What is Internet?

The Internet is a computer network made up of thousands of networks worldwide.  No one knows exactly how many computers are connected to the Internet. However the number is in millions.  No one is in charge of Internet.  No governing body is in control.  The Internet backbone, through which Internet traffic flows, is owned by private companies.

An Internet user has access to a wide variety of services: E-mail, file transfer, vast information resources, internet group membership, and interactive collaboration, multimedia displays real-time broadcasting, shopping, opportunities, breaking news and much more.

A brief history of Internet

J.C.R.Licklider of MIT first proposed a global network of computers in 1962 and moved over to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in late 1962.  Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. 

The Internet then known as ARPANET, was brought online in 1969 under a contract let by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) which connect four major computers at universities in the southwestern US (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB and the University of Utah).

The Internet was designed in part to provide a communications network that would work even if some of the sites were destroyed by nuclear attack.  If the most direct route was not available, routers would direct traffic around the network via alternate routes.


World Wide Web is a system of Internet servers that supports hypertext to access several Internet protocols on a single interface.  This includes E-mail, FTP, Telnet and Usenet News.  It has its own protocol: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP.  The WWW provides a single interface for accessing, all these protocols.  The web gathers together these protocols into a single system.  The operation of the Web relies primarily on hypertext as its means of information retrieval.

The WWW consists of files, called pages or home pages, containing links to documents and resources throughout the Internet.  The Web provides a vast array of experiences including multimedia, presentations, real-time collaboration, interactive pages, radio and television broadcasts and the automatic “push” of information to a client computer.  Programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, Visual Basic, Cold Fusion, and XML are extending the capabilities of the Web.


Electronic mail or E-mail allows computer users locally and worldwide to exchange messages.  Each user of e-mail has a mail box address to which messages are sent.  Messages are sent through e-mail can arrive within a matter of seconds.  A powerful aspect of e-mail is the option to send electronic files to a person’s e-mail address.


Telnet is a program that allows you to log into computers on the Internet and use online databases, library catalogs, chat services and more.  The most common Web-based resources available through Telnet have been library catalogs, though most catalogs have since migrated to the Web.


FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.  This is a method used to transfer files between computers.  It is an option that allows users to transfer files from thousands of host computers on the Internet to their personal computer account.  FTP sites contain books, articles, software, games, images, sounds, multimedia, course work, data sets and more.