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Web Hosting - The Internet and How It Works
In one sense, detailing the statement in the title would require at least a book. In another sense, it can't be fully explained at all, since there's no central authority that designs or implements the highly distributed entity called The Internet.
But the basics can certainly be outlined, simply and briefly. And it's in the interest of any novice web site owner to have some idea of how their tree fits into that gigantic forest, full of complex paths, that is called the Internet.
The analogy to a forest is not far off. Every computer is a single plant, sometimes a little bush sometimes a mighty tree. A percentage, to be sure, are weeds we could do without. In networking terminology, the individual plants are called 'nodes' and each one has a domain name and IP address. Connecting those nodes are paths.
The Internet, taken in total, is just the collection of all those plants and the pieces that allow for their interconnections - all the nodes and the paths between them.
Servers and clients (desktop computers, laptops, PDAs, cell phones and more) make up the most visible parts of the Internet. They store information and programs that make the data accessible. But behind the scenes there are vitally important components - both hardware and software - that make the entire mesh possible and useful.
Though there's no single central authority, database, or computer that creates the World Wide Web, it's nonetheless true that not all computers are equal. There is a hierarchy. That hierarchy starts with a tree with many branches: the domain system.
Designators like .com, .net, .org, and so forth are familiar to everyone now. Those basic names are stored inside a relatively small number of specialized systems maintained by a few non-profit organizations. They form something called the TLD, the Top Level Domains. From there, company networks and others form what are called the Second Level Domains, such as Microsoft.com.
That's further sub-divided into www.Microsoft.com which is, technically, a sub-domain but is sometimes mis-named 'a host' or a domain. A host is the name for one specific computer. That host name may or may not be, for example, 'www' and usually isn't. The domain is the name without the 'www' in front. Finally, at the bottom of the pyramid, are the individual hosts (usually servers) that provide actual information and the means to share it.
Those hosts (along with other hardware and software that enable communication, such as routers) form a network. The set of all those networks taken together is the physical aspect of the Internet.
There are less obvious aspects, too, that are essential. When you click on a URL (Uniform Resource Locator, such as http://www.microsoft.com) on a web page, your browser sends a request through the Internet to connect and get data. That request, and the data that is returned from the request, is divided up into packets (chunks of data wrapped in routing and control information).
That's one of the reasons you will often see your web page getting painted on the screen one section at a time. When the packets take too long to get where they're supposed to go, that's a 'timeout'. Suppose you request a set of names that are stored in a database. Those names, let's suppose get stored in order. But the packets they get shoved into for delivery can arrive at your computer in any order. They're then reassembled and displayed.
All those packets can be directed to the proper place because they're associated with a specified IP address, a numeric identifier that designates a host (a computer that 'hosts' data). But those numbers are hard to remember and work with, so names are layered on top, the so-called domain names we started out discussing.
Imagine the postal system (the Internet). Each home (domain name) has an address (IP address). Those who live in them (programs) send and receive letters (packets). The letters contain news (database data, email messages, images) that's of interest to the residents.
The Internet is very much the same.
Check Download.com for the Best Free Security Software Around With viruses, spyware, adware and hackers threatening on every corner of the internet, it is essential that especially internet users protect their PCs as best as they can to not loose their files or even their whole PC. Buying security software at a local computer store can be very expensive, but protecting the PC does not necessarily have to cost private persons anything at all. Just by checking what for example download.com has available, computer users might be able to save as much as 50-100 Dollars and still be able to protect their PCs adequately. One part of the web page called antivirus, firewall and spyware offers different links to downloads from companies that help protect PCs from any harm. Most of the programs offered on the web page are free for download. Some of the programs are antivirus software, which generally will scan the PC according to your settings for example once a day. When the software finds a virus in any of the files on the PC it will put out a virus alarm in form of a message box. The PC users then have to decide in which way the PC should be cleaned. Some antivirus software will offer to delete the file, others save it in what is called a virus vault, where the virus cannot attack other files on the PC, while others clean the file if it is cleanable. Other programs offered on the page are firewalls. Firewalls protect the Pc from any attacks form the internet, such as hackers hacking into your PC, Trojan horses, viruses and more entering the PC is not possible, when a firewall is used and set to the proper security setting. Using a firewall is a good idea for any PC, but it is important to know that the way the firewall works it might also cause a few problems with software on the Pc that enters the Internet. Therefore firewalls need to be configured right to have a smooth running and protected PC. Many of the firewalls offered on this page are free for download, but generally most PCs have a built in firewall in their operating system that just needs to be activated or configured. The third major kind of protection software one can download form this website is spy or ad-aware detection. Spy and ad-aware are programs that are malicious for the PC user. These kind of malicious little programs are installed without the users proper knowledge and intercept or partially take control of the interactions of the PC with the internet without the users consent. Spywares do not just monitor the internet interactions, as the name suggests, it also collects personal information, can install additional software that will take over the control of the browser activity, accessing websites that will allow for example viruses to enter the PC. Spyware is also often called privacy-invasive software and something a PC as well as a user needs to be protected from. The download page does not only offer many of these programs for free, it will also offer patches and update files for these programs. Even though many of the companies offer the continuous automatic update to protect a PC from new viruses and other malware, some PC users prefer not to have an automatic update and download their own updates whenever they deem necessary. Whichever way one likes to update the PC, it is most important of all to know that PCs need to be protected and users do not need to spend tons of money in order to do so. Free programs available for download on download.com will give a PC similar protection and keep files and identity safe.
Check Volition.com for the Best Free Stuff Connections on the Web The web page itself states that it is ?the oldest free stuff site on the Internet?. In its design, it is very similar to very many of the free stuff pages on the web. Links and listings are used to guide free stuff and freebie seekers to their desired products. The site depends largely on visitors mailing in new links with freebies or suggesting new promotions. Similar to many other pages on the internet that offer free stuff, there is now guarantee and any offer that is accepted needs to be checked by the customer for validity. Internet fraud is a very real problem and especially in classified sections, internet fraud can trap many inexperienced and even experienced internet users. Volition offers one section, where users can sign up for movie prescreening tickets. These tickets are available for a list of participating cities for the newest movies on the market. Not any minor movies, the big Hollywood ones can be prescreened for free when signing up regularly for the ticket contest. The web page itself tries not to offer links and freebies that are commonly available on the Internet and tries this way to stand out form other free stuff online pages. The web page?s web master keeps the links up to date, but should a user experience any problems or find links that are not working any more it is important to let the web master of the page know. Only this way the page can stay up to date and as a good resource for anybody who is looking for free stuff. Another great section on volition is the section where users can find links to places that pay their visitors and signed up member?s money to participate in certain things. Users can get paid for participating in surveys, for e-mailing, for shopping, for Internet surfing and much more. Even if one is not really in need of money, these links are worth to be checked out, even just for fun. One great way to earn money is by shopping. Mystery shoppers are paid by big companies to do what most Americans like best, buy, buy and buy more products. To be able to check out this earning possibility the web page offers links and supportive advice from people that are just doing that. Classifieds are also part of the web page. This section offers products for sale. Anything from cars, to personal and regular buy/sell ads can be found in this section. Well worth checking out when somebody is looking to pay less on an item. For a whole different crowd, the web page also offers links for web design. Someone that is interested in having his or her own page can get started by visiting one of these useful links displayed on volition. These links offer anything from web design tutorials to free code and free gadgets for web pages. The links also direct users to places that offer free web space, where one can post the newly created homepage. Some people are more interested in advice form others or to interchange topics with others. For these people, volition offers a great variety of different forums with all kinds of topics. One big part gives advice and answers questions that are related to mystery shopping, other forums talk about games, entertainment and travel. Additionally the page offers links to interesting and fun pages. Pages that sell art supplies, pages that offer fun online games such as hangman and pages that offer other games and topics of interest. Whatever it is on might be seeking, it might be found on this free stuff online web site available to anyone.
Family Entertainment ? How to Get a Free Ticket for your Child Free tickets are not something that can be found very often, but every once in a while there is a company that offers a free ticket for your child. How about a free ticket to the circus? Almost all children love the circus and there will be that point in time when a child sees the circus come to town and wants nothing more than to go to one of the shows. Honestly, circus visits can break the monthly budget that was planned so carefully, not taking in account such activities. Well, the circus actually offers a free ticket to children of all ages, as long as that ticket has been requested within baby?s first year. On his or her own web page, the circus offers the ticket to anybody that signs up for it. As babies grow, many new things come along, baby will learn to crawl, baby will get the first teeth and at some point baby will be big enough to visit the circus. The First Circus program is for parents and their newborn up to twelve months that are living in the Unites States. All the parents have to do is to visit the circus own homepage and sign up for the program, to receive a free ticket voucher and a special personalized baby certificate. The certificate is printable online and the ticket voucher will be sent to the parent?s home address. The voucher can be exchanged for a free ticket to any of the participating circus performances, anytime, anywhere. The voucher does not have an expiration date. Unfortunately for parents that did not know about the program and whose children are older than twelve months there is only the possibility to receive a commemorative certificate and no free ticket. Therefore it is important for all parents to find out about this wonderful program that will help their child to their first circus experience without breaking the parent?s bank account. On the other hand, the circus visit is free for children under the age of two as long as they sit on an adults lap. By the way, if a child was adopted after the age of twelve months there is still a chance for a free ticket as long as the parent requests it as per direction on web page within the twelve months after adoption. In general the circus will only give a way one free voucher per family per year, but they will make exceptions for parents of multiples. Parents of multiples will have to check out the circus page and follow the directions given there. Since it is not possible to order more than one free voucher besides the few exceptions, every duplicate order that is done by parents after signing up for the first time will delay the original order for the free voucher. It might be also important to know that this free ticket is a very good deal, since children?s tickets have the same price as adult tickets for circus performances. Sometimes, in bigger cities there are special offers from bigger supermarket chains or other places, where a discount on tickets is given, but in general the circus itself does not offer any other discounts. Any parent should take advantage of this First Circus program, since it is not often that companies do give away tickets for free. Circus also has never lost its magical and still pulls the crowds and makes children gasp in astonishment or laugh out loud when seeing the circus clowns. How often do children nowadays have a chance to see elephants stand on their back feet, artists balancing on ropes or swinging and flying through the air and funny clowns fall over their own feet?