Is it necessary to always put the www before any internet inquiry?
Sometimes you need the ‘www’, other times you do not, it is determined by the specific internet server configuration. There is also a possibility that the absence of ‘www’ will take you to an entirely different page, although root forwarding is not a common practice.
The www in an internet address stands for World Wide Web. The rest of the address is the domain name. For example askipedia.com is our domain name. When you type a domain name into an internet browser it does not search out and find the domain, it will not find askipedia.com. Your web provider has supplied you with what is called a DNS provider, Domain Name Server provider. This DNS provider logs IP addresses for all domains. An IP is a four-point number that uniquely identifies a computer, or a web site. They look like this: 10.1.1.34, the 10. IP range is specifically for private networks.
When you want to set up a web page, you buy server space and have an IP associated with your domain name, the DNS provider logs the information and when users query the server for the IP address of a certain web site, the DNS provider relays the information.
It is always your best bet to use the www prefix when attempting to connect to a public internet page. It is the internet standard for public websites to be configured for access using the www prefix. Some websites are set up to reach the page without the use of www, however in order to be able to access the site without ‘www’, the server requires a specific configuration to forward the user to the appropriate page.
Some websites utilize sub-domains, which is an additional prefix in front of the main domain name. For example http://www.yahoo.com will take you to the main Yahoo! search engine, where http://news.yahoo.com will take you to Yahoo!News. Yahoo’s server is set up to take you to the main search engine page with or without the ‘www’, however their ‘news’ sub-domain will not forward if you prefix the sub-domain with www, it must be entered without ‘www’. In the future there will be other prefixes. There reasons for this will include increasing the number of potential domains, and it will be used to better organize information. Similar to the .com/.net/.ca suffixes.