What is a URL?

What is a URL?

19.Sep.2021

The [insert "international" or another adjective if appropriate] web [a more casual wording would be 'net'] is composed of a huge number of servers, on which files and folders containing all sorts of information may be found. Unfortunately, the numeric addresses that identify these servers are not very easy to use for humans: they consist of numbers separated by dots (e.g. 111.222.33.4), which are difficult to remember and thus make the servers hard to find without a good way of identifying them unambiguously – Web addresses , or URLs, address this issue by means of a text code that is easier to memorize and type in browsers: for example, "https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+url".

Each server has its own address, which is composed of three distinct parts:

- the protocol used to access the server (e.g., http:// for standard web pages)

- the domain name of the website you are trying to reach (e.g., google.com)

- the specific web address of the page you are trying to reach (e.g., https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+url).

The domain name is what makes URLs so useful: it allows users to remember an address by associating it with a name (rather than with a list of numbers) and it also allows servers to be textually located. For example, the previous URL https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+url is composed of three distinct parts: the protocol (https in this case), which is used when accessing secure websites; the domain name (google.com); and the specific page on Google's website (in this case it's 'What is a URL?').

URLs are based on several standards that enable Internet browsers to understand their content correctly. If you type an invalid web address in your browser, it will probably tell you so because there was a mistake somewhere in its understanding what you meant by typing that URL in. [In this example, the browser tells you that there is no such page called https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+url].

They are also useful because, unlike IP addresses which do not serve any function other than to identify a certain server, URLs can be used to display a specific web page on a server, even if it has been moved elsewhere (with the exception of directories and files which have symbolic links). In addition , when browsing a website from an HTML document URL appears at the bottom of each page pointing back to its "home"; thus there is always a reference for users who want to look up something they remember seeing but cannot recall where exactly on the site it was.

This is an example of how URLs work:

- The three parts of a URL are the protocol, the domain name and the specific page.

- https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+a+url has as its parts: the https protocol   followed by google.com as its domain name and ?q=what+is+a+url as its specific page on Google's website .

- If you type "http://www" into your browser, it will display a message that there is no such web address (it should instead be typed as "https://www").

- If you type in a nonexistent web address like "htttp://wwww", it will display a message that it has an error and cannot find the webpage (it should instead be typed as "https://www").

- If you type in a valid web address like "http://www.website.com/about-us", your browser will take you to the page at the given location on website.com (in this example, about-us). [It's better for websites not to use directories like 'about' or 'content', because these are ambiguous].

This [insert appropriate article] [explains how URLs work][give link], created by [author].

Article body: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "URL" accessed on [date of access].

Article background information [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]: A URL is human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website.

 

URL access tokens are secret codes used by websites or apps to allow others access without needing a manual login process. For example, when you log in through your university's secure portal and then browse Facebook afterwards, you're actually logged into Facebook at the same time—and if you weren't logged in before entering password authentication, it would expose all of your private student data! By using an access token sent via HTTPS during direct requests from clients to servers or APIs, authentication is maintained.

 

In addition, to protect users from hackers who can guess, or “brute force” login attempts into a website by randomly trying different passwords, many websites will disable a user's account after a certain number of failed logins within a given time frame. To solve this issue without needing to reset your password every few weeks, some websites will allow you to have secondary access tokens. These won't expire until they are manually revoked or replaced with newer ones—meaning that even if hackers guess your password through brute force, they still won't be able to gain access because their tokens would no longer be valid. In other words: never share login tokens with others and always have at least one active token saved on your computer, in your password manager, and/or in a separate physical location.

 

A login token can be an alphanumeric character string that is used by the client software to automatically log into a website without entering a password and username each time and can also function as security for two-factor authentication. The login token is encrypted with AES using the public key of the server. Therefore, even if somebody else has access to your login information (e.g., hacked database), they won't be able to decrypt it without the private key. Some websites generate them directly through their backend database—but most use third-party apps or web services, such as Facebook or Google Authenticator, that do not rely on a user's device being compromised. As such, tokens can be used as an extra step of verification to further safeguard user accounts and prevent account takeover or unauthorized access.

- Sometimes referred to as "random codes" or "access code".

- They may expire after a certain number of minutes, hours, days, months, etc., so it is important to use the same website's token management system regularly and check for new ones if you don't use your browser for a long time.

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