The Evolution of the Internet
The internet is a global network of physical cables that run from computers to one another. These cables may include copper telephone wires, TV cables, or fiber optic cables. Even wireless connections use physical cables to connect to the web. Physical cables carry computer requests to servers that store the websites. Like a computer hard drive, the servers retrieve the data needed by a website and send it back to the computer within a few seconds. The Internet has evolved to become an information superhighway that connects people and computers worldwide.
Today, the Internet uses many different communication protocols. The most common ones are TCP and IP, as well as routing and application level protocols. However, there are many more, and each one plays an important role in making the Internet function. In this unit, we will learn about some of these protocols and what they do. Ultimately, our internet is a global network, and we’ll never know what kind of connections will exist in the future. Once we’ve understood these protocols, we can look into the future.
The evolution of the internet began in the 1970s when the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (ARPA) was granted permission to link a commercial e-mail service to the Internet. MCI Mail was the first commercial e-mail service, and its approval triggered the first Internet traffic explosion. Since that time, the Internet has been a global network, and many countries now have access to it. Eventually, however, commercial e-mail services will begin to dominate the internet will be a global force.
The Internet came about as a result of various technologies. The first computer network was developed during the Cold War by the U.S. Department of Defense. Its goal was to create a means of instant communication within the Department in case of war. Several universities and companies were contracted to create the necessary technology to link their supercomputers, and ARPANET was born. The project eventually became more than just a military network, and soon after, it was turned into a scientific network used by millions of people.
Because the internet is distributed and does not rely on any single computer, it is remarkably resilient. A computer that is connected to the internet may not function if a component is missing. The same holds true for a computer that is connected to the internet, such as a router. Despite this widespread lack of control center, the internet continues to operate despite large scale failures. It works because packets are distributed and rely on protocols to get from one point to the next.
In the same way that computers can share information, the internet has become a powerful tool for spreading hate speech, bullying, and other depressing messages. Despite the fact that social media apps are free, they are a powerful tool to spread venomous messages. As a result, the influence of these companies is considerable. So, while Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Mozilla exert a great deal of control over the web, they cannot compel any company to adopt their recommendations.