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ppp addresses

Using both web (lynx) and ftp (ftp) programs, I have
succeeded in accessing sites using numerical domain
(DNS) addresses, but not using addresses with words. 
What's up?  Do I use a different procedure to access
domains numerically than verbally?  According to the
documentation for lynx, the format should be the same.
I am typing
open ftp.xxxxxxx.com
open ftp.xxxxxxx.org
open ftp.xxxxxxx.net
as appropriate in ftp

lynx http://www.xxxxxx.com in lynx
I also tried referencing specific documents in lynx
(i.e. lynx http://www.xxxxxx.com/index.html but
evidentally the problem is in finding the server

using the ftp command open to access
anonymous ftp, or using lynx, successfully
accessed the specified domain.
Whut's up here?

I have kernel 2.2.something.

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