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The Internet Defined Essay

1187 words - 5 pages

The Internet is the name for a group of worldwide information resources. The Internet is often thought of as a computer network, or sometimes a group of computer networks connected to one another. The computer networks are simply the medium that carries the information. The beauty and utility of the Internet lie in the information itself that is being transmitted.The Internet has undergone a remarkable transformation since its early days. The original Internet was a low-speed, text-based network used to connect a few government sites to the research and defence contracting community. The Department of Defence began a project known as ARPAnet (Advanced Research Project Agency Network) back in the late 1960's, starting the first internet. It was designed by the network architects to interconnect government computers with defence contractors. The design of the network was such that no one computer system was dependent upon the functioning of any of the other computer systems. If any one computer network node was destroyed, such as in a nuclear attack, the rest of the network would continue to operate.In the 1970s, the Internet began to be interconnected with large universities and research organizations. The type of information going across the Internet began to change from that of being primarily government oriented to that of research oriented. During the 1980s, more universities and government contractors began using the internet contributing to its growth. As the amount of network traffic increased, the speed of the Internet began to slow down. In the mid - 1980s, the U.S. Department of Defence split the network into the ARPAnet and the MilNet. The MilNet consists of only traffic to and from military sites and other government locations vital for national defence. The National Science Foundation (NSF) took over ARPAnet and merged it into a high-speed network called NSFnet.The NSFnet was the prototype for the national Internet backbones that we have today. It provided high-speed links among scientists and supercomputing facilities and served as the main Internet traffic arteries for the US and Europe. Universities and the public immediately began using the increased speed for everything other than supercomputing, and this led to the birth of the national Internet infrastructure. In 1995, the NSF handed over control of the Internet backbone to commercial carriers.In the last couple of years Internet usage has shifted from the university environment to that of becoming more commercial. The primary thing that has led to this shift was the development of the World Wide Web (the Web) by CERN (the high-energy physics research institute in Geneva, Switzerland). Coupled with this came the development of the first practical web browser, Mosaic, from the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).Today, the Internet is being used by all sorts People - educators, librarians, hobbyists, and business people - for a variety of purposes, from...

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