Words on Internet

The roots of internet go back to the late 1960s, when mainframe computers were networked together to share data. Advances in communications infrastructure and affordable computing power have yielded an increase at an exponential rate in internet use. Internet serves variety of purposes including entertainment, discussions, shopping, research, and more. Today any data that can be put on a computer can be found on the internet.

Information or data on the internet is found using a browser such as Internet Explorer, Firebox, Safari, and so on. Browsers not only allow you to surf the internet for text but also graphics, sounds, video, Flash, and more.

What is internet?

Technically, Internet refers to a vast computer network spanning the entire globe. Amazingly, internet originally was meant to share limited research information but now it has become than a social platform.

In the early days of the internet, mainframe computers were used and they were connected to "dumb terminals." A dumb terminal has no local computing power. In other words, a dumb terminal was responsible for just collecting input from the user and displaying the result back to the result. Where was the computing power then? The mainframe computers had the computing power to run all the applications and programs to send the results to the dumb terminal. When the results were received on the dumb terminal, it displayed them. With the advent of cheap computing power, this has changed considerably. Desktop PCs and mobile devices now, for example, with their own computing capacities connect directly to an internet server to access internet resources or services.

Keeping track of all the internet connections

As indicated earlier, more and more computers and computerized devices connect to the internet. Consequently, are you wondering how the internet is able to keep track of all the PCs and mobile devices connected to one huge network? If there was no system in place for tracking all those connections, it would be logistical nightmare of the huge network. Internet technologies, for sake of simplicity here, use unique codes (both a number and a name) for each and every computer connected to the Internet.

How is each computer connected to the internet? TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol) is the networking protocol that makes the connection and passing of the data around the network possible. TCP/IP was originally a way of connecting different types of computer hardware and network technologies. TCP/IP now is the biggest network protocol in use and connecting computers all over the world to the internet.

Internet computers or server can distinguish other computers on this global network with unique codes – called IP address. An IP address is a unique number code, made up of digits from 0 to 250 and separated by dots (or periods). This numbering scheme allows billions of computers to connect to the internet. How do you get a unique IP address for your computer? When your computer first joins the internet, the network service provider will issue an IP address for your computer to use. The IP address again is unique; otherwise the computer won’t work properly with the internet resources.

This explains you how your computer is distinguished from the rest of the computers on the internet (or more precisely other computers connected to the same website you are visiting). The use of IP addresses does not stop there. The unique codes are also used for internet hosts (or servers – the computer you connect to when you visit a website.) Think of when you visit http://www.google.com or http://www.BlogMount.com, the computers in the back ground used an IP address to locate the server that will send you the requested webpage.

Because names are easier to remember than IP addresses, we use name of an internet host. If this does not sound convincing, do you know the IP address for the internet host www.msn.com, www.youtube.com, or www.yahoo.com? Chances are you only know the internet host name but not the corresponding IP address of the server.

Read this post to learn how the internet host names are converted into IP addresses.

Posted on 8/6/2007
by Raj Singh