The Internet

The Internet is a worldwide, publicly accessible series of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked web pages and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW).

The Internet and the World Wide Web are not synonymous. The Internet is a collection of interconnected computer networks, linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, etc. In contrast, the Web is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. The World Wide Web is one of the services accessible via the Internet, along with many others including e-mail, file sharing and others described below.

Although the basic applications and guidelines that make the Internet possible had existed for almost a decade, the network did not gain a public face until the 1990s. On August 6, 1991, CERN, which straddles the border between France and Switzerland, publicized the new World Wide Web project. The Web was invented by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989.

History of Internet - World Wide Web - Legal Issues - Contact - Support

An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW based upon HyperCard. It was eventually replaced in popularity by the Mosaic web browser. In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released version 1.0 of Mosaic, and by late 1994 there was growing public interest in the previously academic/technical Internet. By 1996 usage of the word "Internet" had become commonplace, and consequently, so had its misuse as a reference to the World Wide Web.

As of September 30, 2007, 1.244 billion people use the Internet according to Internet World Stats. Writing in the Harvard International Review, philosopher N.J.Slabbert, a writer on policy issues for the Washington DC-based Urban Land Institute, has asserted that the Internet is fast becoming a basic feature of global civilization, so that what has traditionally been called "civil society" is now becoming identical with information technology society as defined by Internet use. Only 2% of the World's population regularly accesses the internet

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the authority that coordinates the assignment of unique identifiers on the Internet, including domain names, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and protocol port and parameter numbers. A globally unified namespace (i.e., a system of names in which there is at most one holder for each possible name) is essential for the Internet to function. ICANN is headquartered in Marina del Rey, California, but is overseen by an international board of directors drawn from across the Internet technical, business, academic, and non-commercial communities.

The World Wide Web is a huge set of interlinked documents, images and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. These hyperlinks and URLs allow the web-servers and other machines that store originals, and cached copies, of these resources to deliver them as required using HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). HTTP is only one of the communication protocols used on the Internet.