Browsers, Search Engines, and TOR

I recently discovered a webcomic entitled Internet Explorer, which follows Internet Explorer in her quest to defeat Google Chrome (I disagree with her by the way). Tech companies, browsers, and search engines are all represented in the comic by anime characters. We have Internet Explorer, who later morphs into Edge, we have Bing, Chrome, DuckDuckGo, Netscape, and some others. It's all very good, but what ticked me was when I read the comments section. Oh the ignorance I discovered there! One character in the webcomic is World Wide Web, who wears a WWW necklace. In the comments, people were asking what WWW stands for, which is tolerable. It's not completely common knowledge. But then I read the replies! People were replying to those genuinely curious folks that the World Wide Web was the "Ancient Internet"!



Of COURSE there was no "Ancient Internet". I don't know if these people know, but the Internet is a network of computers, which are an innovation of the 20th century. So how could there possibly have been an ancient Internet?? Additionally, the World Wide Web is a totally seperate term than the Internet. The Internet is the connections between computers which allows the World Wide Web, a collection of files (websites) that is universally accessable, to exist. The Internet existed for several years before the World Wide Web was invented, and people used it to communicate by sending single files from one computer to another.

A smaller thing about TOR:

Another character in Internet Explorer the webcomic is TOR. TOR is the queen of the underworld in the story. In real life, TOR stands for The Onion Router, so called because connections using TOR are sent through many layers of computers, like an onion, before reaching their destination in order to cloak their origin. This, as you might imagine, is very helpful for criminals and others who don't want to be tracked down. People in the comments section of the webcomic were calling TOR the "dark web", which is partly true. Not everything using TOR is part of the dark web, mostly just the bad stuff. That's all I gotta say about TOR.

So please if ever you see someone talking about the World Wide Web and saying it's the "Ancient Internet", please kindly correct them and make sure they know the whole story. But that's not all.

Question in the comments section: What is DuckDuckGo anyway? Answer: It's a browser that doesn't spy on you.

No. It's a search engine. A website with an index of lots of other websites that can easily be searched to find information. Famous examples are, (gross), and Also Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are certainly not search engines, like people seem to believe. They're browsers, programs able to read and display files from the World Wide Web. That should clear up any misunderstanding about what a browser and search engine are. Also it's true, DuckDuckGo doesn't collect data about you when you use their website.

One last small thing. I've often found that students in my grade will use Google as a research source when writing an essay or some other ELA project. Google's not a source. It's a way to find sources. The answer to your question that might pop up at the top of Google search results or to the right hand side isn't from Google itself. It's probably from Wikipedia* or maybe some other website. Write that website down in your sources list, not just "Google". If you click on a link or download an image from Google, you shouldn't be citing Google either. Write the name of the website that you clicked on or where the image came from. Please.

Eli Glende

*Wikipedia is a reliable source by the way. They cite all their sources and update pages constantly for consistancy and correctness. Just because anyone can edit (and that's not always the case on every page) doesn't mean the website is a fraud. It's mostly correct, if sometimes slightly out of date, information that can be safely used to learn more. Editors that are found to have entered wrong information are corrected or banned based on severity, and you can always revert a page to an old version if it gets too incorrect.