What is the Internet?

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Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope Alternatively referred to as the net or web, the Internet (interconnected network) was initially developed to aid in the progress of computing technology by linking academic computer centers. The Internet we use today started being developed in the late 1960s with the start of ARPANET […]

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope

Map of the Internet

Alternatively referred to as the net or web, the Internet (interconnected network) was initially developed to aid in the progress of computing technology by linking academic computer centers. The Internet we use today started being developed in the late 1960s with the start of ARPANET and transmitted its first message on Friday, October 29, 1969. In 1993, the Internet experienced one of its largest growths to date and today is accessible by people all over the world.

Tip

See our Internet history section for full information about the development and creation of the Internet.

The Internet contains billions of web pages created by people and companies from around the world, making it a limitless place to locate information and entertainment. The Internet also has thousands of services that help make life more convenient. For example, many financial institutions offer online banking that enables a user to manage and view their account from different locations. The picture is a representation and map of the Internet done by The Opte Project.

Internet basics

  • The Internet and the WWW are not the same.
  • The Internet is explored using a browser and the act of browsing the Internet is commonly referred to as surfing.
  • Users browse websites and web pages by following hyperlinks that point to an address more commonly referred to as a URL.
  • Finding information on the Internet is achieved by using a search engine.
  • Files, pictures, songs, and video can be shared by downloading (receiving) and uploading (sending).
  • The Internet utilizes the TCP/IP protocol and is accessed using a computer modem, broadband, 3G, 4G, or network that is connected through an ISP.
  • With broadband, many computers and devices use Wi-Fi to connect to a router and share an Internet connection.
  • The computer you’re using to view this web page is considered a host and it’s connected to our server to view this page.

Internet services

In addition to browsing the Internet with a browser, the Internet has other services that can also be used.

Why do people use the Internet?

Today, the Internet is the best place to communicate and share information with people from anywhere on the glove. It also supplies an endless supply of knowledge and entertainment. See the links below for a more comprehensive breakdown of what can be done on the Internet.

Why is the Internet considered a network?

The Internet is the world’s largest network because it’s a collection of computers and servers that are connected to each other globally using routers and switches. The Internet works the same way a network would in a home or office but has millions of more computers, routers, and switches.

ARPA, Internet of Things, Intranet, IPTO, Network terms

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