What is the difference between a Exchange traded fund and a index fund?

I am 21 and i ma looking to put my money back to work for me this year. I was told that my best bet is to invest in a index fund that track the S&P 500. However i am also being told that Exchange traded funds (EFT) are the way to go. I would like to know what is the main differences between the two. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

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