Not all devices work in the same way.
Think about the difference between a bicycle and a motorbike. Both have two wheels, require balance, and are classed as bikes.
However, just because you can ride one, doesn’t mean you can necessarily ride the other.
Likewise, laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets are all different types of devices.
But just like the bicycle and the motorbike, they also require different ways to get them to work.
The main difference between devices is how you move around them.
For laptops and desktop computers, you tend to use a mouse or a touchpad to move the cursor around the screen, which you can use to click on things.
For smartphones and tablets, you use your finger as the cursor, tapping the screen instead of clicking a mouse.
Moving back and forth between devices takes time to get used to.
Imagine you’ve been cycling on a push bike for years and someone suddenly puts you on a motorbike and tells you to drive down the motorway – you probably won’t feel comfortable doing that safely.
We all need time to practice new techniques.
Devices can use different browsers.
Think about browsers as your gateway to the internet.
They let you view website pages on your devices.
All devices which access the internet have a browser built-in by default.
For example, if you’re using a Windows device you’ll likely see Microsoft Edge on your screen, or on an Apple device you’ll see Safari.
Usually you’ll find them at the bottom of the screen, and you just need to click or tap the icon to open a browser page.
You can use the default browser that’s already set up on your device, or choose a different one if you want to.
All browsers have an address bar, usually at the top of the page.
If you already know the website address you want to go to - usually starting with www. and ending in something like .co.uk, .ie, or .com - you can type this in here and press Search.
The address bar also lets you search the internet using keywords.
So, if you’re not sure of the exact website address, you can simply type in whatever you want to look for, and you’ll see a list of matching results from different websites.
You can explore the list of results using tabs to open new pages without losing your original page, which is really handy if you’ve got a lot of search results you’re interested in.
Tabs in your browser work just like the dividers in a filing cabinet, allowing you to easily move between website pages.
Tabs make comparing different websites easy, which is really handy when you’re shopping around for a bargain.
In any open internet browser, you can select the plus sign to open a new tab.
This will always be somewhere at the top of the screen.
Each open tab can be closed individually by selecting the X on the right side of the tab.
If the tab doesn’t show an X and you’re on a laptop or desktop computer, you can hover your cursor over the tab.
Now you know how to use your browser, we’ll look next at how you can stay safe and up to date.