Chapter 6: Telnet (1 of 6) -- What is TELNET?


     Telnet is a program that lets you use the power of the Internet to
connect you to databases, library catalogs, and other information
resources around the world.  Want to see what the weather's like in
Vermont? Check on crop conditions in Azerbaijan? Get more information
about somebody whose name you've seen online? Telnet lets you do this,
and more.
     Alas, there's a big "but!''  Unlike the phone system, Internet is
not yet universal;  not everybody can use all of its services.  Almost
all colleges and universities on the Internet provide telnet access.   So
do the  WELL ,  Netcom   and the  World .  But the Freenet systems do not
give you access to every telnet system.  And if you are using a
public-access  UUCP  or  Usenet  site, you will not have access to telnet.
     The main reason for this is cost.  Connecting to the Internet can
easily cost $1,000 or more for a leased, high-speed phone line.
     Some databases and file libraries can be queried by e-mail, however;
we'll show you how to do that later on. In the meantime, the rest of this
chapter assumes you are connected to a site with at least partial
Internet access.