One of the most widely used features of the Internet is electronic mail (email). Most ISP's provide unlimited use of this feature. This powerfull tool allows one to send letters to other Internet users. An email address consists of a user name, followed by "@", then a host name, with a suffix. The suffix shows who owns the host computer.
Some common suffixes and their meanings:
.com (commercial businesses)
.net (network providers)
.edu (educational institutions)
.org (non-profit organizations)
.mil (American military organizations)
.gov (government organizations)
Similar to email is chat. Some ISP's provide chat available to members of that specific network. Yet many people do not know that anybody can chat no matter what service they belong to. IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is available to everybody just by downloading components. Yet, when using email and chat, people often shorten common phrases with symbols from the keyboard. A "dictionary" of nearly every symbol and abbreviation used in the online world can be found at Netlingo.com. It's also important that you are polite online. The web-term for etiquette is netiquette and you can learn all about it at the Netiquette Home Page. A rather new technology allows two Internet users, who have microphones, to talk to each other, like a telephone, through the Internet. Thus, one could talk to his friend in Italy, from America, for the price of a local telephone call.