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The Anatomy of Internet URL's

Understanding Internet Addresses


Woman relaxing and using laptop in lounge.
Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Part 1) 18 Years of URLs, and Already There Are Billions.

In 1995, Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, implemented a standard of "URIs" (Uniform Resource Identifiers), sometimes called Universal Resource Identifiers. The name later changed to "URLs" for Uniform Resource Locators.

The intent was to take the idea of telephone numbers, and apply them to addressing millions of web pages and machines.

Today, an estimated 65 billion web pages and internet transmitters are addressed using URL names.

Here are six examples of the most-common URL appearances:

Example: http://www.whitehouse.gov
Example: https://www.nbnz.co.nz/login.asp
Example: http://forums.about.com/ab-guitar/messages/?msg=6198.1
Example: ftp://ftp.download.com/public
Example: telnet://freenet.ecn.ca
Example: gopher://

Cryptic? Perhaps, but outside of the strange acronyms, URLs are really no more cryptic than an international long-distance telephone number.

Let's take a closer look at several examples, where we will disassemble the URLs into their component parts...

Next Page...

Related: What Is an 'IP Address'?

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