Internet is defined as a connected group of computer networks allowing for electronic communication. The networks:
- Are comprised of educational, commercial and government sites
- Can be made up of any number of computers from two to infinity
- It began in 1973 as a project proposed by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to link research facilities at defense agencies and universities within the United States.
- In 1983 the Internet was released to the world.
- The World Wide Web was designed by the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1989 and allowed for all available published information to be searched and viewed in graphical mode.
- By 1996, there were more than 25 million computers online in over 180 countries.
How It Works
- There is no central controlling computer or person that directs traffic or information.
- Users gain access through gateways.
- Information is sent/received by users based on their Internet addresses.
- An example of the Internet is what you access when you use Wi-Fi.
- An example of the Internet is what current research projects in remote locations use to broadcast their day-to-day progress and discoveries to viewers around the globe.
Internet definition by Webster's New World
Origin: ; from inter- plush net(work)
Internet definition by American Heritage Dictionary
internet - Computer Definition
An interconnection of networks that is so seamless as to appear to the user as one network.The networks can include local area networks (LANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), and wide area networks (WANs). See also Internet, LAN, MAN, network, seamless, and WAN.
A massive, global network of packet data networks based on the Internet Protocol (IP) suite.The Internet is grounded in the U.S. Department of Defense ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork), which began in 1969 as a means of linking personnel and systems involved in various computer science and military research projects. The Internet since has grown to comprise more than 400 million hosts connected to more than 60,000 academic, business, and governmental networks in more than 150 countries. The Internet also has evolved to support not only data, but also voice, image, video, facsimile, audio, and multimedia communications. Fundamental to the Internet is the Internal Protocol (IP) suite, which, in the context of the OSI Reference Model, includes the Internet Protocol (IP) at the Network Layer and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) at the Transport Layer. At the Application Layer are File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), and Telecommunications Network (TELNET). The physical infrastructure has evolved into one that is largely broadband in nature, comprising extremely high speed transmission systems and routers.The physical topology is organized in a hierarchical manner, as follows:
A network. Today, Internet refers to a collection of networks connected by routers. The Internet is the largest network in the world and comprises backbone networks such as MILNET, mid-level networks, and stub networks.
The Internet had its seeds planted with ARPANET, the information-exchange platform created for researchers in universities around the world by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency in 1969. The Internet’s major growth spurt occurred after Tim Berners-Lee developed the HTTP protocol in the early 1990s, allowing users to access and link information through a simple and intuitive user interface—the Internet browser. Technically speaking the Internet is just the transportation medium over which data packets are transmitted. The World Wide Web is one of the applications using the Internet as a base infrastructure. Because of the overwhelming success of the World Wide Web, the term “Web” is often used to signify the Internet as such.
At first, universities were the early adopters of the Internet, but before long tech wizards with an entrepreneurial spirit realized that a commercial application could produce millionaires and billionaires. By the early 2000s, there was virtually no medium- or large-sized organization without a presence on the Internet, with the bulk having a Website and communication connectivity with email. As of 2005, tumbling computer and Internet connectivity prices have made it possible for the majority of households in the developed world to access the Internet through high-bandwidth lines.
Though currently information is generally obtained on the Internet for free, the day could arrive in the near future when the “free ride on the information highway” comes to a halt. In fact, more and more Websites are beginning to charge for access to information content.
Developing countries around the world are also buying into the Internet craze, for technology can assist in leveling the economic playing field. However, not all developing nations believe that Internet use should be available to citizens of all ages. During October to December 2004, for example, China closed more than 12,575 existing Internet cafes for allegedly permitting illegal operations. Though the Chinese government said that it promotes active Internet use for business and appropriate educational purposes, the communist authorities maintained that Internet cafes can harm public morality by giving minors access to such undesirable information as violent games and sexually explicit content. For example, the Web site www.chronicle.com, which is a prime site for academics seeking jobs, now charges a subscription rate for access to administrative salary data and other special interest topics.
In recent times, other morally questionable Internet practices have been challenged in the United States as well. An “interactive Internet logon” animal-killing case surfaced in the United States during the first week of May 2005. “Computer assisted remote hunting” is defined as the use of a computer or any similar device, equipment, or software to remotely control the aiming and discharge of archery equipment, a crossbow, or a firearm to hunt and kill an animal or bird. In California, the Fish and Game Commission ordered wildlife officials to create emergency laws to ban the practice of hunters using the Internet to shoot animals. This piece of legislation, passed by California’s Senate in April 2005, was in response to a Texas hunter Website that intended to let users fire at real animals using their computers. In particular, the legislation prevented the use of computer-assisted hunting sites and banned the import or export of any animal killed using computer-assisted hunting. Other states, such as Texas and Maine, and Congress have also then considered passing similar bills.
In Brief. China Cracks Down on Public Internet. The Globe and Mail, February 17, 2005, p. B10; Kapica, J. Cyberia. The Globe and Mail, February 17, 2005, p. B10; In Brief. No Remote Hunting, Regulators Say. The Globe and Mail, May 5, 2005, p. B25; QUT Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support. Network Glossary. [Online, July 17, 2004.] QUT Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support Website. http://www .its.qut.edu.au/network/glossary.jsp.
The term internet, spelled with a lower case "i," has always meant a large network made up of smaller networks. Today, the term mostly refers to the global Internet, properly spelled with an upper case "I." The global Internet comprises nearly a billion Web, e-mail and related servers in more than 100 countries. Originally developed for the U.S. military, it became widely used for academic and commercial research, with access to unpublished data and journals on many subjects. Today, the "Net" is the world's largest source of information on every subject known to humankind and the world's largest mail-order catalog. Hundreds of millions of people use the Internet on a daily basis. E-Mail Lit the Fuse In the mid-1990s, the Internet surged in growth, increasing a hundredfold in 1995 and 1996 alone. The first reason was that up to that point, the major online services, such as AOL and CompuServe, provided e-mail only to their own customers. As they began to reach out to Internet users by interfacing with the Internet's mail system, the Internet took on the role of a global switching center. For the first time, an AOL member could send e-mail to a CompuServe member, and vice versa. The Internet's SMTP mail protocol glued the world together for messaging, and eventually every service adopted it as the standard (see SMTP). The Bomb Exploded with the Web Secondly, with the advent of graphics-based Web browsers such as Mosaic and Netscape Navigator, and soon after, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the World Wide Web took off. The Web became available to users with PCs and Macs rather than only scientists and programmers at Unix workstations. Delphi was the first proprietary online service to offer Web access, and the others followed. Coming out of the woodwork, Internet service providers (ISPs) offered access to everyone, and the Web grew exponentially. Web pages became the majority of Internet traffic (see HTTP and HTML); however, that was eventually superseded by video streaming, as the Internet turned into a multimedia server platform. Newsgroups Although daily news and information is available on countless Web sites, long before the Web, information on myriad subjects was exchanged via the User Network newsgroups (see Usenet). Still thriving, newsgroup articles can be selected and read directly from a Web browser. Chat Rooms Chat rooms provide another popular Internet service. Internet Relay Chat (see IRC) offers multiuser text conferencing on diverse topics. Dozens of IRC servers provide hundreds of channels that anyone can log in to and participate via the keyboard.
The Original InternetThe Internet started in 1969 as the ARPAnet. Funded by the U.S. government, ARPAnet became a series of high-speed links between major supercomputer sites and educational and research institutions worldwide, although mostly in the U.S. A major part of its backbone was the National Science Foundation's NSFNet. Along the way, it became known as the "Internet" or simply "the Net." By the 1990s, so many networks had become part of it and so much traffic was not educational or pure research in nature that it became obvious that the Internet was on its way to becoming a commercial venture. It Went Commercial in 1995 In 1995, the Internet was turned over to large commercial Internet providers (ISPs), such as MCI, Sprint and UUNET, which took responsibility for the backbones and have increasingly enhanced their capacities ever since. Regional ISPs link into these backbones to provide lines for their subscribers, and smaller ISPs hook either directly into the national backbones or into the regional ISPs. The TCP/IP Protocol Internet computers use the TCP/IP communications protocol. There are hundreds of millions of hosts on the Internet, a host being a server of any size that is always online via TCP/IP and providing e-mail or Web or some Internet-based service. The Internet is also connected to non-TCP/IP networks worldwide through gateways that convert TCP/IP into other protocols. See TCP/IP. Internet Life Before the Web Before the Web and graphics-based Web browsers, academicians and scientists accessed the Internet using command-driven Unix utilities. Some of these utilities are still widely used and are available for all platforms. For example, FTP (file transfer program) is used to upload and download files, and Telnet lets a user log in to an Internet host and run a program. See FTP, Telnet, Archie, Gopher and Veronica. The Next Internet Ironically, some of the original academic and scientific users of the Internet have developed their own Internet once again. Internet2 is a high-speed academic research network that was started in much the same fashion as the original Internet (see Internet2). See Web vs. Internet, World Wide Web, how to search the Web, intranet, NAP, hot topics and trends, IAB, information superhighway and online service.
Internet - Cultural Definition
The global communication network that allows almost all computers worldwide to connect and exchange information. Some of the early impetus for such a network came from the U.S. government network Arpanet, starting in the 1960s.
- Some scholars have argued that the access to massive amounts of information, together with the widespread ability to communicate, has altered the way that human beings perceive reality.
internet - Science Definition