What is the Internet?

 

Today, we use the Internet for every smart electronic device so, let’s understand- What is the Internet? 

The Internet can be defined as a global network of interconnected computer networks and smart devices, using an Internet protocol suite(TCP/IP) to communicate between networks. It is also said that it is a network of networks communicating between- private, public, academic, and business systems. 

Client-Server

World has evolved so much digitally with the help of the internet that the Internet is now an indispensable part of our lives. This digital revolution has revolutionized the way we communicate, access information, conduct business and entertain ourselves.

The Internet provides many services but to name some are information sharing, electronic mail, telephony, video streaming, etc. replacing a percentage of traditional media like newspapers, TV, mail, radio, etc. The transformation of the world into a global village, connecting people from diverse backgrounds has been made possible because of the internet.

But have you ever stopped to ponder what is the internet? and how it functions. 

Let’s discuss more about its evolution, we can also say that there is one more evolution that revolutionized the world which is computer evolution. The Internet actually is a network of interconnected computers.

 

How Internet originated?

The Internet did not emerge overnight but developed slowly, it started in the 1960s when the US Department of Defense started a research project called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).

The goal was to create a robust network that could withstand potential disruptions, such as a nuclear attack. Over time, ARPANET evolved into the internet we know today, connecting academic institutions, government agencies, and eventually, the public.

The expansion of ARPANET continued with the standardization of TCP/IP in 1982 permitting the worldwide proliferation of interconnected networks. By 1995, the Internet was fully commercialized seeing the growth opportunities. Since then it has impacted our culture & commerce, with the rise of email communication, instant messaging, telephony(VoIP), video calls, discussion forums, blogs, etc.

 

How internet works?

Now, that we know how the internet evolved, let’s understand how this technology works serving worldwide.

Internet in the early days started with the technology of packet switching, which is still relevant today now let’s understand how it is relevant today as well. It uses a packet-switching mechanism for operation where the data is transferred in the form of packets, these packets contain information about the error control mechanism, the address, and the sequence to be transmitted. 

So, how does the internet make the connection and send data?

The Internet uses an Internet Protocol Suite, which is categorized into four different layers by the scope of its operation.

Layer Scope of Operation 
Application Layer  HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, SMTP, etc
Transport Layer TCP, UDP, SCTP
Internet Layer  IP(v4, v6)
Link Layer Tunnel, PPP,

Application Layer: is the topmost layer in the operation, where communication takes place where we use the internet through an internet browser.

Transport Layer: connects applications on different hosts with a logical channel utilizing a network. this layer also provides various services like (transfer, reliable delivery(TCP), etc.)

Internet Layer: this layer implements Internet Protocols(IP) to identify, and locate computer systems by IP addresses and routing their traffic through networks.

Link Layer: it is the last layer that handles the moving of data into and out of a physical link in a network. It may be using technology like Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.

This is how the Internet works and the connection is maintained with each layer playing an important role so that data loss, reliable delivery, etc. can be maintained while transferring data packets.

Now, above you can see the technical way how Internet functions let’s understand in a much simpler way ahead, as technically it might become techy to understand. We start by-

Requesting Data: 

While opening a webpage we send a request, our device contacts a DNS server to translate the domain name into an IP address.

Establishing Connection: 

On receiving the IP address device establishes a connection with the server hosting the requested data. The connection is made using the transport following the internet protocol suite, TCP/IP. Data flows using this layer to and fro between both ends.

Retrieving Data: 

The server receives your request, gets the relevant website and associated files, and sends them back to your device as packets.

Rendering the Webpage:

When our system receives data packets it is reassembled into a cohesive page and displayed on screen for interaction.

 

What are the fundamental components of the Internet?

Servers and Clients: 

Powerful computers that store data and deliver upon request are known as servers.

Devices we use like laptops, tablets, or smartphones that connect to servers requesting information or services are clients.

Server

 

Internet Protocols: 

Internet protocol is the most important component of the Internet system. These protocols enable internetworking and established the whole internet functioning. Mainly two versions of internet protocol exist IPv4 and IPv6.

IP Addresses: 

An IP address serves as the virtual address of the device we use, every device is assigned a unique identifier, making transfer of data possible efficiently. 

Domain Name System(DNS):

An IP address is something a computer understand but we as a human needs something that is readable hence, DNS translates our readable domain names into IP addresses that the computer system understands. (For example- Google.com is a domain name)

Routing

Is a process of using routing tables to transfer data correctly, our computer and router use these routing tables to direct IP packets on different subnetworks. 

 

What are the applications of the Internet?

World Wide Web (WWW): 

This is a web of interconnected documents and resources that can be accessed through the Internet. It uses HTTP- hypertext transfer protocol to transmit websites, hyperlinks, etc.

This information can be accessed using World wide web browser software, such as Google Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. This lets us navigate from one web page to another via hyperlinks embedded in documents. These documents may also include graphics, sounds, text, video, multimedia, etc.

Using the web, Individuals, and organizations can publish ideas and information to large audiences online at very low cost. Publishing a blog, or webpage involves little initial cost and also many free services are available.

Communication

The Internet provides many ways to communicate, one such is Email service. This concept has revolutionized the business industry which uses email on their day to day basis to communicate between parties sending pictures, documents, and files as attachments. Emails also offer a feature to cc, which can add multiple email addresses at the same time reducing our work and saving time.

Another mode of communication service through the Internet is Internet telephony. It is possible to talk using the internet it uses VoIP- Voice over internet protocol.

Some other Internet applications are listed below:

  • Communication
  • Entertainment
  • Online learning platforms
  • Remote work
  • E-commerce websites
  • Social media networks
  • Video streaming services
  • Philanthropy
  • Politics and political revolutions

Let’s talk about the social media revolution through the Internet in detail.

Social Networking:

Today, we use the internet to access news, weather reports, sport news, plan and book vacations, etc. Also, we interact by using social media chat, messaging, and email to stay in touch with friends worldwide, something like we use to write letters before the internet revolution.social-media

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc have created a new way to interact and socialize. A wide variety of information is added daily to these platforms and their pages.

Such sites pursue their own interest and serve their social community, through sites like LinkedIn people grow business connections. Video streaming sites like Youtube and Flickr specialize in users’ videos and photographs.

How security is equally important?

After seeing the positive side let’s flip to the other side of the internet evolution, we have discussed above how easy it is to share information and communicate from anywhere. 

There are attempts to gain unauthorized control by targeting internet resources, hardware, and software components to cause interruptions, commit fraud, engage in blackmail, or access private information. 

Malware:

Malicious software is used and distributed through the internet, it includes computer viruses.

Activities like DDos- Denial of service attacks, ransomware, botnets, and spyware are reportedly increasing giving rise to cybercrime. This can lead to future cyber warfare on a large scale between countries.

The use of some techniques like the latest antivirus software and enabling Windows firewall can prevent us from such malicious attacks.

Conclusion

The internet is no doubt a remarkable achievement of humans, which is shaping the modern world. Transforming the way we access information, communicate and socialize with one another. Reading this post What is the Internet? Hopefully gives you clarity about the origin, functionality usage, and some drawbacks.

The internet will undoubtedly continue to evolve, paving the way for exciting innovations and reshaping our world further. Keep enjoying the interconnected realm and navigate the vast web possibilities that the internet offers.

FAQs

What is the Internet? What are its components?

The Internet is a worldwide system of interconnected computers. It is a network of networks that communicate with each other through a set of protocols, for information exchange. Its main components are- Application, client, server, and protocol.

Is a router a component of the Internet?

A device that is used to forward data packets between computer networks also directs traffic between networks. 

Do all People in this world know what is the internet?

No, the internet is so popular in this modern world still is far from many people still live without using the internet.

Why is the Internet important to society?

The Internet is a vast source of information that can help you to be aware of national & international events, you can learn a skill or get any desired information, which can grow your personality. Helps people organize, collaborate and share information.