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INTRODUCTION TO THE INTERNET
What is the Internet?
It is a large number of connected computers (or a large set of computer networks) linked together that communicate with each other, over telephone lines.
It is a worldwide computer network connecting thousands of computer networks, through a mixture of private & public data using the telephone lines.
It is a worldwide (global or an international) network of computers that provide a variety of resources and data to the people that use it.
Internet refers to a global inter-connection of computers and computer networks to facilitate global information transfer. It is an interconnection of computers throughout the world, using ordinary telecommunication lines and modems.
History of the Internet
The history of the Internet begins with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s.
Initial concepts of packet networking originated in several computer science laboratories in the
United States, United Kingdom, and France. The US Department of Defense awarded contracts as early as the 1960s for packet network systems, including the development of the ARPANET.
The first message was sent over the ARPANET from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).
Packet switching networks such as ARPANET, NPL network, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols. Donald Davies first designed a packet-switched network at the National Physics Laboratory in the UK, which became a testbed for UK research for almost two decades. The ARPANET project led to the development of protocols for internetworking, in which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks.
Access to the ARPANET was expanded in 1981 when the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Computer Science Network (CSNET). In 1982, the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was introduced as the standard networking protocol on the ARPANET. In the early 1980s the NSF funded the establishment for national supercomputing centers at several universities, and provided interconnectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET project, which also created network access to the supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations.
Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the very late 1980s. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990. Limited private connections to parts of the Internet by
officially commercial entities emerged in several American cities by late 1989 and 1990, and the NSFNET was decommissioned in 1995, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic.
In the 1980s, research at CERN in Switzerland by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee resulted in the World Wide Web, linking hypertext documents into an information system, accessible from any node on the network. Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture, commerce, and technology, including the rise of near-instant
communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking, and online shopping sites. The research and education community continues to develop and use advanced networks such as NSF’s very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS), Internet2, and National LambdaRail. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fiber optic networks operating at 1-Gbit/s, 10-Gbit/s, or more. The Internet’s takeover of the global communication landscape was almost instant in historical terms: it only communicated 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51% by 2000, and more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007. Today the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking.
Features of the Internet.
(i). The Internet is a collection of networks; it is not owned or controlled by any single organization, and it has no formal management organization. However, there is an Internet Society that co-ordinates and sets standards for its use.
In addition, Networks have no political boundaries on the exchange of information.
(ii). Networks are connected by Gateways that effectively remove barriers so that one type of network can ―talk‖ to a different type of network.
(iii). To join the Internet, an existing network will only be required to pay a small registration fee and agree to certain standards based on TCP/IP.