The internet

Essay by andrealixeyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2009

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The Internet is a worldwide connection of thousands of computer networks.

All of them speak the same language, TCP/IP, the standard protocol. The Internetallows people with access to these networks to share information and knowledge.

Resources available on the Internet are chat groups, e-mail, newsgroups, filetransfers, and the World Wide Web. The Internet has no centralized authority andit is uncensored. The Internet belongs to everyone and to no one.

The Internet is structured in a hierarchy. At the top, each country has atleast one public backbone network. Backbone networks are made of high speedlines that connect to other backbones. There are thousands of service providersand networks that connect home or college users to the backbone networks. Today,there are more than fifty-thousand networks in more than one-hundred countriesworldwide. However, it all started with one network.

In the early 1960's the Cold War was escalating and the United StatesGovernment was faced with a problem.

How could the country communicate after anuclear war? The Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency, ARPA, had asolution. They would create a non-centralized network that linked from city tocity, and base to base. The network was designed to function when parts of itwere destroyed. The network could not have a center because it would be aprimary target for enemies. In 1969, ARPANET was created, named after itsoriginal Pentagon sponsor. There were four supercomputer stations, called nodes,on this high speed network.

ARPANET grew during the 1970's as more and more supercomputer stations wereadded. The users of ARPANET had changed the high speed network to an electronicpost office. Scientists and researchers used ARPANET to collaborate on projectsand to trade notes. Eventually, people used ARPANET for leisure activities suchas chatting. Soon after, the mailing list was developed. Mailing lists werediscussion groups of people who would send their messages via e-mail to...