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Research Process: Basic Internet Terms

This tutorial aims to help develop effective library research skills and critical thinking skills in all courses at Prince George's Community College.

Basic Internet Terms


While every computer has its own unique address, every user using the Internet has a unique address called a domain. A domain recognizes one or more IP addresses. An example of a domain is and is part of the URL such as The standard top-level domains are:

  • com - Commercial business
  • edu - Educational institutions
  • gov - Government agencies
  • mil - Military
  • net - Networks organization
  • org - Organizations (nonprofit)

There are additional top-level domains that are now recognized on the Internet. They include:

  • aero - Air-transport industry
  • biz - Businesses
  • coop - Cooperatives
  • info - Unrestricted use
  • museum - museums
  • pro - Accountants, lawyers, physicians, and other professionals
  • tv - Television

Some countries use a sub-domain or geographical domain as part of their address. Fox example, an academic institution such as Oxford University in the United Kingdom can use An example of a URL with this domain is


A piece of software such as Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer that allows a computer to access and display documents, view pictures, hear sound, and view video clips from the World Wide Web.


Mail that's electronically transmitted by your computer. As opposed to snail mail, e-mail sends your messages instantaneously, anywhere in the world. It has the capability to send messages at any time and to anyone.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The standard method for downloading and uploading files over the Internet. With FTP, you can login to a server and transfer files (meaning you can "send" or "receive" files).


The first page that is viewed when the browser starts. It is also the page of a Web site that provides the introduction or content with links.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the set of rules by which Web pages are transferred across the Internet.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address

The Internet is composed of local, regional, national, and worldwide computer networks. Each computer on the Internet can be identified by a set of unique numbers that is called an internet protocol (IP) address. The IP address is composed of four different numbers separated by periods such as

Link or Hypertext Link

An underlined word(s), phrase(s), or graphics on a Web page that transports the reader to additional or related information on the Internet.


A terminal emulation protocol (or Internet program) used to connect a computer to a remote host or server. Telnet is one of the oldest Internet activities and is primarily used to access online databases or to read articles stored on university servers.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

An addressing scheme that is used on the Internet to locate resources and/or services on the World Wide Web. Basically the URL is the address of a computer file that has been put on a computer server to access the Internet. 

Web Page

A single hypertext file or a page that is part of a Web site.


A collection of World Wide Web pages or files.

The Basic Internet Terms are also available in a flashcard set. Follow the link to access them.