The Internet, an innovative system architecture that has revolutionized global communications and monetary systems by enabling various computer networks throughout the world to connect. Very often referred to as a global network of systems, the Internet evolved in the United States during the early 1990s but didn’t become widely accessible to the public until the late 1990s. Today, nearly everyone in every country on Earth has access to Internet-based services such as email, Internet telephony, instant messaging, and Internet video. To meet all these requirements, massive amounts of infrastructure have been constructed, including: communication stations, networks, and servers. All of this infrastructure supports the widespread use of the Internet.
In its simplest form, an IP network consists of a group of IP computers connected to each other via a router. The router ensures that packets of data sent from one computer reach another. By doing so, the router ensures that the data’s destination is always open and so never gets lost. Internet services run on top of this network. Routers allow connections to be established between computers using different protocols such as TCP/IP or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Typically, the protocol used for Internet communication is either ICMP or UDP.
An example of how the Internet works is illustrated in Figure 1. The IP data packets are first routed through the IP network router which converts them to a lower layer of data such as the TCP/IP protocol, and finally they are sent on their way to their final destinations. If a packet is lost, then it is retried until it reaches its destination.
To put the above illustration into perspective, let’s take a closer look at the manner in which Facebook operates. When someone posts a status update or a photograph on Facebook, it is transmitted from the computer to all the computers on the network. In this way, every computer on the network gets updated with the same updated information. The network continues to operate because there is no duplication or loss of data. So, if a Facebook user sends a status update to a friend, the friend will receive the post immediately and the original user will not see the update.
The key technology behind the Internet is packet switching technology. Packet switching enables internet users to send and receive data packets in huge amounts without being restricted by any physical limitations. For instance, during the Facebook live update, every computer on the internet receives updates in its place. This means that no matter where you are, you can be online. Further, since every computer on the network is linked to the rest of the computers in a local area, the internet is available to you even if you are not physically present at that location.
The Internet is indeed an amazing tool that helps us connect with others and share information. However, it also has certain drawbacks that we should be aware of. One major disadvantage is the slow performance of some networks. If your internet connection is slower than you are accustomed to, then it is better to switch to a higher-speed network so that you can enjoy browsing the Internet.