How The Internet Works: The Internet History

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Why the Internet built? what’s the history of the Internet and how it really works! below you can read some information to know more on this.

Configuring your Computer for Internet Access

To connect to the Internet, your computer must support Internet working protocols, called TCP/IP. Today, this support is built into popular operating systems, such as Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. You also need communications equipment, such as modem, and ISDN adapter, or an Ethernet card, depending on how you’re planning to access the Internet.

Accessing the Internet

You can access the Internet in the following ways:

Shell access – the least expensive type of Internet access, this method requires a modem and a phone line. You get access to the shell (user interface) of a UNIX computer, enabling text-based applications such as email. UNIX knowledge is required for shell access. In this method, your computer isn’t really connected to the Internet. You’re using it as a terminal to access a computer that is connected to the Internet.

Dial-up access with Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) – most home user access the Internet this way. You need a modem and an analog phone line, or an ISDN adapter and an ISDN line. With this method, your computer is directly connected to the Internet, but it’s assigned a temporary IP address. For this reason, you can’t conveniently run server software on a computer connected to the Internet with PPP. Some ISPs use an older protocol, called SLIP, which isn’t as efficient as PPP.

Cable and satellite access – Cable TV firms are increasingly offering Internet access at speeds much faster than dial-up modems. Satellite access enables fast downloads but requires a phone line and a modem for uploading data. Like modem access, these access methods give your computer a temporary IP address, so you can’t run server programs in such a way that other Internet users can find your content.

LAN access – If the company you’re working for has a LAN, or you’re attending a university that provides Ethernet access in dorm rooms, you can access the Internet by means of the local area network. LAN access is generally much faster than dial-up access, but the performance you experience depends on how many LAN users are trying to access the Internet at the same time. With LAN access, your computer probably has a permanently assigned IP address, and you may be able to run server programs.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Internet service providers (ISPs) sell Internet subscriptions to home and business users. For home users, they offer dial-up access. Many ISPs also provide direct connections for business using leased lines.


To understand how data travels on the Internet, it’s helpful to compare this journey to an interstate car trip. When you connect to the Internet and request access to a Web page, your request travels by local connections – the city streets – to your Internet service providers’ local point of presence (POP). From there, your ISP relays your request to the regional backbone, a highway that connects your town to a larger metropolitan region. Your request then goes to a network access point (NAP) – a freeway on-ramp – where regional backbones connect to national backbone networks. And from there, the message gets on the national backbone networks, the freeway. Near the destination, your message gets off the freeway and travels regional and local networks until it reaches its destination.

The Internet is becoming more complex every day as new backbone service providers expand the network and more ISPs sell this bandwidth to business and residential customers. How is this growth accommodated? Because the Internet isn’t centrally administered, the network couldn’t work without its automated routers, which route Internet messages to their destination. The Internet routers are designed to share information with each other automatically. At any given moment, a router automatically possesses up-to-date information about the portion of the network to which it is directly connected. For this reason, new service providers can extend the Internet without obtaining permission from anyone. All that’s needed is a registration process.

The Internet Protocols (TCP/IP)

A network isn’t just the physical transmission media that carry its signals, but also the standards, called protocols, that enable devices connected to the network to communicate with each other. The Internet protocols, collectively called (TCP/IP, are open protocols that define how the Internet works. TCP/IP is an abbreviation for the two most important Internet protocols, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). However, more than 100 protocols make up the entire Internet protocol suite, including the many protocols that define the Internet services.

Internet Protocol is the most fundamental of all IP. IP defines the Internet’s addressing scheme, which enables any Internet connected computer to be uniquely identified. An Internet address, also called an IP address, is a four-part number, separated by periods (such The IP protocol is a connectionless protocol. With IP, two computers don’t have to be online at the same time to exchanged data. The sending computer just keeps trying until the message gets through.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

Some Internet services (such as the Web) need two computers to communicate with each other. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) defines how one Internet-connected computer can contact another and exchange control and confirmation messages. You can see TCP in action when you’re using the Web; just watch your browser’s status line.

The Domain Name System

Because IP addresses are difficult to type and remember, the Internet uses a system called the Domain Name System (DNS) DNS enables users to type and address that includes letters as well as numbers. For example, you can type to access the computer located at A process called domain name registration enables individuals and organizations to register a domain name with a service organization called the InterNIC. Within large organizations, administrators can assign internal domain names without having to go through the InterNIC.

How do domain names work? The secret lies in computers called domain name servers (also called DNS servers). These computers maintain up-to-date lists that match local domain names with the correct IP addresses. Suppose you want to access the computer that houses the Internet Explorer home page at Microsoft Corporation. When you request this page, your local ISP’s domain name server contacts Microsoft’s domain name server and ask for this computer’s IP address. In this way, you always get the correct IP address, even if Microsoft moves the content to a different machine.

Domain names can tell you a great deal about where a computer is located. For computers located in the United States, top-level domain names (the last part of the domain name) indicate the type of organization in which the computer is located:

  • gov – Government agencies

  • edu – Educational institutions

  • org – Organizations (nonprofit)

  • mil – Military

  • com – Commercial business

  • net – Network organizations (such as Internet service providers)

Outside the United States, the top-level domain indicates the name of the country in which the computer is located, such as (Canada), UK (Great Britain) and JP (Japan). A proposal to expand top-level domains would create the following: store (electronic shopping), arts (museums and culture), rec (recreational sites), info (information services) and nom (individuals).

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More Contents at a Glance!

Capabilities and Limitations of a Computer

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer

The 3 Major Types of Computer

Two Types of Printers

The Internet History: how the Internet Works!

The Two Categories of Computer

The Functions of Computer Keyboard

Multimedia Hardware and Applications

How to handle Computer Hardware and computer Software

The Internal and Peripheral Parts of Computer Software

The Modern Internet Status


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