What is the Internet?
This question may seem easy to answer to the young generations, who have grown under its influence, but defining it isn’t really as easy. Internet is also known as the World Wide Web (www) is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use a protocol called the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to link to billions of devices all around the world. The impact of this has been so enormous that it has been referred to as the 8th continent of the world. This carries a vast range of information, from the top secret military and research files, to the most trending and viral video of the week. This massive storage is shared by everyone, with everyone’s computer contributing to the ever-expanding treasure trove of knowledge.
The advent of internet is heavily influencing most traditional communication methods such as newspapers, telephones, television, etc. They are giving rise to new services such as internet phone and internet tv. The exchange of information has been accelerated exponentially and consequentially the exchange of information has led to an improvement of the standard of life for many people across the globe.
What’s most curious about the internet is its structure. It has no centralized governance either technologically or legally, speaking regarding policy for access and usage. Every network decides its policy and implements it within its jurisdiction.
Internet started off with research into what was then known as packet switching as early as the 1960’s. Packet switching was thought of a better and a faster method to transfer data than the hardware solution to the problem, i.e., the circuitry. The packet switching technology was essential to the development of ARPANET by the United States Military. ARPANET is considered the first known group of interconnected computers aka the internet. This system was used to transfer confidential data between the Military. This data sharing technology was then opened to educational institutes in the United States to allow them access to the government’s supercomputer, first at 56 kbit/s, then at 1.5 Mbit/s and then at 45 Mbit/s. Com Internet service providers began to arise in the late 1980’s and the internet was fully commercialized in the US by 1995.
There are two main types of computer networks
- Local Area Network (LAN): A LAN is two or more connected laptops or computers or phones sharing information with each other in a small geographic location. Examples, network of computers at your home or work.
- Wide Area Network (WAN): A WAN is basically two or more interconnected LANs. These networks are farther apart than the systems in LAN. They can communicate via telephone lines or radio waves.
The current internet population is said to be approximately 3.4 billion users, 48.1% of which is from Asia and 10% is from the North America. 3.4 billion Users give the internet unprecedented power and importance in this day and age. People are becoming empowered with a greater exchange of information and as people are learning more, their lives too are improving for the better. Unrestricted access to everyone in the world has made internet a truly representative body of the world’s population. The ease and the innovation supported by the internet are generating bursts of creativity in humans. More people now are in touch with each other than ever before. The future of the it is no longer detached from the future of our race. It has become so essential that it is truly entwined in the deepest fabrics of our society.
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