Nobody can argue that the creation of the Internet is not a huge achievement of our time. This worldwide computer network keeps people on the other side of the world at our fingertips, providing communication and information on just about anything almost immediately.
Telephones have been allowing us to communicate with others farther than speaking distance since 1876, but while this was also a revolutionary development, the Internet allows us to do so much more. We can speak to other people on the Internet using software called Skype, but we can also see them using Skype video calling too. What’s more, we can set up web pages to convey information that anyone can access, at any time of day and spend however long they want to looking at it, reading it, or interacting with it. It has, in effect, completely changed the way we interact with the world around us, as we can find out about news stories the instant they are published, not only via news organization websites, but also through word of mouth on social networking sites such as Twitter.
In today’s society the many millions of network connections that make up the Internet have become invaluable. Business conglomerates rely heavily upon it to organize sales and deliveries, and a huge portion of modern advertising takes place online.
It was estimated in 2009 that one quarter of the entire population of the world now uses the Internet, and as computer resources improve and servers become more powerful, this number is only expected to rise.
The very first examples of the Internet were developed as early as 1960, just after NASA had launched the robotic space craft Sputnik and subsequently needed networks to link the radar systems at opposite ends of the USA together. This program soon developed into a larger network and was linkable to other networks such as one developed for the US Air Force by Paul Baran.
Email and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) didn’t come about until 1988 when the US Federal Networking Council began to work on making it commercially available. The most popular ISP throughout the 1980s and 1990s soon became Telenet (later renamed Sprinter), as this network had been present in various US cities from 1970, but as yet only governments had been authorized to connect to it.
The development of the Internet took almost thirty years, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that it was finally made officially commercial and people all over the world could use it. In fact, to say that the entire development took 30 years is untrue, as the Internet continues to develop even today, and as far as is foreseeable, at no point will it ever come to a standstill.
How to Get There:
The Internet can be accessed from anywhere that has a valid Internet connection. If your computer has a wireless card, then you can connect to the Internet anywhere you go without needing to be plugged into anything, although computers without wireless cards need to be plugged into a house or building’s wall in order to access the World Wide Web.
To get an Internet connection you first need a computer with a built in modem. If you have a laptop and wish to access free wireless Internet offered in many cafes and libraries then you’ll want to install a wireless card too. For desktops it’s quite easy, however, to simply connect directly to a modem using an Ethernet cable. Next, you will need to choose an ISP (Internet Service Provider), choose one of their payment programs and book an appointment for them to connect you. This might involve visiting your house, or sometimes just connecting you over the telephone.
Providing there’s a WiFi (wireless) signal around, any Internet enabled device (be it a laptop computer, smart phone, video gaming console or cell phone) you can access the Internet and almost any web page on it. In fact, if you’re reading this then it’s almost certain that you’re already there!