The Basics of the Internet
The Internet is a global network of computers and devices that were created to make communication easier. It started off as a tool for large industries, but has evolved into a popular tool for individuals and small businesses alike. No one person created the Internet, but a team of researchers and programmers worked together to create a network that could be used by everyone.
The internet has two basic components, the backbone and the network of Internet exchange points. The backbone is a long-distance network of fiber optic cables. The backbone market is very competitive, and backbone providers connect to each other at Internet exchange points, which are usually located in major cities. These backbone providers then work with a network of servers that are connected directly to the internet. These servers store web pages, sites, and applications. The servers translate domain names into IP addresses. The language used to communicate over the internet is called HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTPS is a secured version of HTTP.
Internet usage is increasing globally. As of 2013, there were 2.5 billion Internet users. The largest number of users is in China. Earlier, the Internet was confined by the difficulty of laying land-based telecommunications infrastructure in developing countries, but in the early twenty-first century, wireless communication has made this technology much more accessible.
The World Wide Web is one of the most popular components of the Internet. It was created in 1989. Back then, the World Wide Web was mostly made of text pages. It had no graphics or animation, but was still useful for government images, school projects, and scientific reports. Scientists and engineers used it to share ideas and work on projects. Tim Berners-Lee came up with the idea of a global hypertext project and created a hypertext markup language (HTML) to make the web easier to navigate.
During the early years, the Internet was run by the US government, but today it is managed by a nonprofit organization called the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF, which is composed of volunteers and industry representatives, manages the shared technical standards that make the Internet work. Anyone can attend meetings of the IETF and suggest new standards or make changes to existing ones. However, the IETF’s consensus-based decision-making process ensures that recommendations are accepted by the internet community as a whole.
Another aspect of the Internet that has changed lives is its role in facilitating sociability. Studies have shown that the more people use the Internet, the more they are sociable. However, this new form of sociability is different from traditional sociability. It also increases the intensity of family relationships. For example, more people now spend more time with family and civic activities.
While the Internet connects people to endless amounts of information, it is also a conduit for cyberthreats and scams. Since anyone can put a website on the internet, there is no editorial review board that can verify the information you’re reading. Consequently, you must use common sense to determine what information is relevant.