Internet Basics

In Internet Basics, learn about the basic components of the World Wide Web and common tools that can make or break your Internet experience: search engines, Web browsers, RSS, spam and more.


Learn More / Page 2

How does the Internet work?

The Internet lets you transfer information around the world in seconds. But the pieces of your file may not all get there the same way. How does all that data get where it's supposed to go without getting lost?

How do you e-mail photos?

Sending pictures by e-mail should be a simple process no matter what e-mail service you use. How can you attach photos to your e-mail and be sure the message gets to your recipient?

What would happen if the Internet collapsed?

Now that the Internet has become such an important part of our everyday lives, it's hard to imagine what life would be like without it. Could the Internet collapse? What would happen if it did?

Popular Web Site Pictures

Sure, you consider yourself the king of the Interwebs, but we bet you aren’t familiar with all of the sites that made our gallery. Or are you? Guess there's only one way to find out.

How Microsoft Bing Works

As it lost ground to Google, Microsoft decided to do more than just upgrade Live Search. Instead it created Bing, a "decision engine." Can Bing be the new no. 1?

How Hulu Works

Missed your favorite TV show again? Never got around to installing that DVR? Thanks to the power of the Internet, you can go to and watch the shows you love -- and are never home to watch.

How Wolfram|Alpha Works

It's been called a Google killer, but Stephen Wolfram's computational knowledge engine doesn't work like Google. So what does it do, and does it live up to its hype?

Is it against the law to violate a Web site's terms of service?

If you've joined MySpace, Facebook or one of the Web's other communities, you've accepted their terms of service. If you break those terms, did you break the law?

What's new with Internet Explorer 8?

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 appeared only two years after its predecessor. What improvements are included in this next-generation Web browser?

How Online Reminder Services Work

Do you wallpaper your home or office with sticky notes? Perhaps an online reminder service would help you remember things and save paper, too.

10 Useful Google Tools

Google is the undisputed leader in searching the Web, but the company doesn't like resting on its laurels. What other products does the Internet behemoth offer?

What's the Difference Between the Internet and the World Wide Web?

Many people assume that the World Wide Web and the Internet are one and the same. But despite its size, the Web contains only a small fraction of the content on the Internet.

How Google Docs Works

Google Docs lets you work on word processing, spreadsheets and presentations from any Internet-enabled computer. Are you ready to toss your productivity software?

How the Google File System Works

Google wants to organize all the information on the Internet, but to store that data, the company created its own computer file system.

How Google Calendar Works

Paper planners are portable and reliable but inflexible. And if you leave yours on your desk at home, you're out of luck when you get to work.

How to Add a Video to YouTube

The evolution of dance, a laughing baby, Filipino inmates performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video: This is what we watch on YouTube. How did it get there?

Who owns the Internet?

The Internet is a giant system made up of smaller systems. If it's one thing, does it have one owner? Is there some person or entity that controls it?

How Video Sharing Works

Video sharing is one of the fastest growing mediums on the web. Learn more about video sharing in this article.

How AOL Mail Works

AOL Mail is a free Web-based e-mail service available from America Online. Learn more about AOL Mail and related topics in this article.

How did the Internet start?

The Internet is an integral part of our daily lives. How did we function before online shopping and bill pay? And what does the satellite Sputnik have to do with how the internet started?

How Mahalo Works

Mahalo is a new search engine that aims to give users a hassle-free experience. By relying on real, live people instead of complex algorithms, Mahalo produces relevant search results.

How Computer Addiction Works

Obsessively checking e-mail. Playing online games for 12 hours or more at a time. Placing more value on chat-room friends than real ones. Just what is computer addiction, and why do some doctors disagree over whether it exists at all?

How Google Earth Works

Online maps are great for people who get lost easily, and they're just plain fun for figuring out where stuff is. But Google Earth is no ordinary map.

How Streaming Video and Audio Work

Streaming video and audio has come a very long way since the mid-to-late 1990s, when streaming media suffered from poor quality and slow load times.

How Pop-up Blockers Work

It's happened to almost all of us at some point in our Web surfing experience -- you're visiting a new site when all of a sudden your screen begins to fill with boxes advertising goods and services. Enter the pop-up blocker.