According to Webopedia, the Internet is a worldwide system of connected networks. Each network consists of millions of computers, servers, routers, and printers. The Internet is also called the Information Super Highway. The data move across the networks because they all the service providers use the same protocol or language to communicate.
A need was realized to connect the top universities of the United States so that they can share all the research data in no time. This attempt was a result of the Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork (ARPANET) which was formed at the end of 1950. Experts visualized a great potential of the system in the success of ARPA. In 1971 Ray Tomlinson made a system to send electronic mail. This opened gateways for remote computer accessing i.e. telnet. In 1973 the preparations for the vital TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) and Ethernet services started.
IBM came up with its PC in the 80s based on Intel 8088 processor which was widely used by students and universities for the purpose of easy computing. By 1982, the Defence Agencies made the TCP/IP compulsory and the term “internet” was coined. The domain name services started in the year 1984. Discovered by Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web was seen as a service to connect documents in websites using hyperlinks.
In 1992, internet browser called “Mosaic” came into existence. Netscape Navigator made its debut in 1994 which ultimately went to compete with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. By this time the domain name registration had started to get exponential and was made commercial. This was an internet explosion.
Working of the Internet:
Each computer connected to the internet has a unique IP address. This is how one machine can find another through the massive network. The version of IP most of us use today is IPv4, which is based on a 32-bit address system. As the addresses are getting exhausted new version IPv6, a 128-bit address system is introduced.
When you want to send a message or retrieve information from another computer, the TCP/IP protocols are what make the transmission possible. When you send the request it goes out over the network, hitting domain name servers (DNS) along the way to find the target server. DNS look for a match for the domain name you’ve typed in. If it finds a match, it will direct your request to the proper server’s IP address. If it doesn’t find a match, it will send the request further up the chain to a server that has more information. The DNS having the address of the site points the request in the right direction to the target server.
Once the target server receives the request, it can send a response back to your computer. The server sends information in the form of a series of packets. Packets are parts of a file that range between 1,000 and 1,500 bytes. Packets have headers and footers that tell computers what’s in the packet and how the information fits with other packets to create an entire file.
The data might travel a completely different path (path of least resistance) to get back to you than your request has taken. This flexible approach to data transfer is the key to the success of the internet.
Once packets are received your computer arranges them according to the rules of the protocols. The end result is what you get on the screen.
Applications of the Internet:
It can be used to search for any information. Most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, etc.
Shopping has become easier with the advent of the internet. We can buy or sell online. The online selling process is called etailing. Most popular etailers are Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc.
Basically, the internet was developed for communication. It helps people to communicate either with the use of mobile telephones, social networking (e.g. Facebook, Instagram), and emails(Gmail, Yahoo mail). Even chatting is a major use of the internet. e.g Whatsapp
People search for their jobs online as it is quicker and there is a larger variety of job vacancies present. e.g. Naukari.com, Jobsearch.com
Many websites are there to help to develop your hobbies like singing, instrument playing, cooking, etc.
Many research papers are present online which helps in the researcher doing a literature review and study the alternate view of the subject.
Many educational sites are available which are useful in studying and help students to improve their subject knowledge.
Stock Market Updates:
Investors get real-time stock prices and can trade in real time. Thus the internet helps them in making financial decisions to maximize profit.
Travel and Leasure Bookings:
Real-time availability of seats in planes and rooms in hotels can be checked. Hotel, airlines, bus and railway tickets can be booked online and thus a lot of time can be saved.
Movie tickets can be booked online.
A message distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network is called the email.
It permits the exchange of text/graphic material using email software. We can write a letter and send it to the recipient through ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) who work like the dispatching and receiving post offices.
An FTP (File Transfer Programmes) allows transfer of files/software from one computer to another connected to the Internet.
World Wide Web (WWW):
Computers that store specific information for sharing with others provide websites either directly or through web service providers. Government departments, companies, NGO’s (Non-Government Organisations) and individuals can post information about their activities for restricted or free use on their websites. This information becomes accessible to the users.
Several search engines like Google, Yahoo! etc. help us in finding information by listing the related websites. Hypertext is a powerful feature of the web that automatically links relevant information from one page on the web to another using HTML (hypertext markup language).