The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW or 'web' for short) is the part of the internet that you can access using a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. It consists of a large number of web servers that host websites. Each website will normally consist of a number of web pages. A web page can contain text, images, video, animation and sound.

Accessing web pages

You can access a website or web page by typing its URL (Uniform Resource Locator) into the address bar of your browser. An example of a URL is http://www.bbc.co.uk.

URLs will have the format 'http' and a domain (such as .uk). What goes in between is arbitrary, but often has the term "www", eg http://www.bbc.co.uk, but it doesn’t have to, eg http://news.bbc.co.uk).

Https is the secure version of http. When you use https any data you send or receive from the web server is encrypted. For example, when banking online https is used to keep your account details safe.

Most sites have a page that links the user to the other main areas of the site. This is called the homepage.

Web pages are connected by hypertext links. When a link is clicked you will be taken to another page which could be on another server in any part of the world.

Demonstration of globally connected devices

What is an intranet?

An intranet is a network that works like the internet but is only available within a particular organisation, not to the public. An intranet may have web pages used to share company specific data within that company, such as internal telephone numbers or details of employee benefits.