Internet, a packet-switching computer architecture which has revolutionized communication and modes of commerce by enabling different computer networks around the globe to interconnect with one another. Some of its most popular uses are email, search engines, file sharing, entertainment, and telecommunications. However, the Internet is much more than these basic uses. Today, the Internet is the backbone of the information super highway, which connects the entire human system on all levels from the personal to the global community.
The internet is made up of many smaller protocols that together form an IP packet switching network. IP (Internet Protocol) is a type of address which refers to a Uniform Resource Locator. That is, any two Internet Protocol addresses can be associated with the same physical location on the network. This allows users from anywhere in the world to connect to each other. In simple terms, the IP packet switching ensures that each computer on the network has only one active connection at a given port number, so that if someone wants to browse the web he/she will get to see the site in question when his/her browser attempts to connect.
There have been several innovations in the field of internet access over the past few decades. One such innovation is the evolution of the internet protocol (IP) as we know it today, namely the TCP/IP. In its brief history, the internet has seen a number of important innovations, such as:
– The establishment of circuit switched internet access. In this type of internet access, all data sent or received is routed through a circuit. When the data reaches its destination, it is decoded and reassembled at the receiving end, as opposed to the traditional network which sends the data in a single packet. As a result, the packets of data travel separately, and in a systematic manner.
– The establishment of the national telephone network. The invention of the national telephone network marks the beginning of packet switching. Basically, in this system anyone can make use of the telephone network wherever he/she goes. Basically, this innovation revolutionized the entire telecommunication industry. While earlier, all calls were made within the boundaries of a particular country, the advent of the national telephone network allowed for international calling even of people using different countries’ telephones. Thus, the internet was born.
– The development of VoIP. VoIP is a new technology of internet communication. In this system, audio and video are transmitted via IP packets. The major advantage of VoIP is that calls are free anywhere in the world, whereas in case of circuit switching, calls are made or received on the basis of the physical wiring of the location from where the calls are made.