What is the Internet? Definition
The Internet has undoubtedly been one of the great revolutions in the history of humanity . The fire, the wheel, the steamboat and, in the 20th century, the greatest globalisation phenomenon ever seen.
What began as a resource to design a military strategy has ended up being the most effective and used communicative method on the planet, transforming itself in an exponential way to an Internet speed unthinkable and, in fact, still surprising.
Nowadays, we all consume the internet to the point of considering it a real necessity , a common object of consumption present in all households and already, in fact, in a great number of devices that go far beyond the computer. However, it is curious to see how the vast majority of consumers do not know much about the functioning of this precious resource or its possibilities, something that we will reveal today.
Most Viewed Internet Guides and Tutorials
What is really the Internet? Origin and history
The Internet is a concept, difficult to explain and also difficult to understand. The most basic definition, and at the same time not very expressive but very true, is that it is “the network of networks” . However, for most people, that and nothing is the same.
We can speak of a group of (decentralised) communicative networks that are interconnected among them, all of them with all of them, making use of the same set of protocols (TCP/IP) that guarantees that the heterogeneity among them is maintained to the point of becoming a single logical network , which has a worldwide scope, as we well know.
This phenomenon was born as a response to a need of the DARPA -at that time known as ARPA-, the US defense agency in charge of developing new technologies for military purposes. The intention was to make better use of the computer .
In 1961, computer scientist L. Kleinrock proposed, for the record, a packet-switching theory. In 65, L. Roberts manages to connect, making use of a switched telephone line and by means of protocol NCP, a computer TX2 to a Q-32, being these in Massachusetts and California respectively.
In 1969ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the network of this agency, was born. This was a still incipient but sufficient concept of a high-speed communicative route .
We have a myth that they were born to avoid becoming ineffective if there was a failure in the network due to a nuclear attack. However, in addition to this, the aim was to achieve greater robustness, as the switching nodes at the time were of minimal reliability.
It was not until 1972 that the network was made public , and it was also announced that it was financed by the DARPA. Its presentation was revolutionary but very simple, explaining, in an efficient way, that its function was made possible by the switched telephone network .
Its success led to further research to find other techniques that enable or improve the interconnection between networks, always looking for the improvement in the packet traffic . It was this project, launched in 1973, and its philosophy (of transparent information exchange) that gave rise to the concept as we know it today: the Internet.
The next major milestone was the change of protocol to use TCP/IP , which was standardized in 1983 and is still used today.
In 1986 the network of the National Science Foundation was developed, becoming the main tree network. This is complemented with other American and European networks, forming what is known as the Internet backbone .
Another invaluable milestone is the creation of the HTML language , which was presented at CERN in 1989 by a team of physicists, who also built, one year later, what would become the first web client, the World Wide Web, as well as a first server.
So far we could say that the foundations of this revolutionary concept were laid: a network, a language, a first associated service and a server. From that point on, as we can assume, the evolution was constant, and there was a clear interest in the unthinkable possibilities that this offered .
It was the decade of the 90s, from its beginnings, that allowed us to give a similar although absolutely incipient use to what we know today as the Internet.
Graphic tools began to be given, spaces were created where to place information so that all users could access it and, from there to what we know now everything has been very fast and logical.
It is worth mentioning that, at first, its commercial use was banned due to the new user profile that had been created and that it had nothing to do with the intentions of the government, which was looking for a non idle target for the network line created.
This, however, did not last long, since every day the types of networks, providers and other elements that are part of the communication set multiplied, making the restriction unviable for academic, governmental and other uses. The amount of private services that were swarming is not very well known where was such that the phenomenon had exploded; there was no turning back .
Thus, in 1993 it became public domain and, moreover, free of charge, so that anyone could use the technologies that CERN had created years earlier.
Needless to say, every new development turned out to be something that, a few months before, nobody could have imagined; it was always believed to be already at the top, being part of a service impossible to improve . Nevertheless, there were many new things that were happening and that surprised the whole world. Search engines: chats, instant messaging, advertising… and, from there, to the global phenomenon we know and enjoy today .
It’s hard to think that even more significant changes can occur if we consider that we can see what’s going on at home from our phone and even give orders from it in the distance or simply type in the name of an old college classmate to find out practically everything he’s been doing over the years.
However, there are several predictions or shifts that will take place and we can summarize them as follows:
- Mobile connection . Although the figures related to the number of users connecting from mobile devices, the increase in consumption of data and complex content and access to all kinds of spaces, not just for entertainment or communication, are already noteworthy, the truth is that these will increase, passing, by far, the figures related to Internet access from computers and fixed equipment (in Japan this is already a reality). The concept of Mobile Marketing is incipient and is yet to be exploited, assuming a change in advertising strategies that will be focused on the consumer from mobile devices.
- Internet on air . Internet will be in the air, all points of the balloon will have access to the network. The price will go down until, very possibly, it will be something free and will cover everything minimally related to technology.
- Maximum sailing speed . The speed will increase by a lot, relative to what we have now. In this way, everything will be immediate, something, on the other hand, necessary, since more and more aspects of our life will be conditioned by the use of the internet.
- Cloud Computing . Cloud computing is already a reality, although it will become the way to interact with software par excellence, leaving aside the obsolete hardware that works from our own computers.
- Online advertising as a primary option . This channel has become tremendously effective in offering advertising due to the variety of resources, its low cost and many other advantages.
- Connected homes . The amount of equipment that will work with the internet will make us live in unified homes that are easily controlled by the user.
- More about social networks . Social networks will continue to be more and more popular, not only because of their use in entertainment but also because they are increasing as a channel for businesses to interact with their target and their customers.
But… how does the Internet really work?
Let’s see, in order and isolating concepts, how a connection is made and how the Internet works.
This connection, first between computers and now between all kinds of devices, requires, in the first instance, the use of the same communicative protocol, that is, the same rules that make communication possible.
In this case, and since 1983, we make use of TCP/IP . This means that your computer (or the computer you want) has the same rules as the network you want to connect to). The TCP serves to regulate the way information is sent .
Network ISP service
In view of this, it is necessary that a provider (known as an ISP) gives us the capacity . This is done by contracting one of their services . These ISPs are the telephone and internet companies that we know and that serve our house and our phones.
The ISP in question is going to give us an identification number that is unique and that serves to have control over what we do from “our network “, from the possibility of connection that is given to us. This is what is known as the IP address . Of course, also serves to ensure that the information you want to send reaches you and not any other network .
This number consists of four parts separated by dots and whose values range from 0 to 255. The first part tells us which network we belong to; the second and third parts refer to networks and equipment; the fourth part refers to our specific device.
Of course, the immensity of equipment, devices and networks makes this a little more complicated nowadays, having to devote not only one of the four parts to each concept but even sub-parts of these, dividing them into bytes and even other units and being necessary to make a classification of the types of devices connected.
An obvious part of the concept, let us know more or less about the matter, is the coding or conversion of data, which makes it possible for the data to travel through the cable or even, at present, the waves. We have to make the signals from our device, which are digital, become analogical . When they are received, the opposite process takes place.
That’s the job of what used to be a modem and is now the router we all have at home, in the office, etc. The concept used is “routing”, which is the transmission of information packets between networks .
This is done based on the communicative protocol we are following, TCP in this case. The data is divided into tiny portions and is assigned an order to know how to decode it afterwards without the message being altered .
A server is something like a “supercomputer” that is connected to the network and is made available to the user, offering its services of attention and response to requests . Its identification is somewhat different, precisely to know that it is not an individual computer.
When we log on to search for one or another piece of information, we unknowingly access it by making a series of requests.
They are a set of files written in programming code that are grouped as a single set , all available in the same main domain (name).
All the information on the web and, of course, on those web pages , must be stored somewhere. This is known as the host, a giant storage server .
It is the necessary element that makes possible, as its name indicates, that we can surf the net, entering and leaving all kinds of sites. These increasingly have more functions for the user to use as something else. However, its main function is to go to the hosting server of the site you want to visit, get the information and return it to you, previously interpreted .
Family and structure of Internet protocols
An internet protocol is a set of communicative premises for working with digital data . It is found at what is known as the network layer, which is the level of the network that provides connectivity and route choice between host systems.
It has the function of transmitting data in a bidirectional way by means of switched packets of information using physical networks according to the data link provided by the OSI standard.
Certain protocols that share some characteristics are unified into families . They pass the hundred and, besides the typical IP and TCP we find many others like FTP, ARP, POP, Telnet…
These Internet protocols are part of an information flow that is obviously the basis of online communication. This includes:
- Client-server architecture . Information is exchanged from a server containing it to a client that makes the request and receives it.
- Information packages . These are the partitions on which the information is fragmented to be sent and received.
- TCP/IP protocol .
- Name service . DNS gives a correspondence between an IP and the domain of each site.
World Wide Web (WWW) or global computer network
The World Wide Web , which we all know as the WWW and whose translation into our language is World Wide Web, is a system by which interconnected information that is accessible through the network (either as hypertext or in hypermedia) is distributed.
This is an intermediate layer of the many that overlap so that we can navigate, one based on information management.
Therefore, and unlike what anyone who is not involved in computing, telecommunications, new technologies and the like may believe, WWW is not synonymous with the Internet . We can make a simile and say that this is the sea and that the World Wide Web is a ship in which we contain a variety of interconnected information including videos, texts, buttons, images and other multimedia elements in one of its cabins ( web 2.0 ).
Its development was arduous, being necessary 19 months to get a stable version , able to offer certain information. The design started in March 1989 and it was not until the end of the next year that the project was ready to be presented. Its formal proposal was delayed until August 1991. The project was made public and available in May 1993 .
This hypertext system is different from others in that it requires only one-way links . Thus, the user could access information without the need for this other party to do anything (give them permission, for example). In this way, the difficulty in implementing browsers and servers was reduced. Furthermore, it is non-owner, which means that clients and servers can be developed independently and licenses can be added without restrictions .
What types of Internet connections are there?
Access is a system for linking parties involved in cyber communication . It is the ISPs that offer this connection service, which has been perfected over the years and is currently very varied, offering us various options for browsing.
Integrated Services Digital Network
It is the development or evolution of the telephone network, including its digital context; a network used to facilitate the end-to-end digital connection of various services accessible from standardized interfaces . Ways to enable this connection are switched/permanent circuits over B channel and ISDN packet switching.
Digital subscriber line
Conventional twisted copper pair access technology in the telephone network , whether basic or switched, enabling digital data transmission . We found:
- SHDSL : It was developed by joining several subscriber technologies or symmetric DLS.
- ADSL : Transmits digital data via symmetrical copper pair cable with a line length of up to 10 km from the exchange.
- FTTH or optical fibre : Uses optical fibre cable and other optical distribution systems capable of distributing more advanced services. It is the Internet connection par excellence for computers today.
Provision of data connectivity services that occur in an OSI metropolitan area network using UNIs over Ethernet .
Modem that will modulate and demodulate data signals in cable TV infrastructures . Distribute access over broadband .
Connection technique that makes use of frame relay in virtual circuit networks , a simple way of simplifying packet switching. With this voice and data are transmitted at high speeds interconnecting local networks at low cost .
Synchronous Optical Network
Fiber Telecommunications Transport Standard .
Remaining element traffic transport defined by the well-known ANSI and ITU . Its design is intended for networks with high performance information traffic .
It is a standard digital mobile system without royalties ; in fact, the translation of its acronym, “global system for mobile communications”, makes it very clear being, at the same time, a simple concept.
It is a kind of equivalent of ADSL for mobile , which is why it is also called ADSM. The network is accessed via broadband . Over time, the following have been developed:
- General Packet Radio Service :
- Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution : It is a bridge between 2G and 3G and an evolution of the previous one. Its use requires an upgrade of the GSM by the operator.
- 2G : A second generation of mobile telephony that revolutionised by making the switch from analogue to digital.
- 3G : Is the next generation in the transmission of voice and data in mobile phones using UMTS.
- 4G : Fourth generation of technologies for mobile telephony with maximum speeds of 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s depending on whether mobility is high or low respectively.
- 5G : This is the fifth and last generation of mobile. It is not yet standardized but is being tested by telecommunication companies.
The connection is made using a satellite, which is currently a less optimized option only suitable for contracting if there is no access by telephone or cable.
What is the Internet for today? Uses, advantages, disadvantages and dangers
Answering a question like this can be as quick or as long as you want. The Internet is used, nowadays, for practically anything related to analog-digital communication that you can think of. Communication takes place between two devices that are capable of it.
According to this definition we can go a step further and give some examples, so we have
- Leisure : The leisure options are countless. We have games, chats , social networks, magazines, opinion articles, news aggregators , forums…
- Training and culture : Nowadays, there are many ways in which anyone can be trained through the network. There are specific websites, created by public bodies, learning platforms to complement the training of academies and other private entities or to specialize the workers of a company, to give a couple of examples. Likewise, we cannot ignore the ease with which we can educate ourselves by visiting all kinds of academic sites.
- Work : In the same way, we can also do a lot in relation to work. From creating and sending our curriculum to companies and posting it on employment platforms to doing all kinds of work, in the office or in any other business or also from home, proliferating the jobs that do not require a physical relationship between the parties and being more at the top than ever the telework and freelance options.
- Purchases and transactions : Another very remarkable point nowadays is the possibility of making purchases of all kinds from our computer and even from our mobile phones. Online shops are more fashionable than ever because of the many advantages they offer. We can also manage our own money, both from our banks and from other platforms and applications.
Because, considering the advantages of using the Internet, it is impossible to resist using it. We have to be fast, comfortable, accessible from many devices, including laptops, which means that we have no restrictions on location, nor on time, access is free (there are private paid pages, of course, and we have to hire an operator to enable access)
This offers us particular advantages in aspects such as training or shopping, we save time, we can have fun and work from the same place, open source tools , communicate with acquaintances and strangers without paying anything, create our own social image, both personal and business if we have … The advantages are as countless as the options we have on the network.
The risks of the Internet
However, rather than knowing them all, one by one, it is worth knowing what their disadvantages or risks are, which may be detrimental to us. At this point, we have to differentiate between two aspects that have nothing to do with each other:
- Social prejudice . Although the internet has many good things, the truth is that there is a high percentage of the population that uses it inappropriately . We have those who spend too many hours online, those who prioritise being online to other social or work aspects, those who expose themselves too much, those who give more value to their personality in networks than to their own person… .
- Cyber risks . On the other hand, this overexposure makes us much more vulnerable . The more sites we are part of, the more information we are offering (or not saving properly), which means that we can suffer some cyber attacks, which can be anything from something annoying to ruining them or destroying our equipment, it all depends on who we come across. There are many attacks that we can encounter on the net: viruses, spam, phishing, malware …
What services does the Internet offer us and how to use them?
In spite of what we might think of such immensity, the truth is that the services we find on the net, in itself, are not so many. We can do practically anything we can think of but this will be within a more general service.
The first, main and obvious one, which we all access to do anything is the WWW , which we have already talked about. This includes access to the immense totality of web pages , seeking to find detailed information on anything (sports, press, leisure, business…).
Special mention should be made of electronic banking , which has “recently” appeared and which helps us to manage our money without the need to physically go to our bank. Other places of interest included are social networks , the sites of our official organisations, market places, online games…
The email or electronic email ( emails ) is a service that allows you to send emails, with all types of attachments up to a certain size, to any other existing address, wherever you are. The content has a perennial character, emulating exactly the physical mail service.
This service is currently offered by several companies. Outlook has been the most famous for years, but now Gmail, from Google , is the most popular. There are many other services that focus on certain functions such as sending business mail. In this case, we use SMTP protocols (for sending9 and IMAP or POP3 (for receiving).
FTP file transfer
With a client-server architecture, the transfer of text or binary files is achieved, using the FTP protocol . More secure, but still not widely implemented, are ssh and sftp , which make the sending of information encrypted and not as plain text.
Voice over IP
The voice connection is given, besides the typical telephony, through digital connections by IP . Client, server and gateway are required.
Instead of specifying a client and a server we have direct communication between two equals , in a process known as peer to peer. It is a network whose nodes are both clients and servers, so that the arrangement of a content in one site serves to make it available in another.
The most common and well-known example is perhaps Ares , a program that allowed the downloading of contents as long as they were in the computer of another similar person. Emule, Panda or UTorrent are other examples.
Instant messaging services are those in which all parts of the communication are present at the same time, sending messages to each other or even chatting at the same time . This is made possible by the IRC communication protocol.
This is the possibility of accessing a device and operating it from a different location to where it is located
What do we need to connect to the Internet safely?
This connection can now be made in various ways and from multiple devices. According to the connector, we have:
- It is an installation made by telecommunication professionals that requires pulling cable from the central supply to your home .
- It enters the house by means of a coupling to a general arterial wiring that the company in question will have thrown away in the city.
- This installation, which includes coaxial cable, ends in a modem , which offers the possibility of, once the signal is captured, to continue the connection through another Ethernet cable, which will go to the homonymous port of your device .
- This device, on the other hand, requires a network card capable of receiving the signal from the installation. This is usually integrated into computers, but if this is not the case, one can easily be inserted into the corresponding slot on your computer’s motherboard.
- In this case, since the connection is made physically and directly, you do not need any security element.
- The WiFi connection is done in the same way as the cable connection in terms of installing general cabling to a modem. From here, the process changes.
- The modem, in addition to allowing the connection to continue by cable, gives you the option of transmitting the signal to the unit in question wirelessly , i.e. without having to use cables. Obviously, it must be a model that supports this option.
- The computer you want to connect from must have wireless network detection , which requires a WiFi-capable network card.
- You will have to perform a search from the device, manual or automatic. This will allow you to know which networks are available, i.e. which ones you receive a signal from.
- In the case of looking for your own network, just click on it and enter your password (you’ll find it on the modem, if you haven’t changed it).
- This being the case, the only thing we advise you is that, when you go to connect and if the device asks you, accept that the networks detect you as a computer and user.
- If this is not the case, but you are going to connect to another network, either without a password, i.e. open, or because you have the password, even if it is not yours, never accept to be registered .
- Finally, we advise you to configure your network to be safe for you, preventing other users from accessing it. To do this, change your password by generating one with specific software, copy all your network information and make your network profile private by configuring your connection.
- The third way is by using a USB modem. This is connected, via a USB port, to the computer . Of course, requires a SIM card with mobile data that can be accessed for consumption.
- This one detects it and starts the installation. If this is not the case, just go to “Computer” and find the USB drive to double click it and boot manually.
- A configuration must be made the first time and follow the configuration wizard, which will vary depending on the operator.
- A password is required for use each time.
- We recommend that you never delete your password and that you use this modem for private use.
Once we are connected, in one way or another, we cannot just start sailing. To be safe we need to have some protection elements installed such as Firewall and antivirus . In addition, considering the dangerous nature of the ads, we can choose to install an ad blocker as well, so that we don’t accidentally end up clicking on something potentially dangerous.
What is the Internet of Things and how can it change our lives?
This concept is already part of our lives and you may not even have heard of it. We tell you what it is and how it is transforming the reality we live in.
What is IoT?
IoT is an acronym used to refer to the digital interconnection of objects found in the network on a daily basis and which are being incorporated, making our home, our industry and our businesses more intelligent places. The ultimate goal is to interconnect everything in order to have more comprehensive and reliable information as well as to give another meaning to the concept of globalization.
The concept, which was intended to go further than the well-known M2M or Machine to Machine, was proposed before the end of the millennium, although it has only recently become known and used. Its applications are categorised according to their use, talking about consumer, infrastructure and business .
The basis of this concept is:
- Intelligence. The elements of the IoT act independently and are interoperable. This happens according to the context, of course, considering the environment and all kinds of circumstances. That is, there is an ambient intelligence that is increasing and that makes the situation end up becoming non-deterministic, with an open network situation.
- Architecture. We work with an architecture that is event oriented, with a construction that is based on the procedural and operational, so that it goes from the bottom to the top. At the same time, this orientation will work, in parallel, with models that deal with exceptions and unusual developments.
- Complexity of the systems. Its operation is based on the use of loops, which can be open or closed, being able to solve the value chains and, therefore, to specify its study as a complex system.
- Incorporation of IT . This concept is composed of parallel events counted in millions. Therefore, temporality will no longer be linear, but will depend on the identities of the objects, processes and systems themselves. Thus, the most logical thing to do is to incorporate IT to build on its systems.
What does the change in IoT mean?
The IoT has already meant a change, representing what is the greatest expression of the expansion of technologies and digital methodology .
Its impact has no limits and every day many aspects are improved . The result is a greater optimisation of results, more efficiency in the processes, greater comfort, maximum communication between parties…
In homes we already come across all kinds of intelligent objects . SmartTVs are now completely conventional, the lowest point of intelligence in the home. From here we go forward. We can open and close blinds from the control panel, control the lighting outside the house, control the temperature of the refrigerator, oven or microwave…
In the industry we are faced with the elimination of wiring, lower maintenance costs, perfect sensors, live data and information projection systems which allows us to act immediately, reduce risks and unforeseen events as well as downtime and waste of manpower and material…
The service sector includes the two previous aspects. On the one hand, the IoT is capable of streamlining processes, optimizing processes, reducing time and costs and, at the same time, offering the customer competitive prices, abundant stock, extra services made possible by a greater amount of available labor, updating and better products…
The result is a new world in which automation becomes important in all kinds of processes, efficiency increases and comfort is brought closer to everyone.
What is the Deep Internet or Deep Web? How to enter and what dangers exist in it?
Let’s see, finally, a concept that corresponds to a hidden place (although less and less) on the Internet.
Deep Web; what is it?
This is a concept that has become famous in recent years. It refers to a n network layer that remains hidden, under the visible and difficult to access .
The best way to explain and understand it is by using a simile with an iceberg in which the ice that remains on the sea would be all the content that we access from the known search engines or browsers and that which is underwater is the one we do not see, the hidden and often very dangerous one.
This is content that, for one reason or another, has not been indexed . It began with the impossibility for search engines to index everything and, with that in mind, they began to deliberately create unindexed sites that were difficult to access.
The contents that are not indexed are hidden information, contextual websites, dynamic contents, restricted access, no HTML, intentionally hidden software and non-linked pages .
Contacts are not monitored, that is, nobody watches us there. Tracing transfers is practically impossible and requires extensive research as well as specific situations.
For this reason, the content found in this space has become, to say the least, cloudy. Due to the secure anonymity that is obtained, the impossibility for the authorities to link users to the contents (if they find them), the deep internet is used to commit all kinds of illegal acts . However, its technology and access are not.
Likewise, we see that sensitive academic content belonging to all kinds of scientific institutions is also found here.
Access to the Deep Web
To access it, special browsers are used through the Tor network and, of course, it is done by changing our IP address, with a software, to be undetectable as it could be the Tor browser .
This invisible network has its own kind of Wikipedia in which you are offered all kinds of information and methods of access to the most significant places where you can find what you are looking for.
The links you create are not based on words, not even letters; they are built with numbers , so that they are more difficult to access.
The danger of the deep web
LaDeep Web is a danger to herself . If you go there with good intentions, to gossip, you will voluntarily make yourself disappear from the net “for nothing”. If, however, you do have intentions related to the consumption of the site’s content, you are probably committing or will commit an illegal act. It is very difficult to get caught, yes, but not impossible, because, with the passing of the years and the fame that this “place” has gained, its tracking is being perfected little by little .
But… why do we say that if you use on the site you’ll be doing something illegal? This is because the vast majority of information you will find here is related to criminal acts , from those you may consider trivial to real aberrations.
Users who are in fact criminals in one way or another bring here data that they do not want to be seen because of its illegal character but do want to share . Examples? Child pornography, sale of drugs, organs, weapons, kidnapping and murder services, animal torture… It is a place without limits where everything aberrant you can think of is already invented and you can get it if you look hard enough . Another interesting concept to keep in mind is the Dark Web .
There are thematic forums in which stories are shared , others dedicated simply to the exhibition of material , others that put up for sale all kinds of images, videos, stolen databases, hacked confidential information…
Latest news and articles about the Internet
All the latest information on the cyberworld of the Internet and the WWW, from online tools, websites, social networks and mobile applications. Keep up to date with the latest guides, tutorials and news about the Internet .