the load of millions of visitors a day? Learn about Domain Name Servers and load balancing switches.

What are the standard top-level domain names and who controls them?

"Howstuffworks.com" is a domain name. The com portion of the name is called the top-level domain name. See the other standard top-level names and who uses them.

What is an Internet cookie?

Cookies have, for some reason, gained a rather sinister image, but a cookie is just one or more pieces of information stored as text strings on your machine. Find out how they work and how they got their dangerous image.

Why are there so many broken links in search engines?

It's a frustration most of us encounter daily - the broken link. It's especially annoying when you're really looking forward to that page you expect to load! Find out what (besides human error) creates broken links.

How Domain Name Servers Work

When you type a URL into your Web browser's address bar, the correct page appears as if by magic (provided you typed it correctly). Is it the work of sorcery? Nope! Domain name servers are handling all the data behind the scenes.

How Modems Work

Much of the world still uses a standard modem to connect to the Internet. In this article, we'll start with the original 300-baud modems and progress all the way through to the ADSL configurations.

How ASPs Work

One of the most unique business models spawned by the Web is the Application Service Provider. Learn all about this innovative Internet-based software-publishing model.


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