Internetrefers to an interconnection of networks. Itis
a connection among computer networks that provides direct communication among the
connected computers. It is composed of multiple networks that are combined by a common
protocol that performs the addressing function for networks. Intranetsare smaller
Internets utilized in a single organization.
The Internet began as a Cold War military technology. It was a way for military computers
to communicate over long distances. Other institutions, such as universities and hospitals
began to associate their computers through the Internet during the 1970s and 1980s.
With the arrival of the World Wide Web in the late 1980s, consumers and commercial
businesses interacted with the Internet. The quantity of computer users getting
"connected" increased rapidly after the first appearance of browsers in the
1990s. By early 1996, more than 25 million computers in over 180 countries were
interconnected through the Internet and it continued to grow at a dramatic rate. More and
more people use the network for "information", a theoretical goal of computer
communications to grant businesses, libraries, homes, schools, and any other institution
universal access to valuable information.
After the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of Sputnik1 (the first craft on the earth's orbit),
President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the need for the Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA). This organization brought together some of the most brilliant people of America.
They were the ones who designed the United States' first satellite successfully in 18
months. Many years later, this agency began to concentrate on communications technology
and computer networking.
Dr. J.C.R. Licklider was chosen to lead ARPA's research in developing the military's use
of computer technology during 1962. Licklider's goal was to make the government's
employment of computers more dynamic. Licklider saw the necessity to move ARPA's contracts
from the secluded sector to universities, and to establish the basis for what would later
become the "ARPAnet".
The ARPANET, Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency was created by the
Bolt Beranek and Newman Company (BBN) twelve years after the Sputnik1. ARPANET's
primitive aim was to design a network secure enough to oppose a nuclear attack during the
Cold War. The Internet was initiated by the ARPANET in 1969 at the University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The agency's objective was to establish a connection,
through computers, that would allow scientists at different universities to share research
The first switch that
provided communication utilized was developed at BBN, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but
ARPANET mostly used packet switching developed by Rand Corporation in 1962 to route
messages. Packet switching organized information into "packets." Each packet was
held user, addressing and error checking information. This kind of communication switching
allowed the usage of a same data line by various computers. It also allowed data to
transfer to other computers if one computer went down in the packet network.
In 1974, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), the protocol used on
the Internet, was developed. This Internet Protocol is the fundamental software employed
to control the Internet. This protocol specifies how data is routed from one computer to
the another. The Transmission Control Protocol verifies whether or not the information
arrived at the designated computer and if not, makes sure that the information is sent
again. American computer scientist Vinton Cerf built these protocols in 1973. This project
was sponsored by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
During the early years of the 1980s, the Internet became more popular as more sites were
added to ARPANET. Even though the ARPANET had shut down by 1984, the usage of the Internet
was spreading. The Internet was transferred from the ARPANET to the National Science
Foundation. By this year an estimation of 500 computers were "connected" (using
The Early Internet
The Internet was completely textual and in black and white. All tasks had to be done by
using commands of computer language, such as UNIX, developed by Bell Laboratories in 1972.
Users actually had to learn computer language commands to be able to use the Internet
unless they possessed certain computer skills. However, the appearances of new resources
simplified the use of this network.
The coming of the World
Wide Web (WWW), developed by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee for the
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in the year of 1989, caused major impact
in the advancement of computer science. The Web is a group of files, called Web sites or
Web pages. It made "surfing" the Internet more simple and interesting. Each of
these web sites includes pictures, buttons, and highlighted words or phrases to click on
to issue commands. One did not require computer skills. There was no need to learn
computer language commands. Information was now available in various forms: sound,
graphics, text, and video; and in diverse colors.
In 1993, browsers were included in the network. The Mosaic browser was designed at the
University of Illinois as an easier way to access the World Wide Web. The browsers were
menu-driven, for example: Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer, which provide the
users a "menu" of choices; or graphical "buttons" that provide
computer users with an simpler way of telling the computer what to do.
Illustration 1-1 is an example of the way the Internet window might appear. This
illustration also presents the different graphics, "buttons," and words or
phrases used as shortcuts to issue commands. The distinct pull-down menus (file, edit,
help, etc.) had the function of facilitating the user's task. To issue a command the user
simply had to click on the drop-down menu and it would display a number of commands that a
user could choose from.
There are many Internet services. In the early 90s, people were able to move from web site
to web site (browsers); connect their computers to the Internet with Home Pages (hosting);
talk through the Web (HTML); and store and receive messages (email).
A Web host is the main computer at which documents that users read on the WWW are located.
Hosts are the computers through which people "publish" or show credentials on
the World Wide Web. These hosts are generally located at corporations, cities, large
universities, and Internet service providers.
It is a tool used to write documents that are to be published on the Web. The HTML was
accessible in 1991. This word processing software has its own fixed HTML commands that are
used for creating Web sites.
Also called the electronic mail.It is a "mail" based on computers; a
computerized mail. It allows the computer to send, store and receive messages. The
engineer, Ray Tomlinson, created it in 1972, at BBN in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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organization actually owns the Internet. It is just a worldwide arrangement of connecting
computer networks. However, it is run by many organizations, such as: Network Solutions
Inc., Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA),
the Internet Society (ISOC), etc.