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.

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A blogroll is a listing of other blogs that you either subscribe to or that you recommend. Learn what a blogroll is in this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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?

By Jane McGrath

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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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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.

By Sara Cheshire

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?

By Josh Briggs

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

By Stephanie Crawford

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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?

By Chris Pollette

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?

By John Fuller

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

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Jonathan Strickland

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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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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.

By Jessika Toothman

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

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Jonathan Strickland

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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.

By Jonathan Strickland

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?

By John Fuller

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Dave Roos

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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.

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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.

By Jonathan Strickland

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?

By Ed Grabianowski

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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.

By Julia Layton, Jonathan Strickland & Charles W. Bryant

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.

By Jonathan Strickland