Internet is a system of computer networks that are spread all over the word the world and use a number of protocol to communicate withe one another such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP). Internet is still uncharted and there is no central authority controlling the content of the internet and user connectivity. Any computer with a modem (a computer interface to standard telephone lines) can be connected to the Internet. Following are two common types of Internet connection:

  • Dial-UP Connections: Individual subscribers in order to access the internet make use of dial-up connections.

To access the Internet through a dial-up connection you need a personal computer, a modem and an appropriate communication software like the Internet Explorer. In this mode, there is a host which services the client requests for the information . The host is called using a local or toll-free number. There are a number of dial-up connection providers is the market, so the user can decide which one to choose depending upon their needs and the services offered by he connection providers. An Internet connection using phone lines and modems does not give users a speedy access to the internet . An Internet connection using ordinary telephone lines has a data transfer rate using a direct connection is of the order of mega characters per second.

  • Direct Connection: Direct connection are those use wireless medium for information transfer. Initially, direct connection were available to institutions, which lease high-speed connection to regional networks and service providers. Now it is widely availabe to most internet users in the developed and developing nations.[1]

As computing advanced, peer-to-peer (P2P) communication was gradually delivered and enhanced. Since the 1990s, the internet has greatly influenced and upgraded networking to global standards. Billions of internet users rely on multiple application and networking technologies, including:

  • Internet Protocol (IP): The internet’s primary component and communications backbone. Because the internet is comprised of hardware and software layers, the IP communication standard is used to address schemes and identify unique connected devices. Prominent IP versions used for communications include Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
  • Communications: The internet is the most cost-effective communications method in the world, in which the following services are instantly available:
    • Email
    • Web-enabled audio/video conferencing services
    • Online movies and gaming
    • Data transfer/file-sharing, often through File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
    • Instant messaging
    • Internet forums
    • Social networking
    • Online shopping
    • Financial services[2]

The Internet
source: Simon Aderinlola

Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, by design, the Internet is decentralized. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).[3]

Historical Background of the Internet[4]
The first workable prototype of the Internet came in the late 1960s with the creation of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, ARPANET used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate on a single network. The technology continued to grow in the 1970s after scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf developed Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a communications model that set standards for how data could be transmitted between multiple networks. ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet. The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While it’s often confused with the Internet itself, the web is actually just the most common means of accessing data online in the form of websites and hyperlinks. The web helped popularize the Internet among the public, and served as a crucial step in developing the vast trove of information that most of us now access on a daily basis.

Internet - Global Domination[5]
At the end of 1969, there were only four computers on ARPAnet, and they were all at US universities. This grew to 5,000 internet hosts in 1986, after which the number of users grew rapidly into the millions and then hundreds of millions. The main reasons for this massive increase were the opening of what had been an academic and government network to commercial users, and its rapid spread from the US to the rest of the world. Allied factors were the huge growth of the personal computer market in the 1980s, the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in the early 1990s, and the widespread adoption of broadband in the 2000s. Web browsers have made the internet easy enough for anyone to use. With relatively cheap personal computers and the benefits of broadband, more than a billion people are using it.Now that internet access is becoming popular on mobile phones, the next billion users should be online fairly soon.

Internet Address[6]
Because the Internet is a global network of computers each computer connected to the Internet must have a unique address. Internet addresses are in the form nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn where nnn must be a number from 0 - 255. This address is known as an IP address. The picture below illustrates two computers connected to the Internet; your computer with IP address and another computer with IP address The Internet is represented as an abstract object in-between.

How Internet Works
source: Stanford

If you connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you are usually assigned a temporary IP address for the duration of your dial-in session. If you connect to the Internet from a local area network (LAN) your computer might have a permanent IP address or it might obtain a temporary one from a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. In any case, if you are connected to the Internet, your computer has a unique IP address.

Internet Architecture[7]
The Internet architecture is based on a simple idea: ask all networks want to be part of carrying a single packet type, a specific format the IP protocol. In addition, this IP packet must carry an address defined with sufficient generality in order to identify each computer and terminals scattered throughout the world. This architecture is illustrated in the figure below.

Internet Architecture
source: EComputerNotes

The user who wishes to make on this internetwork must store its data in IP packets that are delivered to the first network to cross. This first network encapsulates the IP packet in its own packet structure, the package A, which circulates in this form until an exit door, where it is decapsulated so as to retrieve the IP packet. The IP address is examined to locate, thanks to a routing algorithm, the next network to cross, and so on until arriving at the destination terminal. To complete the IP, the US Defense added the TCP protocol; specify the nature of the interface with the user. This protocol further determines how to transform a stream of bytes in an IP packet, while ensuring quality of transport this IP packet. Both protocols, assembled under the TCP / IP abbreviation, are in the form of a layered architecture. They correspond to the packet level and message-level reference model. The Internet model is completed with a third layer, called the application level, which includes different protocols on which to build Internet services. Email (SMTP), the file transfer (FTP), the transfer of hypermedia pages, transfer of distributed databases (World Wide Web), etc., are some of these services. IP packets are independent of each other and are individually routed in the network by interconnecting devices subnets, routers. The quality of service offered by IP is very small and offers no detection of lost or possibility of error recovery packages. TCP combines the functionality of message-level reference model. This is a fairly complex protocol, which has many options for solving all packet loss problems in the lower levels. In particular, a lost fragment can be recovered by retransmission on the stream of bytes. TCP uses a connection-oriented mode.

The flexibility of the Internet architecture can sometimes be a default, to the extent that global optimization of the network is carried out by sub-network subnet, by a succession of local optimizations. This does not allow a homogeneous function in different subnets traversed. Another important feature of this architecture is to place the entire control system, that is to say, intelligence and control of the network, in the terminal machine leaving virtually nothing in the network, at least in the current version, IPv4, the IP protocol. The control intelligence is in the TCP software on the PC connected to the network.

Internet Security[8]
The communication over the Internet is not 100% secure and anyone on the network can eavesdrop your traffic. The computers and network devices are vulnerable to different type s of cyber threats. The WanaCry ransomware attack launched in 2017 is a recent example of how the attackers can break into our computer systems when we are connected to the Internet. However, some simple precautions can avoid the majority of the Internet attacks. Following are some basic precautions that should be followed while surfing the internet.

  • Keep your Internet connected device software up to date
  • Install any patches recommended by the vendors
  • Never install software from untrusted suppliers
  • Avoid downloading software from the suspicious websites
  • Never click on the email links from the unknown and suspicious email accounts
  • Never download the email attachments that you don't trust
  • Use antivirus and antispyware to scan your system and applications
  • Check your system logs and access permissions of the applications running on your system
  • Always use the licensed version of the software
  • Use personal VPN to protect your identity and privacy

Internet Governance[9]
The Internet is a global network that comprises many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks. It operates without a central governing body. The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols (IPv4 and IPv6) is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. To maintain interoperability, the principal name spaces of the Internet are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is governed by an international board of directors drawn from across the Internet technical, business, academic, and other non-commercial communities. ICANN coordinates the assignment of unique identifiers for use on the Internet, including domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, application port numbers in the transport protocols, and many other parameters. Globally unified name spaces are essential for maintaining the global reach of the Internet. This role of ICANN distinguishes it as perhaps the only central coordinating body for the global Internet.

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) allocate IP addresses:

  • African Network Information Center (AfriNIC) for Africa
  • American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) for North America
  • Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) for Asia and the Pacific region
  • Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC) for Latin America and the Caribbean region
  • Réseaux IP Européens – Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) for Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia
  • The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Commerce, had final approval over changes to the DNS root zone until the IANA stewardship transition on 1 October 2016. The Internet Society (ISOC) was founded in 1992 with a mission to "assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world". Its members include individuals (anyone may join) as well as corporations, organizations, governments, and universities. Among other activities ISOC provides an administrative home for a number of less formally organized groups that are involved in developing and managing the Internet, including: the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), Internet Research Task Force (IRTF), and Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). On 16 November 2005, the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis established the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to discuss Internet-related issues.

Is the Internet Good for Us?[10]
The bottomless pit of information we call the internet is a mixed blessing. As much as the internet spreads knowledge and understanding around the world, it also provides endless opportunities to waste time and develop unhealthy habits, such as obsessively checking social media. Research has linked excessive Facebook use with low self-esteem and poor life satisfaction, though cause and effect are hard to nail down. Twitter, which Amnesty International accuse of having created a toxic environment for women, asked for help in March in curbing trolls and misinformation. Meanwhile, doctors warn against taking tablets and mobile phones into the bedroom because of the sleep-disrupting impact of screens.

The ills of online life have forced some to turn their back on the internet, or at least the most time-draining, abusive, and addictive services. If Ofcom data is right, that could free up a whole lot of life. The watchdog found that the average Briton checks their mobile phone once every 12 seconds and spends a full 24 hours per week online, with some racking up a staggering 40 hours.

See Also

Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET)
Internet of Things (IoT)
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Internet Crime
Internet Privacy
Internet Reputation
Search Engine
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
World Wide Web
Dark Web
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
Machine Learning
Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
Social Network
Social Networking
Social Media
Social Media Governance


  1. What is the Internet AALLSOFT
  2. Explaining the Internet Techopedia
  3. The Internet is Decentralized Webopedia
  4. Historical Background of the Internet
  5. Internet - Global Domination BBC
  6. Internet Addresses
  7. Internet Architecture Dinesh Thakur
  8. Internet Security IP Location
  9. Internet Governance Wikipedia
  10. Is the internet good for us? The Guardian

Further Reading