FYI on Questions and Answers: Answers to commonly asked "new Internet user" questions
RFC 1206

Document Type RFC - Informational (February 1991; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1325
Obsoletes RFC 1177
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          G. Malkin
Request for Comments: 1206                            FTP Software, Inc.
FYI: 4                                                         A. Marine
Obsoletes: RFC 1177                                                  SRI
                                                           February 1991

                      FYI on Questions and Answers
        Answers to Commonly asked "New Internet User" Questions

Status of this Memo

   This FYI RFC is one of two FYI's called, "Questions and Answers"
   (Q/A), produced by the User Services Working Group of the Internet
   Engineering Task Force (IETF).  The goal is to document the most
   commonly asked questions and answers in the Internet.

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify any standard.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction.................................................   1
   2. Acknowledgements.............................................   2
   3. Questions About the Internet.................................   2
   4. Questions About TCP/IP.......................................   4
   5. Questions About the Domain Name System.......................   4
   6. Questions About Internet Documentation.......................   5
   7. Questions about Internet Organizations and Contacts..........   9
   8. Questions About Services.....................................  13
   9. Mailing Lists................................................  16
   10. Miscellaneous "Internet lore" questions.....................  17
   11. Suggested Reading...........................................  18
   12. References..................................................  19
   13. Condensed Glossary..........................................  20
   14. Security Considerations.....................................  31
   15. Authors' Addresses..........................................  32

1. Introduction

   New users joining the Internet community have the same questions as
   did everyone else who has ever joined.  Our quest is to provide the
   Internet community with up to date, basic Internet knowledge and
   experience, while moving the redundancies away from the electronic
   mailing lists so that the lists' subscribers do not have to read the
   same queries and answers over and over again.

   Future updates of this memo will be produced as User Services members

User Services Working Group                                     [Page 1]
RFC 1206            FYI Q/A - for New Internet Users       February 1991

   become aware of additional questions that should be included, and of
   deficiencies or inaccuracies that should be amended in this document.
   An additional FYI Q/A will be published which will deal with
   intermediate and advanced Q/A topics.

   The Q/A mailing lists are maintained by Gary Malkin at FTP.COM.  They
   are used by a subgroup of the User Services Working Group to discuss
   the Q/A FYIs.  They include:

   quail@ftp.com           This is a discussion mailing list.  Its
                           primary use is for pre-release review of
                           the Q/A FYIs.

   quail-request@ftp.com   This is how you join the quail mailing list.

   quail-box@ftp.com       This is a write-only list which serves as a
                           repository for candidate questions and answers.
                           It is not necessary to be on the quail mailing
                           list to forward to the quail-box.

2. Acknowledgements

   The following people deserve thanks for their help and contributions
   to this FYI Q/A:  Vint Cerf (CNRI), Ralph Droms (Bucknell),
   Tracy LaQuey Parker (UTexas), Craig Partridge (SICS), Jon Postel (ISI),
   Joyce K. Reynolds (ISI), Karen Roubicek (BBNST), Marty Schoffstall
   (PSI, Inc.), Patricia Smith (Merit), Gene Spafford (Purdue) and
   James Van Bokkelen (FTP Software, Inc.).

3. Questions About the Internet

   What is the Internet?

      The Internet is a large collection of networks (all of which run
      the TCP/IP protocols) that are tied together so that users of any
      of the networks can use the network services provided by TCP/IP to
      reach users on any of the other networks.  The Internet started
      with the ARPANET, but now includes such networks as NSFNET,
      NYSERnet, and thousands of others.  There are other major wide
      area networks, such as BITNET and DECnet networks, that are not
      based on the TCP/IP protocols and are thus not part of the
      Internet.  However, it is possible to communicate between them and
      the Internet via electronic mail because of mail gateways that act
      as "translators" between the different network protocols involved.

      Note: You will often see "internet" with a small "i".  This could
      refer to any network built based on TCP/IP, or might refer to
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