The Internet, what is it?

Essay by SlothCollege, UndergraduateA, November 1996

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Thesis: A commonly asked question is 'What is the Internet?'. Not many people know how it originated, who owns it, what governs it, and who pays for it. Some do not even know what the Internet is. Others that do know, often ask what it does and what its different features are. For those who are experienced with the Internet, often overlook, or don't even realize, the expanding technology of it. What will the future of the Internet hold? Perhaps we will be taught at home, or maybe we will visit our doctors via the Internet. Let us begin to explore this 'Information Superhighway'.

I. Much of the basic knowledge of the Internet is not known, or understood by most people.

A. What does the word Internet mean in English?

B. The Internet is a series of networked computers.

1. Fastest growing network in the world

2. 3-5 million people per day

C. The Internet first began use in 1969

1. Previously called the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency).

2. Created by the U.S. Department of Defense

D. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope.

1. The constituent networks may have presidents and CEO's, but that's a different issue; there's no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole.

E. There is no 'one' organization that collects the Internet's fees. Instead, everyone pays for their part.

II. The Internet has many different and unique ways of exploring its information and putting it's communication aspect to reality.

A. Gopher is a menu-driven Internet navigation utility which can be accessed from Macs, PCs, and the Unix system.

B. Like Gopher, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a user-friendly interface to the Internet.

1. Definitely the most popular (with close to 100,000,000 pages)

C. Telnet offers interactive terminal sessions...