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Internet Basics: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The Top Torrent Sites of 2015 - Reader...
The world of P2P file sharing is changing. Bittorrent file sharing is progressively becoming more restricted by both governments and by civil litigation pressure of distributors seeking to protect their copyright interests. Good torrent sites are being torn down weekly, but a select few continue to survive and provide excellent service to their users. Here are several of those noteworthy sites.
Alternatives to Pirate Bay: The Best Torrent...
Torrent downloading, along with streaming movies and music, are the biggest activities on the Web by volume of data. So where do users go to find these torrent files to download? Our readers have given us their favorite suggestions for torrent sites, which we've compiled here...
The Most Useful Search Engines for Beginners,...
There are so many search engines out there! But do you really need 270 different tools to find what you need? About.com suggests that if you know the right handful of search engines, you won't miss out on good content. Here are 11 of the Absolute Best Search Engines of 2015
The Best Torrent Downloading Software, 2015
If you are looking to share files and download torrents from the Web, you're going to need a fast and reliable software client to do the job. Whether you're on a Mac, a PC, an Android tablet, or even a Linux box, here are torrent tool recommendations from the many readers at About.com...
The Very Best VPN Service Providers, 2015
There are many reasons to get a virtual private network connection: you might be a file downloader, you might want to unlock Netflix from other countries, you might need to do confidential work while using hotel or public wi-fi, or perhaps you are just a big fan of keeping your personal privacy. Whichever the case, About.com strongly recommends a few select VPN's for their speed, features, protection, and price...
Have You Ever Heard of a 'Meme'? What Are They?
You have undoubtedly experienced modern internet memes, but may not be aware of it. Perhaps you have been
The Best Hacker Movies of All Time
These movies are preposterous and do not depict what hacking truly involves. But at the same time, each of these stories is memorable in some way, either as fun escapist fiction, or speculative food for thought. If you are looking for a fun evening of digital adventure on Netflix, here are The Best 32 Hacker Movies of All Time, as voted on by a panel of opinionated judges...
How Torrent Downloading Works
Torrent sharing is the contemporary way to download music and movie files from the Internet. More popular than Kazaa and eDonkey, bittorrent sharing is actually quite easy to learn. Here is a 10-minute tutorial on using bittorrents.
What's the Difference Between DVD+R and DVD-R?
There is a difference between DVD+R and DVD-R media, and this article explains how. Brought to you by your About Guide to Internet for Beginners.
What is a Domain Name?
Web addressing can be so confusing. There are domain names vs. ip addresses vs. URL's, and no one has explained them to you. Don't fear, friends, About.com is here to help you understand this topic...
Everything You Need to Know about Emoticons and...
Emoticons are modern day hieroglyphs. These. Page 5.
FTW: What Does This Common Internet Expression...
You see this peculiar expression often on the Internet, but what does it mean? Learn more about this common Internet phrase here.
Epic Fail! and Other Internet Memes We Love
Here they are: the Greatest Internet Memes, distinguished by popularity over the last 15 years on the Web...
Wondering What HMU means? Find Out Now
You see the expression. Internet for Beginners.
What Does PMSL Mean?
You see the expression 'PMSL' in online conversations. But what exactly does PMSL mean? About.com explains...
Text Talk: a List of Thumb Typing Abbreviations
Love it or hate it, English and other languages have sprouted a sub-culture of jargon and language shortcuts! These thumb-friendly contractions are both dumb and brilliant, depending on how you look at them. About.com explains the most common text talk abbreviations here...
The Most Common Tricks that Digital Con Men Use
The 10 nastiest Internet scams and con games of 2014. See examples and explanations here...
What Exactly Does 'Keep Calm and Chive On' Mean?
KCCO is a relatively new pop culture reference on the Web. It has spawned from the cult following of readers at TheChive blog site. About.com explains KCCO here...
Wondering What "TMI" Means? Here's the Answer
You see this peculiar. Internet Basics.
What Does 'OP' Stand for in Discussion Forums?
You've seen the expression 'OP' used in an online forum? What exactly does OP stand for? About.com explains this curious OP abbreviation here...
So, You Want to See Some Strong Passwords?
A good password is a balance: it must be easy enough to remember, but complex enough to resist guessing by hacker software programs. Here are several examples of how a few simple characters and numbers can achieve this...
A Quick Beginner's Guide to Using Paypal Features
A beginner's tutorial explaining PayPal.com, how it works, and why millions of people use PayPal to make online purchases.
Try Google Earth: a Magnificent Satellite View...
An introduction to one of the most impressive Google products today: searchable satellite photos of the planet.
What is Groupon and How Does it Work?
Groupon is a new, and very popular, deal-of-the-day service. Groupon represents thousands of restaurants, stores, and services in North American cities, and offers discounts to subscribers. About.com explains more about Groupon here...
What Does "LOL" Mean?
You see the expression 'LOL' in online conversations. But what exactly does LOL mean? About.com explains...
Downloading 101: How Torrent File Sharing Works
After streaming media, torrent downloading is the most popular form of internet use (as measured by sheer volume of data). If you want to try torrent downloading, here are the essentials of getting started as a torrent P2P user...
30 Internet Terms You Should Know
Whether you are brand new to using the Web and the Internet, or you've been using both for years: here are 30 important terms that are absolutely worth learning.
What Is the Difference Between the Internet and...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
Why You Should be Using a VPN
A VPN virtual private network does wonders for protecting your privacy and your identity credentials. And the cost for a VPN is only 10 to 15 dollars per month in most cases. About.com recommends considering the following VPN's for personal protection use...
Don't Get Fooled - Simple Ways to Spot a Fake...
There are always bad people who will abuse and deceive others in any system. In the case of P2P file sharing, abusive users will try to spread viruses or attempt to bilk others of cash by spreading fake torrents. Here are some tips on how to spot these fake torrent files before you download them and their embedded viruses.
What Exactly Does '.com' Stand For?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
What's Twitter and What Does Tweeting Mean?
Is 'tweeting' a form of instant messaging? Is it news reporting? Is it advertising? Why is Twitter so popular with celebrities and businesses? About.com answers these questions and explains Twitter here...
How Smart People Research on the Web
10 seconds with Google is NOT proper research. Nor is quoting wikipedia when you claim that oil spills cause cancer. True Internet research involves research techniques and a critical thinking mindset. Here is how intelligent people research online...
Where to Find the Best Internet Radio of 2014
If you have highspeed internet, then definitely consider these reader favorite radio stations online. About.com lists the top Internet radio stations of 2013 here...
Why the Internet Can Sometimes Be Slow
Your ISP claims that you will get 8 megabits per second Internet download speed. But your computer seems really slow to open Web pages. Why is that? Are there some technical problems that can be fixed by a casual user? About.com explains common Internet speed problems here...
What Does "TBH" Stand For?
You see the curious expression 'TBH' in an instant message. What exactly does TBH stand for? About.com explains here...
Wondering What a Codec Is or How to Use It?...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >February, 2015
How to Download YouTube Movies
Do you want to save a good YouTube movie? You will need to use special websites to save YouTube videos. About.com explains how here...
What Does NSFW Mean?
It means 'not safe for work' or 'not safe to be viewed at work'.
The Stickiest, Clickiest, Most Addictive Sites...
Here they are: the most infectious and addictive websites of 2014. Photo blogs, online confessions, animals being cute for the camera, sarcasm and cynicism, bizarre news... there is something for everyone on this list of mesmerizing websites. Don't click here unless you have at least 30 minutes to spare...
A Quick Guide to Port Forwarding and How to Use...
You hear about 'port forwarding' as a way to improve your download and game speeds, but what exactly is port forwarding? About.com explains how port forwards work, and where you can get information on configuring your own computer ports...
What Does TTYL Stand For?
You see the expression 'TTYL' in online conversations. But what exactly does TTYLmean? About.com explains...
A Beginner's Guide to Torrent File Sharing
Torrent downloading is the most popular form of internet use today (as measured by sheer volume of data). If you want to try torrent downloading, here are the essentials of getting started as a torrent P2P user...
What Does 'ROFL' Mean?
You see the expression 'ROFL ' in online conversations. But what exactly does ROFL mean? About.com explains...
How to Make a Killer Password
Has no one ever explained to you the secrets to a strong password? These 5 steps will dramatically improve your password strength. It works like this...
Is 'KK' an Online Swear Word?
You see this peculiar expression in online games or in instant messages. But what exactly does it mean?
What Does the Online Term FLBP Mean?
FLBP is a pop culture expression used to describe chesty women. It is an expression made popular by The Chive community online. About.com explains FLBP here...
Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Make You Look Pro
If something is repetitive, then you want to automate it! Daily web surfing and email has many repetitive motions, so definitely consider some of these keyboard shortcuts... these commands will make regular web browsing smoother and faster!
All About.com Guides to Internet Terms and...
The world of internet conversation and text abbreviations: HMU, ROFLMAO, BISLY, RTFM, IMHO... what does it all mean? About.com has an exhaustive glossary of internet jargon and abbreviation terms here.
What Is 'Trolling'?
You've seen this expression in online discussion forums, but you are uncertain what it means. What exactly is 'trolling'?
What High Speed Internet Choices are Available...
What Broadband Internet Choices Are Available in 2013?
Internet Trolls: How They Effect You and Tips...
You've seen this expression in online discussion forums, but you are uncertain what it means. What exactly is a forum 'troll'?
How Is Megabit Different From Megabyte?
You will often hear the expression 'megabits-per-second' when talking internet connections. But what exactly is a 'megabit'? About.com explains megabits and megabits-per-second here...
Everything You Need to Know to Start Using the...
Welcome to the exciting world of the Internet and World Wide Web! While there's no owner's manual available for Internet beginners, there is this Quick Reference 'Cheat Sheet' for learning the Net and the Web. If you want to participate online with more confidence, then pull up a chair and join us here at About.com...
What Is the Difference Between Email, IM,...
Has no one explained the difference to you? Try this short but informative explanation: Email vs. Instant Messaging vs. Discussion Forums vs. Chat
Did You Know That "Yahoo" Actually Stands for...
The famous name of Yahoo. Internet Basics.
What Are 'Hyperlinks'? How Do Hyperlinks Work?
If you are new to the Web and the Internet, then hyperlinks are definitely a must-know. Hyperlinks are the heart of the World Wide Web, and work by 'jumping' you to other web pages. About.com explains hyperlinks here...
Wondering What "SaaS' Is? Here's the Answer
You will hear the expression, 'SaaS', more and more. As the 21st Century marches on, there are going to be fundamental changes to how people use their computers, and SaaS/cloud computing is destined to be part of that. About.com explains more here...
Wondering What a URL Is or How It Works? Here's...
Tutorial: Anatomy of an Internet URL, an explanation for beginning users.
What 'TELNET' Is and What It Does
You've heard the expression 'telnet' in conversation at the office. You've even seen it mentioned on the Web. But what exactly is telnet, and what does it do? About.com explains telnet here...
Wondering if an IP Address Is the Same as a...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
What Does 'RSS' Stand For?
Also known as. Internet Basics.
What Is 'WBU'? What Does WBU Mean?
You see the expression 'wbu' in online conversations. But what exactly does wbu mean? About.com explains...
What Is 'YOLO'? What Does '#YOLO' Mean?
You've likely seen 'YOLO' or '#YOLO' on Facebook pages, Reddit links, and meme photos. This modern expression is the new way to say 'carpe diem!' About.com explains more about YOLO here...
What's an IP Address?
You hear the expression 'IP address' more and more on television and in movies. Yes, your computer has an IP address, your phone has an IP address. Even Coke machines have IP addresses. But what exactly is an 'IP address'? About.com explains here...
How Do I Remove My Browser Internet Cookies?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: How
An Easy Guide to Mumble Music Streaming
Gamers and Ventrilo users: here is Step 7 of the visual instructions on how to play music in Ventrilo using one Windows 7 / Vista / XP computer.
What Does 'Ermahgerd' Mean'?
You've likely seen 'ermahgerd', or its abbreviated 'gerd' on Facebook pages, Reddit links, or lolcat photos. This modern derogatory expression has come about as both a meme and a verbal expression of 'stupdity'. About.com explains ermahgerd here...
How to Configure Your Computer to Play Music in...
Gamers and Teamspeak 3 Users: here is the visual step-by-step instructions on how to play music in Teamspeak 3 using a single Windows 7 / Vista / XP computer. Page 6.
Typing Tutor Software Review
Manufacturer's Site If you are a slower "hunt and peck" typist, then "Ten Thumbs" software could be your
Here's What 'LOLZ' Means (Internet Acronyms)
You see the expression 'LOLZ' in online conversations. But what exactly does LOLZ mean? About.com explains...
What Is 'SSL' and What Does SSL Do for Me on...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
What Is 'DNS'? (What Is Internet Domain Name...
Internet 'Domain Name System' rules can be confusing at first, but the root concept is very simple: establish clear rules on how to name website addresses. About.com explains DNS and domain names here...
How to Avoid Being Tracked While You're Online
The RIAA and other digital investigators can trace people's computers. Even worse, outside of North America, oppressive non-democratic countries will eavesdrop on web surfers. This eavesdropping affects anyone online who desires privacy: people in government-oppressed countries, people who participate in chats on abuse or political conscience, whistleblowers and their journalistic contacts, and workers in politically volatile countries. Here is one way you can maintain your privacy...
Here's What 'Jump the Shark' Means
What is 'Jump the Shark'? What does it mean to have 'jumped the shark'?
How Does a Computer 'Cache' Really Work?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: "Cache"
Wondering What "Plugins" Are? Here's the...
A plain web browser just doesn't cut it. In order to fully participate in web culture, you'll need plug-ins to view pdf files, run online animation, view movies at YouTube, play online games, and play music. About.com lists the Top 12 Plug-Ins for modern web users...
The 31 Most Addictive Websites of 2013
Here they are: the most infectious and addictive websites of 2013. Photo blogs, online confessions, animals being cute for the camera, sarcasm and cynicism, bizarre news... there is something for everyone on this list of mesmerizing websites. Don't click here unless you have at least 30 minutes to spare...
What Is 'ASCII Art'? How Do I Make ASCII Art?
You've seen these bizarre images made of text characters. Some ASII art is absolutely stunning and complex. How do people make ASCII art?
Wondering What "Proc" or "Proccing" Is? Here's...
The term 'proc' is both a gamer noun and a gamer verb. It describes random events in computer gaming. While it's exact meaning is debated, many computer programmers believe that 'proc' stands for 'Programmed Random OCcurrence'. About.com explains proc here...
Want to Know What "TDLR" Means? Here's the Answer
You see this peculiar expression,
A Beginner's Guide to Web Surfing on an Android...
Congratulations on your new Android tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich operating system? There is much ahead to learn, but the basics won't take very long. About.com has assembled a quick reference guide to getting started with your new Android tablet. Click here for more...
What Is 'BFF'? What Does BFF Stand For?
Your instant messaging and email friends regularly use the strange abbreviation
What Is 'Haters Gonna Hate'?
'Haters gonna hate' is a popular online expression to show individuality and resolve in the face of other people's hateful comments. It is a common caption for memes of people and animals performing strutting and other publicly-contentious stunts.
What Is Internet 'Streaming'? Is It Like...
You've been told to visit a 'streaming' website to get your music or your Microsoft Office 2013. But what exactly is 'streaming', and how is it different from downloading? About.com explains how streaming works here...
What Is 'AFK'? What Does AFK Mean?
You see the expression 'AFK' in online conversations. But what exactly does AFK mean? About.com explains...
What Is 'YMMV'? What Does YMMV Mean?
You will see this acronym both in uppercase YMMV and lowercase ymmv form, both meaning the same thing.
Tip: How to Fast-Switch to Your Windows Desktop
Have you ever wanted to switch to your Windows desktop quickly? Minimize all those windows at once so you can get to My Computer or the Recycle Bin? About.com explains how you can do that in one keystroke...
What Is IPv4? IPv6? Why Is This Important?
Perhaps you've read the IPv4 is 'running out of addresses', and that something called 'IPv6' is going to solve the problem. This is indeed the case, and About.com explains why here...
Here's What 'WTF' Actually Means (Internet...
You see the expression 'WTF' used in instant messaging, chat, and even email. But what exactly does WTF stand for? About.com explains.
What Is 'BRT'? What Does BRT Stand For?
BRT is an expression that often occurs amongst users who regularly chat online. About.com explains BRT here...
The Top 5 Anti-Spyware Programs
Here they are: The Best Anti Spyware Tools! There are some old friends here, but a couple of new players have joined the fray and set a new standard in the War on Malware. Read more here...
Download and Install Google Earth Software
Download and install one of the most impressive Google products today: searchable satellite photos of the planet. Page 2.
Spyware - Malware 101: Understanding the Secret...
Spyware is the greatest threat facing Internet users today. Combining the infestation qualities of viruses, with the twisted genius of purposeful programming, these rogue
GroupMe: Text Messaging for Groups - a Review...
While it's not very sophisticated, GroupMe text messaging is extremely useful. Like a high-velocity discussion forum, GroupMe connects friends, sports clubs, and small organizations through shared text messaging. About.com reviews GroupMe here...
What a 'ZIP' Files Are and How to Use Them
Are you new to zip files and Winzip software? About.com explains how zip files work, and how to send and receive these compressed archives...
Want to Know What Cloud Computing Is? Here's...
You will hear the expression, Internet Basics.
Why Anti-Virus is Important to Understand
Glossary definition of the term. Internet Basics.
What Is the 'Invisible Web'?
90% of the Internet is 'invisible' to search engines. As of August 2013, over 450 billion estimated web pages are hidden from Google and Yahoo and Ask.com. Oddly, this invisible content is the most interesting part of the Internet. Here is the explanation...
Cyberstalking: Now More Common Than In-Person...
Cyberstalking is now more common than physical harassment. Using smartphones, text messages, sexting, Facebook, and online forums, cyberstalkers will find you, surveil you, harass you, and seek to victimize you criminally. About.com explains how cyberstalking works, and what you can do about it...
The Best Guilty Pleasure Websites, 2015
Here they are: the best guilty pleasure websites of 2015. Photo blogs, online confessions, animals being cute for the camera, sarcasm and cynicism, bizarre news... there is something for everyone on this list of mesmerizing websites. Don't click here unless you have at least 30 minutes to spare...
What Is 'Web 2.0'?
Web 2.0 is a techno-culture term that was coined in 2004 at an O'Reilly Media conference to describe the Web's evolution into an online service provider.
Make Firefox Faster with this Easy Tweak
If you can follow some simple hacking instructions, here are three tips to get Firefox 1.0.x performing faster for you, regardless of your bandwidth...
Here's What 'PWNED' and 'PWNAGE' Mean
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
Review: Why Gmail Is Good and Bad
Gmail has arguably been the king of free webmail. But is it losing its crown to the new Microsoft Outlook.com service? About.com reviews Gmail here, and describes how it stacks up as a modern webmail service.
Is the Internet the Same as the Web?
What Is the 'Internet'? Internet Basics.
4 Ways Spammers Are Getting Your Email Address
Have you ever wondered how spam solicitors find your email address? About.com explains how...
Bitcoins: What's the Big Deal?
Bitcoin digital currency has been around since late 2008. In 2014, this currency is getting more and more respect from the masses as it has proven itself as a viable form of personal wealth. About.com explains more on bitcoins and how they work...
QFT 'Quoted for Truth': What Does the 'QFT'...
You see this peculiar expression,
What 'NWT' and 'NWOT' Stand for on Ebay
'NWT' is 'new with tags'. 'NWOT' is 'new without tags'. These are common abbreviation for eBay sellers. About.com explains NWT and NWOT here...
What Is 'ROFLMAO'? What Does ROFLMAO Mean?
You see the expression 'ROFLMAO' in online conversations. But what exactly does ROFLMAO mean? About.com explains...
Why Use a VPN? Here Are 10 Good Reasons...
Encrypting your web connection by using a VPN service is extremely useful. A VPN enables you to break out of restrictive networks, hide your content from
What Phishing and Email Scams Look Like
February, 2014 Here they are, revealed: the phishing con games of the Internet. They prey on ignorance,
Why Does My Internet Disconnect?
You have a fancy highspeed connection, but you keep going offline suddenly. Why does this happen? About.com helps to explain and troubleshoot Internet disconnection problems here...
The Biggest Mistakes of a Newbie eBayer
Are you still new to the eBay universe? Are you self-taught, and still working on getting your feedback into the triple digits? If so, perhaps you have committed one of these 10 tragic mistakes. About.com tells us more about the Top Mistakes of eBay Beginners...
What Is a Computer 'Protocol'? How Do Protocols...
You see 'http://' and 'ftp://' in Web page addresses. What are these 'protocols'? How do they affect me? About.com answers these questions here...
Here's What '1337' Leet Is
What exactly does '1337 leet mean?
What Is 'DAR'? What Does DAR Stand For?
DAR is an acronym for 'Daily Afternoon Randomness', a term popularized by TheChive photo blog site. While there are other meanings for this phrase, DAR is commonly used to describe collections of interesting photos and curious news. About.com explains more about DAR here...
What Is 'ASL'? What Does the Expression ASL Mean?
You see the expression 'A/S/L' and 'a/s/l' in online conversations. But what exactly does A/S/L mean? About.com explains...
What Does 'Props' Mean?
You see the expression 'props' in online conversations. But what exactly does props mean? About.com explains...
What Is a 'CAPTCHA' Test? How Do CAPTCHAs Work?
All of us have to deal with CAPTCHA tests online at some time. This is when the web page tries to test that you are a person and not a computer, filling out the online form. CAPTCHAs use scrambled letter photos that require you to type the characters. About.com explains CATCHAs here...
How to Start Using eBay (Part 1)
The world of eBay is both very useful and very vibrant: the range of new and used consumer products is absolutely staggering. To help you navigate the eBay landscape, About.com has developed a quick reference eBay guide. Here is your primer on becoming a new buyer or seller on eBay...
eBay: Do's and Don'ts for Beginning eBayers, 2014
(November, 2014: special thanks to guest eBay author, Joanna Gil, for this list. This is part of the
Hacking 101: What Is 'Brute Force' Hacking?
The fundamental password hacker attack is the 'brute force' method. By using manual or automated means, the offending hacker will try to guess your password by rotating through dozens, perhaps hundreds and even thousands, of password variations. About.com explains brute force attacking here...
What Is 'NIMBY'? What Does This Acronym Mean?
You see the expression 'NIMBY' in a discussion forum online, and you see that the topic is a heated debate. But what exactly does NIMBY stand for? About.com explains NIMBY here...
Need to Unzip a File? Here's How, Plus Tips on...
Zip Files: How to Unzip Them With the Right Software. A beginner's explanation of Zip file archives, WinZip software, and how it all works.
Websites That Will Make You Smarter
The Web is good for at least one thing: a vehicle for transferring useful knowledge between people. If you are interested in improving your knowledge of the world and yourself, then you'll enjoy this list. Here are websites that are guaranteed to make you smarter...
How to Open Links in New Windows
Here is a tip that is guaranteed to be useful to all users: how to view multiple web pages side-by-side on your single or double monitor. Using IE8 and some simple keystrokes, multiple browsing windows are very easy to do!
What Is 'DRM'? Why Is DRM So Controversial with...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
Bizarre Facts About the World Wide Web, 2015
2015: the World Wide Web and Internet are even more bizarre than ever! Here is a collection of mesmerizing facts around the digital world that pervades our computer lives...
What Is a 'Computer Virus'?
An Internet FAQ: what exactly are viruses, and what does a user need to know about them?

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