The Internet

It is rather embarrassing to write about something all of us are more than familiar with. Is there anybody who doesn't know about the greatest invention on earth? After the invention of digit zero, of course! What is the World Wide Web or the net as it is popularly called? Well, it all began with the US military. The US Air force commissioned a study for maintaining communication after a nuclear attack.

Later ARPA (Advanced Research Projects agency) awarded the ARPANET project to BBN. It developed a protocol called TCP/IP which is widely used even today. Using this protocol one can connect and communicate with diverse computers over a network. The basic technology is called packet switching. Internet domain names like can be registered with the domain name registrars for an annual fee.

The internet traffic is routed through the identification of domain names. Top level domains like .com , .org , .net have been quite popular . The other top level domains are .

gov, .edu used by educational institutions and .mil used by the military. Another important terminology is Hosting. You can upload your information to an internet server which is called hosting.

When a person types your web address, the information is sent to the computer or domain server where the address is resolved and directed to the computer where the information is stored. This way the circle is completed. Routers & Routing For the internet to work there has to be a channel.

How will the data flowing on the net know where it should be routed? A device which routes information on the internet is called a Router. Actually the terminology used for internet is fairly simple and obvious. Though it is one of the most important pieces of equipment without which the internet would not work, is hidden from most of us. Basically a Router connects two or more different networks like a LAN network. A LAN or Local Area Network resolves the addresses of difference computers on the network using a switch.

These networks are in turn connected with a switch. These can usually be found with Internet service providers. Information between computers is exchanged by using data packets or simply packets. When a particular piece of data arrives at a router, it decides which way to send it. Unlike a normal telephone data where the complete information is carried by a single dedicated line, computer data is sent thorough many different channels. The advantages are obvious.

If the data encounters a problem with a particular channel, it switches over to other working channels. Therefore the data is always transmitted without fail without abrupt disconnection as with telephone channel. The job of the router is to decide if the packets received by it belong to the same network or it needs to be transmitted over the internet. It has to keep track of all packets sent via the internet and ensure that all packets are received by the recipient computer and resolve any problems arising out of this exchange.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dean Barnard.

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