In 1969, the Department of Defence (DOD) of United States of America started a network called Advanced Research Projects Administration NETwork (ARPANET). It was started with one computer in California and three in Utah. Later, the military allowed universities to join the network for sharing the hardware and software resources. Then it grew bigger and gave birth to the present day very popular Internet.
The Internet is a network of tens of thousands of computer networks. Ever network and every computer on these networks exchange information according to certain rules called Protocols. Two computers working with different operating systems can communicate because of the same protocols. Two protocols sued for working with the Internet are Internet Protocol or IP and Transmission Control Protocol or TCP. You will often see these motioned together as TCP/IP when references are made to the software needed to make an Internet connection.
Each network and computer system on the Internet has an Internet addressed called IP address. The address is used to exchange information with, send or receive e-mails etc. Not all networks on the Internet have direct connections, but each network is connected to one or more other networks. That way, there can be several pathways from one system to another. One of the technical strength of the Internet is that when some parts of it are unavailable for traffic, messages can be sent through another path.
How Internet works?
When information is passed from one computer system to another, it is broken up into pieces called packets using the TCP protocol using the IP protocol, a message consisting of not more than 1500 bytes or characters is put into a packet. Each packet has the address of the sender and the destination. These addresses are called IP addresses.
The packets are passed from one network to another until they reach their destination. At the destination the TCP software reassembles the packets into a complete message. If packets are lost or damaged, a request is sent to resend them. It is not necessary for all the packets in a single message to take the same route through the Internet or for the same message to take the same route each time it is sent.
What is required to make you Computer a part of the Internet?
- Internet connection
- Telephone Line
- Program which controls the communication of date over the hardware component.
You can get an Internet connection from Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISP is a company which gives us the facilities to gain access to internet against a fee. Some of the ISPs are:
Uses of Internet
Today individuals, companies and institutions use the Internet in many ways as mentioned below:
- Businesses use the Internet to provide access to complex databases, such as financial databases.
- Companies carry out electronic commerce (commerce on internet) including advertising, selling, buying, distributing products and providing after sales services.
- Businesses and institutions use the Internet for voice and video conferencing and other forms of communication that enable people to telecommunicate, or work for a distance.
- The use of electronic mail (e-mail) over the Internet has greatly speeded communication between companies, among co-workers and between other individuals.
- Media and entertainment companies use the Internet to broadcast audio and video, including live radio and television programs. They also offer online chat groups, in which people carry on discussions using written text, and online news and weather programs.
- Scientists and scholars use the Internet to communicate with colleagues, to perform research, to distribute lecture notes and course materials to students, and to publish papers and articles.
- Individuals use the Internet for communication, entertainment, finding information, and to buy and sell goods and services.