What is the Internet?
The Internet is a global network of networks spanning billions of devices and systems. It consists of interconnected routers that carry data packets between different devices and computer systems, and it utilizes a set of protocols (standards for how data is transmitted) to ensure reliable, secure communication. It has transformed the world and opened up new ways of life.
Almost every aspect of our daily lives are now connected to the internet, from banking and shopping to social networking and teleconferencing. It is a hugely powerful tool that can be used to boost business and to create more opportunities for people. However, it is also important to use the internet wisely and not waste time on irrelevant activities like scrolling through social media apps. Instead, we should spend our time online learning new skills and completing tasks that will help us become better at what we do.
The Internet began in the mid-1960s when two researchers at MIT, Leonard Kleinrock and Lawrence G. Roberts, successfully connected their computers together using telephone lines. In 1968, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency expanded on their work by creating a system called ARPANET, which allowed other computers to connect to it. In 1983, the open networking protocol suite TCP/IP was created to improve ARPANET’s reliability, and the Mosaic Web browser was developed in 1993, which made it easier for different computer platforms to access the Internet.
Today, the Internet is a globally accessible, collaborative, and self-sustaining public resource available to tens of millions of people. It has shaped the way we communicate and socialize, and it has fueled the development of our own social ecosystems through content sharing and social networking. In addition, e-commerce is one of the largest uses of the Internet.
A key feature of the Internet is that there is no central control center. Instead, there are distributed networks of interconnected routers that transmit information using a series of standardized protocols. These protocols include standards for how to send packets from device to device (Ethernet), for sending packets from network to network (IP), for ensuring that these packets arrive in the correct order (TCP), and for formatting data for websites and applications (HTTP). Because these are standard protocols, it is possible for devices from different manufacturers to connect to the Internet as long as they understand and use these protocols.
Physically, the Internet is a global network of wires that can include copper phone or TV cables and fiber optic cables that cover the continent or even cross oceans. Wireless connections like Wi-Fi and 3G/4G rely on these wires to function, as well. When you type a website address into your web browser, your computer sends a request over these wires to a server where the website is stored. The server then retrieves the website and sends it back to your computer, all within a few seconds!