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How the Web Works

The World Wide Web isn’t a particular place on the Internet, nor is it a particular computer or something that you can “log into.” Instead, the best way to describe the Web is as a service on the Internet. Using certain protocols, computers that are designated as Web server computers—because they’re connected to the Internet and run Web server software—can respond to requests from client computers running Web browser software.

Note

All a computer needs to be a Web server is an Internet connection and Web server software. In fact, such software is built into most modern operating systems—Windows, the Mac OS, and Unix all offer Web servers, sometimes as simpler “Web Sharing” solutions. The Web server sits on the Internet, waiting for Web browser applications (Netscape, Internet Explorer, and their ilk) to contact them and ask for documents. The server then responds by sending the document to the address specified by the Web browser.



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