What is the Internet?
Developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States government, the Internet is a worldwide system of computer networks. It consists of public and business networks, academic networks, and private networks. It is a general infrastructure whose basic features include electronic mail, the Web, newsgroups, and file sharing. The Internet is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In addition, it supports human correspondence through social media.
The Internet began as a research project in the late 1960s. It was developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) under the leadership of Vint Cerf. He recognized the need for a coordination mechanism to manage the many different networks that would come together. The initial goal of the Internet was to allow users to talk to each other over a shared network.
The Internet is a distributed networking system that uses standardized communications techniques to connect computers from different hardware. This is achieved by sending packets from one computer to another. The packets travel from the bottom physical layer of the OSI model to the application layer. Packets lose routing data, port numbers, and IP addresses. The Internet also uses packet switching to allow independent processing of packets. This ensures that the Internet remains resilient to failures. It is important to note that there are currently over 300 submarine cables that carry data over the oceans at high speed. Most of these are made of hair-thin fibre optics. The Internet supports a variety of software applications and operating systems, including the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet, and wireless networking technologies.
When the Internet first appeared, the technology was used for communication between universities. Packets would be sent between computers, and if a computer failed, the packet would be retransmitted from the source. During the early days of the Internet, various models of file sharing were proposed. These models included the use of agents and viruses. The first host-to-host message was sent from Kleinrock’s laboratory to SRI. In late 1969, SRI began to connect to the ARPANET.
The early years of the Internet were characterized by a community spirit. Researchers worked closely with one another to solve problems. The Internet’s first role in information sharing was sharing design information. In the early days, a specialized email mailing list was used in protocol specification development.
The Internet has expanded beyond its initial research roots to include increased commercial activity. It has developed a variety of “re-organizations” and has also made significant changes to the underlying technology. The growth of the commercial sector increased awareness of the standards process. The Internet is an open network, meaning anyone can associate with a constituent organization and take part in the discussion. This has led to the development of the Internet as a commodity service.
There are currently over 75 working groups whose draft documents are being developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The process for evolving new capabilities in the network is based on the RFC (Request for Comments) documents, which are sent out by a consensus vote. These documents are important to the future of the Internet because they will serve as a guide for the evolution of the Internet.