The Internet is both the present and the future. But for most, getting started is still the most difficult test. So how does the uninitiated browser to become the deft surfer? The Guardian Guide to the Net is the instruction manual for the newcomer and experienced surfer alike. It will allow you to travel as far, as fast as you want: from paddling round the shallow end of the pool to surfing the outer edge of the waves of information. You won’t however get lost in the white-water rapids of techno jargon. This is a guide for everyone: consumer, player, student, professional. Cyberdweebs must go elsewhere. It will allow first-timers to choose the best equipment for their needs, with recommendations about which stockists to approach and what questions to ask to ensure that what you buy will deliver what you expect. It will introduce the service providers and their services, incuding access routes to the World Wide Web, e-mail services, news providers, retailers. And the accompanying Netscape/BT CD will allow the most straightforward access to the Internet, highlighting the Guardian’s own newly created sites. With a directory of useful, entertaining or sometimes plain weird web sites for you to explore, this is the best guide around to the virtual world that is all around us: the Internet. Welcome aboard.