Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Internet

This category and its several subcategories offers links to a wealth of resources representing a guide to the Internet.

There are people, grown to adulthood, who have never known life without the Internet. It might all seem pretty easy. We enter a web address into the address bar in our favorite browser, and a webpage pops up, almost like magic.

However, it requires a lot of very complex software and hardware in order to make the Internet seem so simple, and it took a long time for the technology to get to where we are now. The design behind some of the technologies that make the Internet work began in the 1940s and the direct work that led to today's Internet started in the 1960s. It took more than twenty years of research before the precursor to today's Internet was introduced in the late 1980s in a project known as NSFNet. You will find several histories of the Internet below, and you will also notice that not all of them agree.

The technology that helped to create the telegraph and the telephone contributed to the design of the Internet. However, when people talk on the telephone, they typically talk for a little while and then hang up. Of course, computers communicate differently than people do.

Sometimes computers send short messages to check to see if another computer is available. At other times, a computer will send a longer message, like a photo or an email. In recent years, computers have been sending a great deal of information, like movies or software. In fact, while we previously downloaded software to our computer, many of the programs we use today reside on an Internet cloud.

When we first started connecting computers together, we used wires. Computers in the same room could be connected to one another. In order to connect computers that were in another building or another town, we leased wires from the telephone company. However, when the computers were far away from one another, the phone company attached long distance charges that could be quite expensive.

In the 1970s and 1980s, universities around the world coordinated in setting up networks of computers, allowing university computers in Chicago to connect to those in London.

While developed in the 1960s, the idea of breaking messages into packets came into wide use in the 1980s when computer Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) used packets to route information from one BBS node to another, still sent through telephone lines.

Special-purpose computers were developed to move packets along the communication line, and these became known as routers, which are still in use today. Routers simplified the process of connecting computers from multiple vendors to the same network. When multiple computers at one location were connected in a Local Area Network (LAN), using physical wiring, a router could be connected to the LAN that would connect the network to a Wide Area Network (WAN).

Connecting these technologies together, we can understand the basic operation of today's Internet. We use routers to route packets along a path from a source to a destination. Each packet passes through multiple routers along the way. Different packets from the same message may take different routes from the same source to the same destination, and sometimes they arrive out of order, but each packet contains an offset from the beginning of the message that allows the destination computer to reassemble the packets in the right order.

The core of the Internet consists of a set of cooperating routers that move packets from many sources to many destinations at the same time. Each computer or LAN is connected to a router that forwards the data from its location to the various destinations on the Internet. One router might handle data from a single computer, from several computers in the same building, or from thousands of computers connected in a university or hospital complex.

The term "Internet" is a reference to the idea of many networks working together.

This, of course, is a simplified version of a lot of very complex technologies that work together to connect us to one another. You will find resources here that will offer you are a more complete description.

The purpose of this category, and its subcategories, is to offer resources relating to the Internet in general, as well as many of the ways in which we use the Internet. These include Internet-related associations and organizations, Internet service providers, domain registration, cloud computing and storage, Internet newsgroups, social media, blogs, web hosting, web design, and development, as well as other webmaster resources, Internet marketing, and advertising, and information related to searching the Internet.


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