Internet, a packet switch architecture which has transformed communications and monetary systems around the globe by enabling different computer networks to connect via a common network infrastructure. This infrastructure consists of network routers and switch boards with the capability of exchanging IP packets for local area networks (LANs) or global networks (access networks). It is the technology which allows users to interact with each other through computers and the Internet, on a global scale. In layman’s terms, an IP address is the number that is assigned to a particular computer within a given network.
The evolution of the Internet has brought about changes that have altered the face of communication and one such significant change is the introduction of time-sharing systems. Time-sharing systems are very useful in computer networks where multiple computers are connected to the same common infrastructure. This makes it possible for a computer to function even when it is not connected to any other computer. Time-sharing systems are available for common IP networks like ICQ and Vonage. Also, time-share applications are widely used in the Internet itself such as in high-speed email and file-sharing networks like Usenet and Stallshub.
Networking in the Internet is categorized into several groups. These include application service providers (ASPs), personal computers, broadband access providers (ISP), and wireless computer networks. Broadband is the most basic type of Internet networking and the other networks are more advanced. There are also special connections such as wireless phones that are capable of wireless local area network (LAN) or wireless local accessibility (LANA).
Another important facet of the Internet is content. This is the part of the Internet where users can access information either online or offline. Information can be accessed in the form of books, newspapers, magazines, technical articles, and web pages. It also includes multimedia such as videos, sound, music, and images. Music sharing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and blogging are some forms of information sharing used on the Internet.
Users can search the World Wide Web either using conventional search engines such as Google or Yahoo! or their specialized search applications such as Askjee. User can post messages on forums and discussion boards on the Internet. There are chat rooms and bulletin boards that allow users to communicate with each other. E-mail is one of the most popular ways of communicating on the internet. Various other protocols such as IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) have been developed to enable real-time communication between two or more computers.
Another aspect of the Internet is electronic mail, which enables individuals to exchange data and information. Some common elements of electronic mail include checking and transferring e-mails, retrieving e-mails, and reading and writing attachments. Different services are offered by different organizations on the Internet. These include web hosting, e-mail accounts, and servers. Some of the companies providing Internet services also provide website development and content editing services. Some companies provide a comprehensive range of web services, while others focus only on specific areas such as e-commerce, shopping carts, database integration, graphic design, and web server technology.