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walled garden

On the Internet, a walled garden refers to a browsing environment that controls the information and Web sites the user is able to access. This is a popular method used by ISPs in order to keep the user navigating only specific areas of the Web, whether for the purpose of shielding users from information -- such as restricting children's access to pornography -- or directing users to paid content that the ISP supports. America Online is a good example of an ISP that places users in a walled garden.

Schools are increasingly using the walled garden approach in creating browsing environments in their networks. Students have access to only limited Web sites, and teachers need a password in order to leave the walled garden and browse the Internet in its entirety.

The term walled garden also commonly refers to the content that wireless devices such as mobile phones have access to if the content provided by the wireless carrier is limited.

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