If you're about to tackle the Internet, you should know these key terms and tools:

Browser: A software package that allows you to access the Web.

FAQ (frequently asked questions): A list of common questions and answers for a newsgroup or Web site.

FTP (file transfer protocol): A method of transferring files among computers on the Internet. It allows you to download a file from, say, the Library of Congress to your computer.

Mailing lists (or Listservs): Discussion groups that are open only to those who "subscribe" to the main address. When one subscriber posts an e-mail message, it gets routed to the entire mailing list.

Newsgroup: Any collection of posted messages on a specific topic found in Usenet. Newsgroups are also known as online discussion groups.

Search engine: A Web site, such as Yahoo!, Lycos, or Hotbot, that helps users locate information on the Internet.

Usenet: The large collection of newsgroups on the Internet.

World Wide Web: Often confused with the Internet, the Web is only one section of the online universe. The Web is a collection of graphics-intensive "sites" and an increasingly popular place to do business on the Internet.