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The Internet also known as the Net and is also a worldwide network of computers. It is made up of thousands of interconnected computer networks (a network is a group of computers connected together). A network in the Internet can be large (consisting of thousands of computers), medium (consisting of hundreds of computers) or small (consisting of just a few computers). Similarly, the computers in the network can be mainframes, minicomputers or microcomputers.
All computers in the Internet cooperate and work together to provide a variety of useful services to the users. Computers in the Internet fall into two basic categories: host (servers) and terminals (browser).
Users connect to the internet by subscribing to an Internet Service Provider commonly known as an (ISP). An ISP is an organisation that provides bandwidth services at some cost to clients who wish to have internet connections in their homes or offices. NetZero, AT&T and Microsoft Network (MSN) are ISPs. Individuals also connect to the Internet through business firms, universities, or research centres that have designated Internet domains. Connection is done by:
Traditional telephone lines and modem
Broadband – services which are provided by Digital subscriber line (DSL), cable satellite connections and T lines. T1 and T3 are international telephone standards for digital communications. They leased dedicated lines suitable for business or government agencies to secure guaranteed service levels.
The Internet is based on the TCP/IP networking protocol suite. Every computer on the net is assigned a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. The Internet also consists of domain naming system which stands for DNS. The (DNS) converts IP addresses to domain names .
Features that define the internet
- The World Wide Web (WWW)
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
The World Wide Web (WWW)
The World Wide Web Know as WWW is part of the internet that supports hypertext documents allowing users to access and navigate different types of data. It is also a web document that is encoded with HTML tags. These HTML tags allow designers to link contents via hyperlinks. Every web page has an address which is a Uniform Resource Locator which stands for (URL). Currently the Web is viewed mainly as a tool for allowing access to a large amount of “published” information.
This is also known as Electronic Mail and it is the reason most people stay on the internet. With the inception of the email facility people can create, send and receive email messages to one another around the globe using an email program with an email account on the internet mail server. Email clients usually contain user interfaces to display and edit text.
News is another major feature of the internet. It includes hundreds of newsgroup each newsgroup hosts discussion on a specific topic. A newsgroup’s name indicates its user’s special topic of interest such as clothes, shoes, food etc. When participating in a news program you need to have a news reader program that lets you read articles that have been posted on a news server. Articles can be posted for people to read and respond to.
is the world’s biggest electronic discussion forum. It provides a way for messages to be sent among computers across the entire Internet. People from all over the world participate in discussions on thousands of specific areas of interest called newsgroups
What is Telnet?
The Telnet protocol is often thought of as simply providing a facility for remote logins to computer via the Internet. Telnet follows a Client / Server Model. You run a piece of software on your own PC (the client) to use the resources of a distant Server Computer (host computer)
Some practical uses of Telnet include:
- Telnet is a Protocol that lets you use the power of the Internet to connect you to databases, library catalogs, and other information resources around the world.
- Telnet lets you connect directly to another computer on the Internet and run programs on the computer (provided you have access permission (Username and Password).
- Theoretically you have a lot of power at your fingertips. Your dumb terminal or very old PC can run programs on the world’s most powerful computers.
How is the Internet governed?
The Internet is a democratic setup. No single organization owns or manages all the resources in the Internet. Rather, it is collectively owned and managed by thousands of organizations from around the world. Each organization owns and manages its own network, but provides services to other networks as well as receives services from them. There is no master or slave relation in the Net – all users have equal standing.
The Internet data traffic is carried over transcontinental high-speed backbone networks that operate in a range of 45Mbps to 2.5 Gbps. Trunk lines are owned by long-distance telephone companies called Network Service Providers or by National Government. Local connection lines are owned by regional telephone and cable television companies in the United States that connect retail users in homes and business to internet. The regional networks lease access to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), private companies, and government institutions. Each organisation pays for its own networks and its own local Internet connection services, a part of which is paid to the long-distance trunk line. Individual internet users pays ISPs for using their services and they generally pay a flat subscription fee no matter how much or how little they use the internet.
The internet is not owned by any state or organisation and it has no formal management. However the internet policies are established by a number of professional organisations and government bodies including the (IAB) Internet Architecture Board that helps define the overall structure of the NET, the Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), assigns IP addresses and the World Wide Web Consortium which sets Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) and other programming standards for the web.
These organisations influence government agencies, network owners, ISPs and software developers with the goal of keeping the Internet operating. The Internet must also conform to the laws of the nation-states in which it operates as well as the technical infrastructure that exist within the nation-states.
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