What is the Internet?
The term “Internet” is used to refer to a network of computers that are interconnected with each other worldwide with the aim of making publicly accessible information commonplace. This network uses a common language for communicating between devices.
The Internet uses protocols, resources, and services to operate through different means of connecting to the network, either by a telephone line, a cable, or more modern techniques like 4G (LTE) and 5G, fiber optic, and ADSL.
Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others are used to access websites on the Internet.
Its name comes from the International Network of Computers and is also described as the Network of Networks.
What are the Internet’s characteristics?
- It offers information 24 hours a day, and it can be accessed as long as there is a connection.
- It is public by nature.
- It doesn’t belong to any entity, and it’s universal and decentralized, so there are no control points at the hierarchical level.
- It’s collaborative, meaning everyone can share information on the Internet.
- Its growth is unlimited and collaborative, allowing new connections to the network in a shared way.
- It creates a trace based on each interaction from users so personalized experiences tailored to their interests and preferences can be offered. However, it is an anonymous network that does not require users to identify themselves to use it.
- It can be accessed from any device immediately, and messages are transmitted instantly.
- Its uses can range from searching for information to research, social contacts, direct communication, education, and financial operations.
When did the Internet get started?
The Internet was created in 1969 in the United States when ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (now called DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), sought to improve remote communication systems on their computer network.
However, it wasn’t until the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network began that it was possible to establish a high-speed communications network with the aim of creating a computer network permitting research and defense centers to maintain contact remotely without operation being interrupted in case some nodes were attacked or destroyed.
In 1983, the ARPANET began to use TCP/IP protocols to establish communication between computers. Then, at the end of the eighties, the World Wide Web (WWW) service was created using the Internet as the transmission medium for remote consultation of hypertext files. This was the first iteration of using computers and links to create a network.
What types of Internet connections are there?
Internet access is made possible through multiple channels. Some of these are:
- Optical fiber (cable): light and non-electric signals are implemented to encode information, allowing data transmission between nodes.
- Telephone lines: these can be conventional (transmitting the signal analogically) or digital (working through a network adapter).
- Wireless networks: these replace cables with infrared signals or radio waves to transmit information. A common method is LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution System), which uses high-frequency radio waves.
- Satellite: a system combined with a telephone connection to reduce terrestrial network traffic.
- Mobile: a connection through smartphones, offering fast internet access.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots: these sites offer Internet access via a wireless local network (WLAN) through a router that connects to an Internet service provider. Wi-Fi technology is used to help connect equipment easily and achieve wireless data exchange via radio waves.
- ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line): this type of connection enables high-speed digital data transmission through a common telephone line.
- PLC (Power Line Communications): a connection that uses power lines to transmit data at high speeds through electrical systems like access points. This way, internal networks are established to share data between different devices.