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What is Internet

Internet is defined as an interconnection of networks. Internet allows computers on different kinds of networks to interact with each other. Any two computers, often having different software and hardware, can exchange information over the Internet, as long as they obey the technical rules of Internet communication. The exchange of information may be among connected computers located anywhere, like military and research institutions, different kinds of organizations, banks, educational institutions (elementary schools, high schools, colleges), public libraries, commercial sectors etc.

History of Internet

The networking of computers has its origin at the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

• During 1970’s DARPA developed the ARPANET as a WAN to connect different computers and later to connect computers on different networks (Internetworking). Internetworking became the focus of research at ARPA and led to the emergence of Internet. During their research, DARPA set up design goals for themselves, which included—(1) the ability to interconnect different types of network, (2) to connect through alternate paths if some path gets destroyed, and (3) to support applications of various types like audio, video, text etc.

• Based on the design goals, a protocol named Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) was developed for computer communication (Protocol is a network term used to indicate the set of rules used by a network for communication). TCP/IP has become the protocol for Internet.

• In late 1970s, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) designed a successor to ARPANET, called NSFNET, which was open for use to all university research groups, libraries and museums. This allowed scientists across the country to share data and interact with each other for their research projects. Internet grew exponentially when ARPANET was interconnected with NSFNET.

• In 1980s, many Internet applications like electronic mail, newsgroups, file transfer facility and remote login were developed. The Electronic mail facility allowed users to compose, send, and receive messages. Users having common interests could exchange messages using forums like Newsgroups. The Telnet command allowed users to login to a remote computer. The File Transfer Protocol program was used to copy files from one computer to another on the Internet. •In the early 1990s, a new application World Wide Web (WWW) changed the way in which Internet was used. WWW is a system of creating, organizing, and linking documents, and was created by British scientist Tim Berners Lee. A protocol based on hypertext was developed that allowed the documents and content on WWW to be connected via hyperlink.

• In 1993, Marc Andreessen at the University of Illinois developed the Mosaic browser. The WWW along with the browser made it possible to set up number of web pages that may consist of text, pictures or sound, and with link to other pages.

Internet and WWW which are interconnection of networks, and interconnection of documents and resources, respectively, has wired the whole world together.

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