Information about the Internet

The Internet is about connecting individuals
and connecting individuals to the information.

What is the Internet?

A group of networksnetwork: A system consisting of connected nodes (e.g. computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.) that share data, hardware, and software. connected by internetworking devices (routersrouter: A network device attached to two or more networks and forwards packets (small fixed-sized independent units of data for transmission) from a source computer to a destination computer passing through some number of intervening networks., gatewaysgateway: A network device used to connect two separate networks that use different communication protocols., switchesswitch: A network device connecting multiple communication lines together., repeatersrepeater: A network device that regenerates the signal to extend the distance a signal can travel., bridgesbridge: A network device that filters and forwards signal., broutersbrouter or bridge router: A network device that functions both as a bridge and a router., etc.) is called an internetwork, or internet. In other words, an internet is a network of interconnected networks.

The Internet, often called simply 'the net' is a worldwide internet (collection of networks) that uses the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) protocolprotocol: A set of rules that control how different computers communicate to each other. These rules are the procedures, formats and conventions that rule how information is organized and transported across the intervening networks between the source and destination computers. suite. The TCP/IP suite is the set of protocols (rules for communication) used to transfer data over the Internet. Simply, as a "highway system" connects various places, similarly the Internet interconnects billions of device networks. The Internet is used for accessing and sharing information, socializing, communication, online shopping, entertainment and many other purposes.

The Internet provides a very wide range of information and allows the development of various applications and services such as email, instant messaging, file transfer, Terminal Network (TELNET)Terminal Network (TELNET): A client-server program that permits remote login. and the World Wide Web (WWW). Telephony, radio and television are the advanced forms of the Internet services. The Internet became popular after the advent of the World Wide Web. The Internet and the World Wide Web are different terms. The World Wide Web is just one of many Internet applications.

How does the Internet works?

The Internet is a global network that allows users to share information. Information can be text, images, audios, videos, etc. For communication among nodes on the Internet, there is the Internet Protocol Suite called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). TCP/IP determines how computer networks talk to each other. The Internet connects nodes by the telephone system, optical fibers, cables and radio waves. If the Internet is accessed through the telephone lines attached to the computer, then a networking device called modem is used. A modem (contraction of modulator-demodulator) is a device that converts digitaldigital: Computer processes information in discontinuous values, i.e. in binary, 0 or 1. Any information on computer can be represented by a string of 0s or 1s. This process is called digital. And those devices which use this process are called digital devices. data into a signal that is compatible with the phone line and vice versa. Wireless modems, often called data cards, transform radio signals in the digital form and the other way around.

In digitally connected computer network system, transmission of a message from one computer to another is done through lots of small independent units rather than one big unit. These fixed sized units are called packets. Packets are numbered so that we could get their order, in case they get out of the sequence transmitting over the network. Extra information is added to the packets which include:

  • Source (where they came from?)
  • Destination (where they are going?)

So in case there is congestion for a packet to go from some particular route, the network system redirects it through another computer. This is called packet switching. In short, packet switching is the data transmission using a packet switched network (a network in which data are transmitted in independent units called packets).

"Packets are just like postcards. They got 'to' and 'from' addresses, and maintain a finite amount of content on them. And like a postcard, you put it into the post-box, if you put two, and you don't know what order they are going to come out, they might not even come out on the same day. Some of them get lost. That's true for packets. They don't necessarily follow the same path to get to the destination. That's also true for electronic packets. The only difference is an electronic packet goes about a hundred million times faster than a postcard."
- Vinton Gray Cerf, co-inventor of TCP/IP

Each packet individually assigned its destination is sent through a series of routers. A router is an internetworking device that is attached to two or more networks and forwards packets from one network to another. Each router examines the packet's destination and sends it along the best path. Packets from the same message may take different paths to arrive at the destination. The packets eventually all arrive at the destination and are combined together into the original message.

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History of the Internet

In 1950s and 1960s there was the race into space exploration among the USA and the Soviet Union. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1. It was the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth and therefore, created a sensation all over the globe. This sensation propelled USA administration to take several initiatives to maintain their leading image in science and technology. In February 1958, a federal agency called DARPA—the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the Department of Defense, was created by US President Dwight David Eisenhower to fund high power scientific and space research for military purpose, and Pentagon (headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia) was made responsible for DARPA. DARPA's original name was Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed to "DARPA" in March 1972, then renamed "ARPA" again in February 1993, and at last renamed "DARPA" in March 1996.

US President John F. Kennedy supported NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the US agency for space research, for first human landing to moon and returning safe to the Earth. As NASA committed to space research, Pentagon scientists planned to research on computers. The first modem for transmitting binary data over a telephone line was produced by AT&T's Bell Labs in 1958. In 1960s, it was space research, which was media's favorite subject and research on computers was not much discussed in media. In 1961, the first theory on the use of packet switching to transfer data was published by Leonard Kleinrock during his Ph.D. research in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). J.C.R. Licklider successfully proposed global computer network in the early research by DARPA in 1962. In 1964, Leonard Kleinrock published a book on communication in a packet switching network.

Interface Message Processor
Interface
Message
Processor

In 1967, DARPA issued a request for quotation to 140 technology companies to invent first digital computer network. In 1968, BBN (Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.), a hi-technology engineering company which provides research and development services, was ready to take its place in networking history. BBN was ready for the challenge issued from the DARPA. BBN was aware of the fact that digital computer network would be required in the future, so it had already started research on the digital network before the request for proposal came out. To build a network linking mainframe computers over telephone lines in the 1960s, they were two giant companies, AT&T and IBM; one would expect to be involved. However, both these companies didn't show interest to bid.

The first IMP (Interface Message Processor) for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was developed and delivered by BBN to DARPA on August 30, 1969. It was a mini computer that was initially connected to several mainframes at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and made possible packet switching. BBN took around nine months to develop the first IMP. It was a refrigerator sized object. The packets would come in, and IMP would sort them out and send them to the destination machine. A month later, a second IMP was ready for Stanford University.

ARPANET's first 4 nodes location map in December 1969
ARPANET's first 4 nodes location map
in December 1969

In the mid-1960s, ARPA was funding US major universities to research on mainframe computers. For common people to use, mainframe computers were too big and expensive. In mainframe computer, many users were connected to the same computer, and the user had the illusion that the computer was just serving that user. Mainframe computers were fast enough, and they could serve user1, then user2 and so on other users, but users didn't get to experience that the mainframe computer left them. This is called time-sharing. Robert William Taylor known popularly as Bob Taylor, worked for ARPA from 1964 to 1969, got the responsibility for managing Pentagon's budget for computer research. He decided to start the ARPANET- a campaign for national computer network. He believed that the Internet is not about technology; it's about communication, and the Internet connects people who have shared interests, ideas and needs, regardless of geography. He believed to network all ARPA's computer together. Initially, U.S. universities were not willing to share their mainframe computers using the networking. However, on November 21, 1969 the first link on the ARPANET was established between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. From December 5, 1969 adding the University of Utah and the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), a 4-node network was born. DARPA funded and got success in mainframe computer networking connection of the four U.S. universities—UCLA, UCSB, Stanford University and University of Utah—via the Interface Message Processor produced by BBN under the supervision of Leonard Kleinrock.

In 1971, twenty-three computers were connected to the ARPANET. Email was invented by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1971. Email is one of the best tools for communication. It's faster, cheaper and global. People to people communication excite people far more than a machine to machine or human to machine communication.

ALOHAnet setup in 1971 was the first network that transmitted data into a computer by radio waves rather than telephone lines or conventional wires. It demonstrated wireless data communication for the first time through the computer.

On 24-26 October 1972, the first International Conference on Computer Communication was held in a hotel in Washington, DC regarding public demonstration of the ARPANET. Throughout the 1970s, the ARPANET grew and other networks were also developed. However, there was a problem; each network was different with its own rules. Packet transmission from one network to other seem to be impossible. There was the need of some common rules, standards and conventions so that transmission of data could be done from one network to other, which led to the birth of TCP/IP. Initially, the usage of ARPANET was very low as there weren't many programs to utilize the network.

A paper entitled "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection" by Vinton Gray Cerf and Robert Elliot Kahn described an internetworking protocol (TCP/IP) for sharing resources using packet-switching among the nodes was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in May 1974. This research was funded by the DARPA.

Ethernet, a standard for connecting computers over short distances, was originally invented at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center developed (PARC) in 1973 by Robert Metcalfe and David Boggs.

BITNET (Because It's There Network), a network between the City University of New York (CUNY) and Yale University was developed 1981. It was founded by Ira Fuchs of CUNY and Greydon Freeman of Yale University.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), a standard for e-mail transmission across the Internet, was developed in 1982. TCP/IP protocol suite was declared as the standard for all military computer networking by the US Department of Defense in March 1982. Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel invented the DNS (Domain Name System) in 1983. DNS is a TCP/IP application service that converts user-friendly domain names (e.g. netinternetinfo.com) to IP addresses. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g. computer, smartphone) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

In 1986, the National Science Foundation (NSF) formed the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) having super computers with leased 56-kbit/s links connecting five sites: Princeton University, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Cornell University. This backbone network was also able to link all the regional networks using TCP/IP. In 1988, NSFNET was upgraded to 1.5 Mbit/s. Federal Internet Exchanges (FIX) were established in June 1989 that interconnected U.S. federal agency networks. The NSFNET's presence and the formation of Federal Internet Exchanges (FIXes) permitted the ARPANET to be retired in 1990. In 1991, NSFNET was expanded and upgraded to 45 Mbit/s, and was retired in 1995 when it was replaced by backbones functioned by numerous commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The World Wide Web (WWW) was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (French: Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire), popularly known as CERN, and introduced to the public on August 6, 1991. He and his team introduced the original HTTP protocol along with the HTML and the associated technology for a web server, and a text-based web browser. He discovered the way to embed a hyperlink (clicking on a hyperlink takes you to the different web page or a different portion of the same web page) to a text or image (hypertext). URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the unique web address of a web page, for example, URL of this page is http://www.netinternetinfo.com. When a user clicks a hyperlink in a web page, it yields the destination URL's page displayed on the browser. World Wide Web made the Internet popular among common people. In October 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization for developing non-proprietary, interoperable technologies for the World Wide Web, was founded by Tim Berners-Lee.

As the number of websites started growing by leaps and bounds, the need of search engine was obvious. Archie was the first tool on the Internet to search content, produced by Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan and J. Peter Deutsch, computer science students at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. On September 2, 1993, Oscar Nierstrasz at the University of Geneva coded a series of Perl scripts, which formed the basis for W3Catalog, the web's introductory primitive search engine.

Mosaic, the first popular graphical browser for the World Wide Web, was created by Marc L. Andreessen and Eric J. Bina at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Upon its 1993 release to the public, Mosaic gave Internet users easy access to multimedia sources of information. Web browsers have transformed the exchange of information. Mosaic gave common people the access to World Wide Web. Jim Clark, one of the founders of the Netscape Communications, put three million dollars in Netscape Communications to make the Netscape Navigator commercially viable, which made the browser popular even among the non-geeks.

Microsoft also realized the importance of the Internet after Netscape Navigator became very popular. In 1996, Netscape Navigator priced $48 for business purpose but Internet Explorer was totally free with the Windows 95. This made Netscape Navigator users to shift towards Internet Explorer.

"Microsoft's never been accused of not knowing how to make money. It's pretty straightforward, if you can sell software, you can do quite well. Now in order to keep Windows very strong, we felt having a free browser that promoted our extensions as well as providing all the power of all the other standards that was critical to our strategy. So the browser investment is totally paid for by the fact that it helps Windows and Windows is a very good, quite profitable business."
- Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

In 1995, Java 1.0 was introduced by James Gosling of Sun Microsystem (which is now a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation). Java is one of the most widely used programming languages for client-server web applications as it is interoperable among all the Operating Systems like Windows, Linux, etc.

The first version of the standard, the USB 1.0, was specified by seven industrial partners (Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom) in 1996. USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a serial bus system for connecting a computer to external devices like wireless modem, mouse, keyboard, storage device, webcam, etc.

Internet2 consortium, an innovative not-for-profit US networking group established in 1997 was led by members from the research and education communities, industry, and government. Furthermore, in 1997, IEEE released 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards. Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves as a carrier to deliver the high-speed Internet and connecting electronic devices.

The dot-com boom started in 1995 when the quantity of individuals and organizations launching websites (usually dot-coms) grew by leaps and bounds and most of them made a good amount of money. It was the outcome of the World Wide Web which also led to the growth in the stock market. There was the dot-com bubble during 1995-2000, which led to the good economic growth of industrialized nations due to the Internet sector until the bubble started to burst in 2000, and many Internet businesses started falling.

The Internet at present is serving billions of users worldwide and the quantity of users is still growing at a fast pace. The Internet is one of the best results of the research funded by governments, universities and various organizations. The Internet and the World Wide Web are certainly one of the major technological breakthroughs of all time.

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Who invented the Internet?

Recalling from the history of the Internet, we get to know that many individuals and organizations have invented components of networking concepts and devices which when all merged led to the modern Internet, we use today.

The major individuals and organizations that helped in the invention of the Internet are:-

  • Leonard Kleinrock

    Leonard Kleinrock

    Leonard Kleinrock published the first analysis of data networks in his Ph.D. thesis proposal named "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets" in May 1961. His Ph.D. thesis basically uncovered the underlying principles of packet switching, message switching and burst communications of data networking. He created a mathematical theory of packet switching for dynamic resource sharing, thus providing the fundamental underpinnings for the ARPANET technology. In 1964, his thesis published as a book entitled "Communication Nets: Stochastic Message Flow and Delay" by McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Professor Leonard Kleinrock is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UCLA. He earned his B.E.E. degree in 1957 from the City College of New York (CCNY), and M.S. degree in 1959 and Ph.D. degree in 1963 from MIT.

  • BBN (Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.)

    The BBN Interface Message Processor Team
    The BBN IMP Team

    BBN, a hi-technology engineering company, played an important role in the invention of the Internet. BBN developed first IMP (Interface Message Processor) for DARPA in 1969. The important members of BBN's IMP team include Frank Heart, Willy Crowther, Dave Walden, Robert Elliot Kahn, Bernie Cosell, Severo Ornstein, Ben Barker and Hawley Rising. Frank Heart was the team leader of the IMP team and served BBN from 1966-1994. Email was invented by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1971.

    BBN was founded by Richard Bolt, Leo Beranek and Robert Newman in 1948. Leo Beranek and Richard Bolt were professors at MIT, and Robert Newman was Richard Bolt's former student. Initially, they started as an acoustical consulting company and later started exploring business opportunities in computing and networks.

  • Vinton Gray Cerf and Robert Elliot Kahn

    Vinton Gray Cerf (left) and Robert Elliot Kahn (right)

    Vinton Gray Cerf and Robert Elliot Kahn invented TCP/IP under the research conducted by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1974.

    Vinton Gray Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University, and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He worked for DARPA from 1976-1982. He was the chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007. He has served as vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005.

    Robert Elliot Kahn, popularly known as Bob Kahn, graduated with a B.E.E. degree in electrical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960. He holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. During 1966-1972, he worked with BBN.

  • Robert Metcalfe and David Boggs

    Bob Metcalfe (left) and David Boggs (right)

    Robert (Bob) Metcalfe and David Boggs co-invented Ethernet concept in 1973.

    Bob Metcalfe holds two B.S. degrees, one in Electrical Engineering from MIT and the other in Industrial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also holds M.S. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1973 from Harvard University. In 1979, he founded 3Com Corporation, a manufacturer of pioneering digital electronics especially computer network infrastructure products.

    David Boggs earned B.S.E. from Princeton University in 1972. He also holds master's and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1973 and 1982 respectively.

  • Lawrence G. Roberts

    Dr. Lawrence G. Roberts

    Dr. Lawrence (Larry) G. Roberts promoted the development of the ARPANET during his tenure as a program manager in the DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO). He worked for DARPA from 1966 to 1973. He was the leader of the team that designed and developed the ARPANET. He is the founder of Anagran Inc., a corporation dealing in network architectures and packet switching. He was also a founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Caspian Networks, the leader in high performance IP systems, where he designed and built IP Flow Routers.

    He holds his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1959, 1960 and 1963 respectively. He shared the Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2001 with Vinton G. Cerf, Robert E. Kahn and Leonard Kleinrock for the development of the Internet. And in 2002, he along with Vinton G. Cerf, Robert E. Kahn and Tim Berners-Lee were presented the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research for the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web.

  • Robert William Taylor

    Robert William Taylor

    Robert (Bob) William Taylor as a director of the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) of DARPA in the US Department of Defense, promoted the research and implementation of DARPA-sponsored research projects' networking at various US universities. He worked for DARPA from 1964 to 1969.

    He holds a master's degree majoring in Psychology from University of Texas at Austin. In 2004, he along with Alan C. Kay, Butler W. Lampson and Charles P. Thacker were honored the Charles Stark Draper Prize for the vision, conception, and development of the first practical networked personal computers. He is also a laureate of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1999 for visionary leadership in the development of modern computing technology, including computer networks, the personal computer and the graphical user interface.

  • Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider

    Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider

    A visionary psychologist at MIT, Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, popularly known as J.C.R. or "Lick" believed in the potential of computer and the way it could change people's life. Though he didn't have technical knowledge of how to make “Galactic Network” but still visualized big about the future of networking at a time when there was only a handful of computers anywhere in the world. He was appointed head of DARPA's IPTO in 1962, and successfully defended his ideas on a global computer network during the early research by DARPA.

    He graduated with a B.A. majoring in physics, mathematics and psychology in 1937, and M.A. in psychology in 1938 from Washington University in St. Louis. In 1942, he gained a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics from the University of Rochester. From 1943 to 1950, he worked at the Psycho-Acoustic Laboratory at Harvard University. He also worked as a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT.

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Who owns the Internet?

No one person, group, service, corporation, university or government actually owns the Internet. Each connected individual or group owns its own network.

There are organizations in authority for the management of the Internet with specific responsibilities. They participate in the development of technical standards, allocation of domain names, the IP addresses, etc.

  • Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), pronounced as /ˈaɪkæn/ EYE-kan, coordinates the domain name system (DNS) of the Internet. DNS is a TCP/IP application service that converts domain names (e.g. google.com) to IP addresses. Every domain name should be unique. Its ICANN responsibility that every domain name on the Internet has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world that makes possible the one global Internet for us.
    • The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is operated by ICANN. It is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.
  • The Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in the Internet-related standards, education and policy. It is dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. It's also the organizational home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).
    • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a global organization of volunteers collaborating to design standards that provide the infrastructure for innovation on the Internet. It deals with architectural and engineering aspects of the Internet and produces high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet.
    • The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is chartered both as a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and as an advisory body of the Internet Society (ISOC). Its responsibilities include architectural oversight of IETF activities, Internet Standards Process oversight and appeal, and the appointment of the RFC Editor. The IAB is also responsible for the management of the IETF protocol parameter registries.

In order to maintain and expand the network neutrality, and also to engage the various parties in a global dialogue on the subject of the Internet governance, the UN convened:

  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) was held in two phases. The first phase took place in Geneva hosted by the Government of Switzerland from 10–12 December 2003, and the second phase took place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, from 16–18 November 2005. These conferences were about information, communication and the information society.
  • The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) purpose is to support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the WSIS with regard to convening a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

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What is the Internet used for?

The Internet can no longer be termed as a mere invention- it is a revolution. We cannot imagine our world without the Internet today. There is no field that is untouched by the Internet nowadays. Consider education, business, medicine, entertainment, marketing or any other field; we see the use of the Internet everywhere. So to have the knowledge of the Internet is essential for everyone. The Internet is used for many purposes:

  • To email friends, family, colleagues and others using gmail.com, yahoomail.com, etc.
  • Search for any information on search engines like google.com, yahoo.com, bing.com, etc.
  • Looking for jobs (monster.com, careerbuilder.com, etc.)
  • Finding friends and communicating with them from any part of the world through Yahoo chat, facebook.com, Skype, etc.
  • Instant updates from friends, favorite celebrities, industry experts from twitter.com
  • Watch videos (personal, educational, news, music, movies, etc.) on youtube.com, vimeo.com, etc.
  • Upload and view photos on picasa.google.com, flickr.com, etc.
  • Shopping on ebay.com, amazon.com and product websites
  • Publish and study information on wikipedia.org
  • Travel booking (airline, railways, hotels, tour packages, etc.)
  • Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps (maps.google.com), etc.
  • Listen to online radio on tunein.com and radio station websites like bbc.co.uk/radio/
  • Online file storage through Dropbox, SkyDrive, adrive.com, etc.
  • Share liked web pages on delicious.com, digg.com, stumbleupon.com, etc.
  • Online dictionaries
  • Download some interesting software and try it out
  • Make your own home page or page on any topic on blogger.com
  • Read news and comment on yahoo.com and newspaper websites like nytimes.com, latimes.com, etc.
  • Get technical support for products
  • Provide technical support, bug fixes, product information to customers, etc.
  • Communicate and collaborate on projects
  • Market or sell products
  • Access business while away from office

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What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web (WWW or W3) often called simply 'the Web' is an Internet service that permits users to go through the Internet by moving from one multimedia based document to another via links that connect them together. WWW provides a global on-line repository of web pages that users can access using interactive application software called a browser. Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), Apple Safari and Opera are the most widely used web browsers. The Internet users can access web pages (multimedia-based documents) with text, graphics, animations, audios or videos on virtually any topic using the WWW. In other words, we can define World Wide Web as a worldwide library of websites. A website is the collection of interlinked web pages having a domain name. A domain name is a unique sequence of names separated by dots, for example, google.com, youtube.com, etc., that let us access the home page of the website if the website is live on the web hosting server (computer on which website(s) is located).

"The web is incredibly exciting because it is the fulfillment of a lot of our dreams that the computer would ultimately not be primarily a device for computation but metamorphosize into a device for communication. And the world with the web that's finally happening, um… and secondly, it's exciting 'cause Microsoft doesn't own it and therefore, there's a tremendous amount of innovation happening."
- Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple Inc.

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What is Web 2.0?

For users, most websites were quite passive before Web 2.0 (pronounced "Web 2 Point Oh") came into practice. Users were only allowed to study content on the web. The World Wide Web was more "connecting individuals to the information" rather than "connecting individuals." However, websites in Web 2.0 allow the features for users to interactively, collaboratively and contributively participate. Now People with no coding knowledge can create web pages (e.g. on Wikipedia), update content, upload photos (on Picasa, Flickr, etc.) and videos (on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), comment on articles, share liked web pages (on delicious, digg, StumbleUpon, etc.) and connect with friends on social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Websites in web 2.0 are very user-centric and interoperable on various devices like computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. Web 2.0 enabled people power and harness collective effort to make the web more usable, enjoyable, interactive and beautiful. It won't be wrong to say that Web 2.0 has made the World Wide Web far more democratic than before.

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What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network of any individual, group, organization, educational institute or company that uses TCP/IP protocol suite. Content available on an intranet is not accessible outside the limited users allowed to access the intranet. Among the legitimate users, customized restrictions can be imposed by the system administrator(s) of an intranet, e.g. certain group of users have all rights, while others could only read the content but not allowed to upload any content on the intranet. An intranet is usually connected through Ethernet.

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References

  • L. Kleinrock, "An early history of the internet [History of Communications]", Communications Magazine, IEEE, vol. 48, no. 8, pp. 26–36, August 2010
  • Stephen Segaller, "Nerds 2.0.1 A brief history of the Internet", December 1998
  • P. Baran, "On Distributed Communications Networks", IEEE Trans. Comm. Systems, March 1964
  • V. G. Cerf and R. E. Kahn, "A protocol for packet network interconnection", IEEE Trans. Comm. Tech., vol. COM-22, V 5, pp. 627-641, May 1974
  • L. Kleinrock, "Information Flow in Large Communication Nets", RLE Quarterly Progress Report, July 1961
  • L. Kleinrock, Communication Nets: Stochastic Message Flow and Delay, Mcgraw-Hill (New York), 1964
  • L. Kleinrock, Queueing Systems: Vol II, Computer Applications, John Wiley and Sons (New York), 1976
  • Behrouz A. Forouzan, "Data Communications and Networking", Mcgraw-Hill (New York), 2007
  • J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark, "On-Line Man Computer Communication", August 1962
  • L. Roberts & T. Merrill, "Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers", Fall AFIPS Conf., October 1966
  • L. Roberts, "Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication", ACM Gatlinburg Conf., October 1967
  • ISOC website
  • IETF website
  • ICANN website
  • IANA website
  • IAB website
  • Leonard Kleinrock's Home Page

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