Internet, a packet-switching network architecture which has drastically revolutionized international communications and monetary systems by enabling various computer networking systems across the globe to connect. Sometimes called a global network of computers, the Internet actually emerged from the United States during the early 1990s but didn’t become widely accessible to the public until the late 1990s. In fact, it was considered such a great technology that when Windows 95 hit the market, it was immediately considered the next generation of Windows software. Although many people still think that the Internet is nothing more than an extension of the Internet, it is much more.
It’s an open protocol that allows users to exchange data packets, or messages, at a rate much faster than the speed of light. In order for an Internet application to operate correctly, it must be able to calculate and receive data packets at that very same rate. With the various communications networks spanning the globe, and the amount of bandwidth needed to support each one, the rate of transmission and reception of data packets on the Internet is essential. This is what allows the Internet to process and route data at incredible speeds.
The basic principles of how the Internet works are well known. Basically, data packets are transmitted between end-points and every hop along the way is called a ‘ports’. The Internet works on top of layer 2 packet switching technology which is based on the simple principal of sending data packets over a pre-existing network.
For example, the network behind the Internet uses a set of algorithms which transform IP packets into the alphabetic text of the source and destination IP addresses. In addition, the source and destination IP addresses can also be followed by any number of alternative IP addresses, which depend on the format of the packets being sent and the rules which have been put in place at the different ports along the network. It’s this property that underpins the widely used Internet protocols. As well as HTTP, SMTP, and TCP/IP, the wide-variety of Internet protocols is commonly known as the ‘hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)’, ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTP)’, and ‘Synchronous Transfer Protocol (STP)’.
As previously mentioned, the Internet is a global network, consisting of millions of computers. To allow these computers to communicate, it’s necessary to use a transport control protocol. The Internet hierarchy also includes a layer below it called the Internetwork layer. The aim of this layer is to provide security and authentication against unauthorized access to computers on the network. In addition to security and authentication functions, the Internetwork layer controls other Internet processes such as file sharing, web content delivery and e-mails.
Once a packet has left the source machine, it is immediately sent out along with an IP address and its destination. The IP address identifies the particular computer that is to be heard or viewed. Whenever a packet is received, the receiver will compare it against an already stored list of all IP addresses currently in existence. If two packets match, the match is considered a connection and the communication will continue between the sources. If a match is not made, the case is considered unsuccessful and a failure will be indicated.