Commonly Used Internet Terms

Web Browser
Usually just 'Browser'; The software used to navigate the World Wide Web. Browsers let you view Web pages by translating the languages used to build the page. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the most popular browsers on the market today. You can download free copies of both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

As in: 'What Web browser are you using?' or 'To navigate the Web you need a browser.'

Related Terms: Restore, Internet Explorer (IE), Navigation Bar, Plug-in, Refresh or Reload

Also referred to as 'link.' An element on a Web page or email that is 'hot', so to speak. This is normally indicated by text being underlined and colored. The cursor often changes to a hand when passes over a linked element, indication it is hot and clicking on it takes you to another Web page or Web Site. Both text and graphics can be Hyperlinks.

As in: 'Click on any of the links on this page to automatically go to that Web page.'

Related Terms: Meta tag, Offline, Boolean, Web Site, TCP/IP

(1) The metaphor, based on the idea of a physical desktop, describing a computer's file system. Parts of the desktop include icons, files, and folders. You can put files inside folders and access them through icons. (2) The main background screen on your computer where icons sit and which windows open on.

As in: 'I put Netscape Navigator icon on my desktop so it's easy to find, since I use it every day.'

Related Terms: Start Menu, Drag and Drop, Cursor, Wallpaper, Pop-up Window, ScreenS aver, Megabyte

Uniform Resource Locator. The address used to identify the location of Web sites, Web pages, and other resource on the World Wide Web. Usually written in all lowercase. The URL for ThirdAge is
As in: 'What's the URL for Microsoft?'

Related Terms: bps, Alphanumeric Code, Bulletin

Also called the Net. A global system that links small networks of computers together. The Internet is the collection of computers, software, and cables that allows any computer in the world to communicate with other computers in the world.

As in: 'I use the Internet to chat with my friends.'

Related Terms: Usenet, Boolean, TCP/IP, Image map, WWW

To transfer a file from the Internet to your computer. A file that can be transferred from an Internet site to your computer.

As in: 'I downloaded four pieces of holiday clip art yesterday.' or 'ThirdAge has some great free downloads on their site.'

Related Terms: BBS, Kbps, Cookie, FAQ, Homepage

A picture or image. They are usually in one of two formats on the Web: 1) GIF: particularly good for text, art, cartoons, and line drawings (things with a limited number of contiguous colors) 2) JPEG: good for photos or images which have subtle gradations of millions of colors.

As in: 'I like Web sites with graphics, but sometimes they're slow to load.'

Related Terms: JPEG, Pixel, Multimedia, Scan, Clip Art

Web Site
A place on the Internet that's run by an individual like yourself, or one organization, whether it be a company like ThirdAge or an organization like the Sierra Club. Web sites have a home page (the entry page to the site) and typically include multiple Web pages. All have unique IDs or URL's.

As in: 'I created a Web site for my whole family:'

Related Terms: TCP/IP, Dial-up, Kbps, FTP, Link.

Hyper Test Markup Language. The language used to create Web pages. HTML ia a collection of tags or codes you put in a document to create a Web page. The tags do everything from formatting text (boldface, font size, etc.) to creating links to other Web pages. HTML document scan be seen on any computer that has a Web browser regardless of the computer they are created on.

Related Terms: Dot, Online, Link, Cookie

A Web browser plug-in that enables your computer to run audio and video files.

As in: 'I just downloaded RealPlayer so I can see movies of Yellowstone National Park.'

Related Terms: Status Bar, Links page, Browser, Navigation Bar, Refresh or Reload

*There are many web sites that list definitions for internet terminology. The search terms and related terms used in these examples were accessed from: