Fundamentals of Internet

Internet is the world's largest computer network, the network of networks, scattered all over the world. Initially, it was created as a project for the U.S. Department of Defence. Its goal was to create a method for widely separated computers to transfer data efficiently even in the event of a nuclear attack.

From a handful of computers and users in the 1960s, today the internet has grown to thousands of regional networks that can connect millions of users. Using internet, organizations all over the world can exchange data, people can communicate with each other in a faster and effective way.

History of Internet

In 1969, the U. S. Defence Department funded a project to develop a network, which can withstand the bombing. Basically the idea was to develop a very secured network which can work even after a nuclear attack. This project was known as ARPANET. The proposed network was not supposed to have a central control, which would be an obvious target.

Ten years of research brought Local Area Networks (LANs) and workstations were developed to get connected to LAN. These workstations and LANs were then connected to the ARPANET. For next decade the ARPANET grew and its decentralized features helped its rapid expansion. Computers connected to ARPANET used a standard or rule to communicate with each other. This standard used by ARPANET is known as NCP (National Control Protocol).

Protocol is a network term used to indicate the standard used by a network for communication. But the passing time and rapid change in information technology suppressed NCP and brought TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) into the world of networking.

TCP converts messages into streams of packets at the source, and they are reassembled back into messages at the destination. Internet Protocol handles the dispatch of these packets. IP handles the addressing, and makes sure that a packet reaches its destination through multiple nodes and even across multiple networks with multiple standards. This flexibility of TCP/IP to handle multiple protocols encourages other networks to get connected to ARPANET. Slowly the ARPANET became a massive network of networks and now it is known as 'Internet'.

E-Mail (Electronic Mail)

E-mail or electronic mail is paperless method of sending messages, notes or letters from one person to another or even many people at the same time via the Internet. E-mail is very fast compared to the normal post. E-mail messages usually take only few seconds to arrive at their destination. One can send messages anytime of the day or night and it will get delivered immediately. The biggest advantage to using e-mail is that it is cheap, especially when sending messages to other states or countries and at the same time it can be delivered to a number of people around the world.

Although e-mail is faster and cheaper, it has many of the components of regular mail. It allows you to compose note, get the address of the recipient and send it. Once the mail is received and read, it can be forwarded, replied. One can even store it for later use, or delete. In e-mail even the sender can request for delivery receipt and read receipt from the recipient.

Features of E-mail

  • One-to-one or one-to-many communication
  • Instant communication
  • Physical presence of recipient is not required
  • Most inexpensive mail service, 24-hours a day and seven days a week
  • Encourages informal communication

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

File Transfer Protocol, is an Internet utility software used to upload and download files. It gives access to directories or folders on remote computers and allows software, data and text files to be transferred between different kinds of computers. FTP works on the basis of the same principle as that of Client/Server.

FTP client is a program running on your computer that enables you to talk to and get stuff from remote computers. The FTP client takes FTP commands and sends them as requests for information from the remote computer, known as FTP servers. To access remote FTP server it is required but not necessary to have an account in the FTP server. When the FTP client gets connected, FTP server asks for the identification in terms of User Login name and password of the FTP client. If you do not have an account in the remote FTP server, still you can connect to the server using anonymous login. Using anonymous login anyone can login to a FTP server and can access public file archives, anywhere in the would, without having an account. 

Telnet (Remote Computing)

Telnet or remote computing is telecommunication utility software, which uses available telecommunication facility and allows you to become a user on a remote computer. Once you gain access to the remote computer, you can use it for the intended purpose. The TELNET works in a very step by step procedure. The commands types on the client computer are sent to the local Internet Service Provider (ISP), and then from the ISP to the remote computer that you have gained access.

World Wide Web (WWW)

WWW is the acronym for the World Wide Web. It is also commonly known as 'The Web'. The WWW is a hypertext based information retrieval tool. You can easily surf the Web by jumping from one document to another using the links in those documents. These documents can be in many formats, such as text, graphics, animation, sound and video. They may also be a combination of all these. All the information on Internet are presented to the user as a document or more popularly known as Web Page. All these Web Pages are linked to each other or even to section within a Web Page and these links are known as Hyper Links.

The tool used to view these Web Pages on Internet is known as Internet browser or simply browser. It is a software program specifically developed to extract information on user request from the Internet and present them as a Web Page to the viewer. The process of using browser to view information on Internet is known as Browsing or Surfing.

Internet Address

Just like every house, every office, every location has an address every page on the Internet has a unique address. The address is used to get the web page for user from Internet. Just as the address of a house or office is known as its postal address, the address on the Internet is known as URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

The URL locates a particular web page, among all the computes connected to the Internet. The URL contains the components that specify the protocol, server, and path name of an item.

The first component, the protocol, defines the manner for interpreting computer information. Many Internet pages use HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). The protocol is followed by a colon (http: ot https:). The second component, the server, identifies the computer system that stores the information you seek and is always preceded by two slashes.