THERE may be a zillion web sites on the Internet. But that does not matter to most people. After a while, just like in the real world, you end up frequenting just a few.
Many people select a few, based upon tasks that they need to perform on a daily basis such as checking e-mail and reading the news. Here is an overview of some sites that many feel are essential.
These are indispensable, whether you are using them to check e-mail while at work or using them as a second or third e-mail address to help ward off junk mail. It is no wonder, then, that web-based accounts, while not as convenient as those that offer access via a standard e-mail tool such as Outlook or Outlook Express, are nevertheless popular.
If you would like to check your regular e-mail but only have access to a Web browser, bookmark Mail2Web (http://www.mail2web.com). This free site allows you to type in your e-mail address and password from any of your existing accounts and to retrieve waiting messages.
Free Web-based e-mail accounts used to be plentiful, with Microsoft Hotmail clearly in the lead. Hotmail, though, has suffered over the past years from loads of junk mail, and it has placed restrictions on the free e-mail accounts. Many people are opening up free e-mail accounts at Yahoo! Mail (http://mail.yahoo.com). Retrieving and sending mail from Yahoo! Mail is straightforward, and you donâ€™t seem to end up with loads of spam right away, either.
Many people who surf the Internet look for news every day. Which news site you choose will likely depend upon your location, but some news sites are consistently praised for their content, presentation, and timeliness.
Among the most highly rated in roundups of the best news sites include the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com) and The New York Times (http://www.nyt.com). The New York Times requires you to register to gain access to full-length articles, but registration is free. The New Vision website (http://www.newvision.co.ug) does not require registration and is open to all.
Around the world, of course, there are many fine newspapers that have made it online. The best way to narrow in on one that you call your own is to visit a comprehensive newspaper hub like Newspaperlinks.com (http://www.newspaperlinks.com).
Of course, everyone needs to find things on the Internet â€“ and usually every day. That means one thing: a search engine. Which one is the best?
Well, Google has become a verb in English among netizens, as in â€œI googled for you and found your Web site.â€ So Google (http://www.google.com) is tops on most peopleâ€™s list these days, thanks to its simplicity and uncanny ability to turn up what youâ€™re looking for online. Other wellâ€“loved alternatives are AltaVista (http://www.av.com) and Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com).
You are bound to end up with a set of your own â€˜bestâ€™ Web sites that differ from these. But being familiar with these tried and true best-of-breed sites will at the least give you a benchmark against which you can compare all others.
Worldâ€™s popular Web sites