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The Internet & the Web: About the Internet

Describes principles of internet research for CIS-1A as a gateway course leading to pathways in Business, Information Systems, and Computer Science.

Origins of the Internet

What is the Internet?

The Internet is a very large collection of computer networks consisting of millions of computer systems that are all interconnected providing a means of global communication. The Internet was originally developed by the United States government for military application.

How it Began

In 1957, the U.S.S.R launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, and soon thereafter began testing its first intercontinental ballistic missile. In response, the United States began an aggressive military campaign, and created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). This agency was responsible for the research and development of technology for the Department of Defense (DoD), and is credited for developing ARPAnet, the first packet-switched network consisting of four computers located at UCLA, the Stanford Research Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. These computers began "talking" in 1969. ARPAnet quickly grew as computers were added to the network, and evolved into the Internet as we know it today.

How the Internet Works

The Internet is comprised of a collection of computer networks. These networks are made up of millions of individual computers all over the world that "talk" to one another.

The computers that access the Internet are one of two types: Servers or clients. Servers provide specialized services including web services, email, file transfer (FTP), and newsgroups. Client computers request and access the services provided by these servers. The computer you use at home to access the Internet is a client, whereas the computer that provides you with a web page when you click on a link is a server

Net Diagram

Computers are connected to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using either a phone line (for dial-up, DSL, or Fiber-optic services), cable (for cable internet services), or wireless device (for mobile broadband services). The ISPs provide the means of communication between networks and computers.

Internet Timeline

Explore the history of the Internet through the following links: