The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.
The origins of the Internet date back to the development of packet switching and research igtarget commissioned by the United States Department of Defense in the 1960s to enable time-sharing of computers. The primary precursor network, the ARPANET, initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1970s. The funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks. The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, and generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was widely used by academia in the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.
Most traditional communication media, including telephony, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers are reshaped, redefined, or even bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television, online music, digital newspapers, and video streaming websites. Newspaper, book, and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators. The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking services. Online shopping has grown exponentially for major retailers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their “brick and mortar” presence to serve a larger market or even sell goods and services entirely online. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.
The Internet has no single centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; each constituent network sets its own policies. The overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address (IP address) space and the Domain Name System (DNS), are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today’s list of New Seven Wonders.
4.1 Service tiers
5 Internet Protocol Suite
5.1 Internet protocol
6 Applications and services
6.1 World Wide Web
6.3 Data transfer
7 Social impact
7.3 Social networking and entertainment
7.4 Electronic business
7.6 Collaborative publishing
7.7 Politics and political revolutions
9.1 Traffic volume
9.3 Energy use
10 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
The Internet Messenger by Buky Schwartz, located in Holon, Israel
Further information: Capitalization of “Internet”
The word internetted was used as early as 1849, meaning interconnected or interwoven. The word Internet was used in 1974 as the shorthand form of Internetwork. Today, the term Internet most commonly refers to the global system of interconnected computer networks, though it may also refer to any group of smaller networks. When it came into common use, most publications treated the word as a capitalized proper noun; this has become less common. This reflects the tendency in English to capitalize new terms and move to lowercase as they become familiar. It is sometimes still capitalized to distinguish the global internet from smaller networks, though many publications, including the AP Stylebook, recommend the lowercase form in every case. In 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary found that, based on a study of around 2.5 billion printed and online sources, “Internet” was capitalized in 54% of cases.
The terms internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably; it is common to speak of “going on the Internet” when using a web browser to view web pages. However, the World Wide Web or the Web is only one of a large number of Internet services, a collection of documents (web pages) and other web resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.