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In the general sense, an internet (with a lowercase "i"), a shortened form
of the original inter-network, is a computer network that connects several
other networks. The art of connecting networks in this way is called
internetworking. See also the related terms intranet, extranet and catenet.
As a proper noun, the Internet is the publicly available world-wide,
interconnected system of computers (plus the information and services they
provide and their users) that uses the TCP/IP suite of protocols. Thus, the
largest internet in the world is called simply "the" Internet.
The creation of the Internet
The core networks forming the Internet started out in 1969 as the ARPANET
devised by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (ARPA). On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET changed its core
networking protocol from NCP to the then-new TCP/IP, marking the start of
the Internet as we know it today.
An important step in the development was the National Science Foundation's
(NSF) building of a university backbone, the NSFnet, in 1986. Important
alien networks that have successfully been accommodated within the Internet
include Usenet, Fidonet, and Bitnet. See History of the Internet.
During the 1990s, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of
previously existing computer networks. This growth is often attributed to
the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the
network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of the internet protocols,
which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents one company from
exerting control over the network.
The Internet is held together by bi- or multilateral commercial contracts
(for example peering agreements) and by technical specifications or
protocols that describe how to exchange data over the network. These
protocols are formed by discussion within the Internet Engineering Task
Force (IETF) and its working groups, which are open to public participation
and review. These committees produce documents that are known as Requests
For Comments (RFCs). Some RFCs are raised to the status of Internet Standard
by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Some of the most used protocols in
the Internet protocol suite are IP, TCP, UDP, DNS, PPP, SLIP, ICMP, POP3,
IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, LDAP, and SSL.
Some of the popular services on the Internet that make use of these
protocols are e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, FTP, the World Wide Web, Gopher,
SSH (which is growing in popularity as a secure replacement for telnet),
WAIS, finger, IRC, MUDs, and MUSHs. Of these, e-mail and the World Wide Web
are clearly the most used, and many other services are built upon them, such
as mailing lists and web logs. The internet makes it possible to provide
real-time services such as web radio and webcasts that can be accessed from
anywhere in the world.
Some other popular services of the Internet were not created this way, but
were originally based on proprietary systems. These include ICQ, AIM, CDDB,
There have been many analyses of the Internet and its structure. For
example, it has been determined that the Internet IP routing structure and
hypertext links of the World Wide Web are examples of scale-free networks.
The Internet has a large and growing number of users that have created a
distinct culture, Internet dynamics. see Netiquette, Internet friendship,
Trolls and trolling, Flaming, Cybersex, Hacktivism or Hacker culture,
Internet humor, Internet slang, and Internet in art.
The most used language for communications on the Internet is English, due to
the Internet's origins, to its use commonly in software programming, to the
poor capability of early computers to handle characters other than western
The net has grown enough in recent years, though, that sufficient
native-language content for a worthwhile experience is available in most
developed countries. However, some glitches such as mojibake still remain
troublesome for Internet users.
The proliferation of the Internet caused vast impacts in the society.
Instances include copyright issues, issues concerned with free speech such
as pornography and hatred. In response to that situation, lately cyber laws
have been created and enforced. Many discussions have raged over the
question of how states should interact with telecommunication tools
including the Internet.
Public places to use Internet
Public places to use Internet include libraries and Internet cafes. The
latter may or may not serve as a cafˇ also; in South Korea they are called
PC bang. Nowadays there are WIFI-cafes too where you can connect your
notebook or PDA using the cafe's wireless access to the Internet.