The Internet is generally defined as a global network connecting millions of computers. More than 190 countries are linked to exchanges of data, news, and opinions.
The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.
Who Created the Internet?
According to Hobbes’ Internet Timeline, in 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite into orbit. While this might not sound serious, this happened during a time in American history called the Cold War. It was at this time the threat of nuclear war was at its greatest. The thought was, if the Soviets could launch a satellite into space, then they might be able to launch a nuclear bomb and hit the United States, destroying all of our communication lines.
The Internet began in 1969 as a research project funded by the Department of Defense with a goal of creating a means of communication besides telephone lines. The first network was called ARPANET (Advanced Research Project Agency NETwork). The focus was on communicating in the event part of the network was disabled. This early network was the precursor to the Internet. It was limited in function but launched the idea of a different method of communication.
What does the Internet do?
The Internet has one very simple job: to move computerized information (known as data) from one place to another. That’s it! The machines that make up the Internet treat all the information they handle in exactly the same way. In this respect, the Internet works a bit like the postal service. Letters are simply passed from one place to another, no matter who they are from or what messages they contain. The job of the mail service is to move letters from place to place, not to worry about why people are writing letters in the first place; the same applies to the Internet.
Just like the mail service, the Internet’s simplicity means it can handle many different kinds of information helping people to do many different jobs. It’s not specialized to handle emails, Web pages, chat messages, or anything else: all information is handled equally and passed on in exactly the same way. Because the Internet is so simply designed, people, can easily use it to run new “applications”—new things that run on top of the basic computer network. That’s why, when two European inventors developed Skype, a way of making telephone calls over the Net, they just had to write a program that could turn speech into Internet data and back again. No-one had to rebuild the entire Internet to make Skype possible.
The Internet basics
- The Internet and the WWW are not the same things.
- The Internet utilizes the TCP/IP protocol and is accessed using a computer modem, broadband, 3G, 4G, or network that is connected through an ISP.
- In the case of broadband, many computers and devices use Wi-Fi to connect to the router that is connected to the ISP.
- The Internet is explored, which is more commonly referred to as surfing, using a browser.
- Finding information on the Internet is achieved by using a search engine.
- Users browse web pages by following hyperlinks.
- Files, pictures, songs, and video can be shared downloading (receiving) and upload (sending).
- The Internet is also used for communicating with others through social networks, online games, forums, chat, e-mails, IM, and VoIP.
The Internet has continued to grow and evolve over the years of its existence. IPv6, for example, was designed to anticipate enormous future expansion in the number of available IP addresses. In a related development, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the burgeoning environment in which almost any entity or object can be provided with a unique identifier and the ability to transfer data automatically over the Internet.
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