In this article, you will learn different applications of the internet, Advantages, and Disadvantages of the Internet, Uses of the internet, History, and how the internet actually works.
The Internet is one of the greatest revolutions in communication technology that has enhanced our way of living.
It is also termed as a network of networks since it allows million of computers globally to get interconnected.
It was known to very few until 1990, and by 2020, almost 50% of the people across the world are accessing the Internet.
Today, getting any kind of information or reviews, or accessing any kind of digital service, is very simple with the help of the Internet. Consequently, you must be aware of the pros and cons of using the internet before surfing it.
The pros and cons of the Internet
What is the Internet?
The Internet is the largest network that links millions of computers globally.
With the help of the internet, it is easy to access or share any information or communicate with each other across the world.
It is a group of a network consisting of public, private, government, universities, school, and other academic as well as business networks connected by various technologies such as wireless, optical, and electronic.
A high bandwidth data line that is the maximum data transfer rate of the network is the backbone of the internet.
Internet hubs distribute the data to other sites such as Internet service providers (ISPs) or web servers, through the data lines.
The Internet service provider operates as a link between the internet and the user.
To have an internet connection, the user must have access to an Internet service provider, which offers internet through a Digital Subscriber line, cable, or fiber optic cable.
All the Wi-Fi routers, whether public or private, as well as the cellular data towers, must be connected to the Internet service providers to get access to the internet.
The biggest advantage of the Internet is that it can be accessed from a computer or mobile device or anywhere: at home, at the office, a restaurant, a hospital, etc.
What is the history of the Internet?
The history of the Internet begins with the creation of an agency called Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) by the Defence department of the US.
ARPANET stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, developed for sharing information on research and development in the field of science and technology.
It was used only by government officials and scientists.
In 1962, to keep the communications network in an active state during a nuclear attack, a scientist named J.C.R. Licklider from ARPA and MIT suggested connecting computers.
In 1969, the US Department of Defence granted contracts for the ARPAnet project’s development under the direction of Robert Taylor and the management of Lawrence Roberts.
The packet switching technology proposed by Davies and Baran in 1965 and supported by Leonard Kleinrock at UCLA in 1970 was adopted in ARPAnet.
Later the network was built by Newman, Beranek, and Bolt.
In 1970, data networking was provided by early packet switching networks such as ARPAnet, NPL network, CYCLADES, and Merit Network.
These international networks along with ARPAnet led the path for the development of protocols to connect multiple networks and create internetworking.
In 1973 Internet Protocol suite was developed, through research published by ARPA, Bob Kahn, and Vint Cerf, at Standford University.
The Internal Protocol suite consists of two protocols – the Transmission Control Protocol(TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP).
In the early ’80s, intending to provide network access for research and academic purpose in various organizations in the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) gave funds to the national supercomputing centers at various universities in the US to interconnect their sites with the NSFNET project.
The beginning of the Internet started due to the international connectivity with NSFNET, adoption of Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, and also the emergence of the Domain Name System (DNS) worldwide.
In the late 1980s, the emergence of commercial Internet service providers began. In 1990 ARPANET, was decommissioned, and later in 1995, the NSFNET was also, decommissioned removing the restrictions on the use of the Internet commercially.
Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, at CERN in Switzerland, created a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), in 1989-90, which links the hypertext documents to the information system that can be accessed from any network globally.
Since, then the revolution of the Internet took place, with the rise of communication by instant messaging, video calls, Voice over Internet Protocol telephone calls, electronic mails, etc. along with blogs, social networking, shopping online sites through the World Wide Web.
The Internet network grew very fast from 1% in 1993 to 51% by 2000 and almost 97% by 2007.
Thus the internet is growing daily by focusing on online information in various fields, commerce and industry, and also social networking.
What are the different types of Internet Connectivity?
Fiber Optic Cable – It is one of the fastest technologies available nowadays that help to transmit data or information at a very fast speed.
This data is transferred through thin, flexible glass wires using light signals. Due to the high cost, it has limited availability in a few areas.
Cable – This type of internet uses similar cables like TV to transmit the internet. It has high-speed broadband access and is usually provided by cable TV providers in respective areas. The cable modems provide high-speed internet than the DSL.
DSL – DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is much faster than a dial-up connection. Two copper wires are used for broadband transmission similar to a telephone line so that a consumer can place calls while using the internet.
A router is used to transfer data in DSL, with a connection speed between 128K to 8 Mbps.
Wireless – Wireless internet uses radiofrequency instead of telephone lines or cables to transmit the internet.
Staying always in active mode is the biggest advantage of wireless internet as it can be accessed from anywhere within the network area. They use a modem to transfer internet signals to other devices.
Satellite – Here the internet is accessed via satellite in the earth’s orbit. Though it is delivered wirelessly to the receiver, it still requires wires to transfer signals from the receiver to different locations.
It provides a slow connection speed of around 512K to 2.0 Mbps, compared to DSL and cable due to the enormous distance taken by the signal to travel from earth to satellite and vice versa.
Dial-up – It is the slowest internet technology that is almost obsolete due to its technological limitations.
Consumers are required to link their telephone line to the computer line to access the internet. It is the slowest as it does not support broadband due to limited bandwidth.
How does the Internet work?
The Internet has two main components that are network protocols and hardware.
The Transport Control Protocol and Internet Protocol describe a set of rules that the devices need to follow to complete any task.
In the absence of these rules, the machine will not be able to communicate.
The main function of these protocols is to translate the alphabetic text of a message to electronic signals for transmission, through the internet, and then again converting it into alphabetic text.
The other component of the Internet is the hardware, comprising everything from a computer that is used to access the internet, to the cables to carry information from one device to another.
Other types of hardware available are satellites, service provider towers, routers, radio, and servers.
Packet switching technology helps in the process of transferring data from one device to another.
For recognition, each computer connected to the Internet has been assigned a unique IP address.
The data is sent through the Internet via packets when one device sends a message to another.
These packets are again assigned a port number that connects them to their endpoint.
A packet with a unique IP address as well as port number travels through the layers of the OSI model from top to the bottom physical layer for translating the alphabetic text into electronic signals.
Further, the message is sent to the Internet service provider’s router which on examination sends the packet to the assigned address.
Hence, the packet finally reached the client and then again travels, from the bottom physical layer to the OSI top layer, completing the transmission process.
What are the different applications of the Internet?
The Internet has many important applications and among them, the most important application is the World Wide Web.
It consists of email, web browsing, social media, mobile applications, online games, file sharing, etc.
The data centers host the data servers that provide these services through high-performance content delivery networks.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is the collection of interlinked hypertext documents, multimedia, images.
The main access protocol of the World Wide Web is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). HTTP is also used for communication, information sharing, transfer, and exchanging by many web services.
Hypertexts let the user select a word or sentence from the text and access information or documents related to that particular word.
The web provides the right to use millions of pages of information.
Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, let the users interlink from one web page to another using hyperlinks, set in the documents.
These hyperlinked documents may contain images, sounds, data, video, and interactive data that run while the user is going through the page.
Emails are another major application of the internet used for communication and sharing of information.
The idea of sending messages to different people at a time, similar to the mailing letter, increased its growth.
Various pictures, images, documents, files can be sent as attachments, along with an email, to multiple email addresses at one time.
The increasing numbers of Internet service providers and the growing number of devices capable of supporting emails are the two factors responsible for the rapid growth in the use of electronic mails.
Nowadays, Internet telephony is a common communication service widely used.
It got its name, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), from the principle internetworking Internet Protocol.
VoIP now leads to many markets, as it is very convenient and easy to use. Long-distance calling has also become cheaper.
Instant messaging is another growing communication service. They generally allow users to share files, images, documents, stream content, and also use the internet for telephony, with other users in actual time and take part in chat rooms.
One of the fast-growing network applications of the internet is file sharing. It allows transferring a large quantity of data through the internet.
For easy download, a file can be sent as an attachment with an email to other people or can be uploaded on a website, through the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. It can also be shared using instant messaging websites.
Streaming media is another real-time application of digital media for immediate use and enjoyment.
Many broadcasters supply various live audio and video clips through the internet, which can be viewed or listened to similar to a television or radio.
A broad range of different types of material is available, ranging from specific technical webcasts to popular multimedia services.
Podcasting is an up-gradation of streaming media where an audio material is downloaded and played on a pc or a media player to listen to later.
The above techniques can allow anybody to use simple tools to broadcast or exchange audio or visual material, copyrighted material, or software through some censorship or licensing control.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet?
The Internet has made our lives convenient and easy by providing us different facilities for communication and sharing.
We can use the internet to communicate with different people around the world to make business, friends, and various other purposes.
However, it has also many disadvantages that make life difficult.
The various advantages and disadvantages of the internet are as follows:-
Advantages of Internet
Internet is said as the online treasure trove of information. Endless information on any topic such as services, trade, commerce, market information, latest news, education, etc is available on the internet.
We can use search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and also websites for other purposes.
Forums on network sites allow people to share their thoughts and information all around the world.
The internet also allows universities and schools to use and develop various methods and tools to impart online education.
Medium of Communication
Internet helps people to communicate with each other through a virtual platform such as email, video conferencing, etc in any part of the world.
The messages are sent through emails and delivered within seconds making it convenient for personal communication, expansion of business, charity, and donations by reaching many people at one moment and many other purposes.
Video conferencing, chatting are some of the latest technologies which help people to chat in actual time.
Thus the Internet has created a sort of global friendship where everyone can connect and share their thoughts and culture.
Online gaming, watching movies, and listening to music is nowadays the most common entertainment sources.
Downloading and playing online games free of cost, downloading movies rather than going to the cinema hall, have now become easier with a fast internet connection.
One can also download unlimited music and videos and share them through different shareware programs.
Online services and shopping
The Internet changed the scenario of shopping all over the world. One can access websites to sell or purchase any product through the internet and can also transfer money online.
One can control and monitor its financial account to perform various transactions online. One can also book tickets, send funds, pay utility bills, taxes, etc sitting at home. Thus the Internet has made life very handy and easy.
Helpline to Students
A student can earn online through bloggers using the internet. Writing blogs is a great experience for the students and also a great source of income.
It can increase their professional skills and lead them towards a bright future. Students can also use many social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc to contact other students for a discussion to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Disadvantages of Internet
Students spend too much time on the internet and neglect their studies.
They keep on watching movies and chatting with their friend and thus lose concentration and ability to complete their homework and revisions on time.
Even elderly people are sometimes addicted to watching movies or playing games and neglect their important work.
The internet has made the life of people easier, but on the other side, it also has several issues.
Children nowadays sit on the internet and communicate with many people, but they lose their ability to communicate with each other when coming face to face.
They spend less time with family and people around them and result in decreasing social abilities.
With a large amount of information that is available freely, the issues of misuse and theft have increased largely.
People use information and details of other people and use them in their names.
Hackers access different websites, chat rooms, and forums and take advantage of innocent people and abuse them.
Many people use the internet to get access to different financial accounts and cheat people.
Unsafe for Children
Nowadays children remain indoors in front of the computer and the internet.
They have stopped doing physical activity, thus leading to obesity, poor development of interpersonal skills, and many other diseases.
Sitting continuously in front of a computer screen can also damage the eyes of children and put a strain on their neck and shoulders.
Many children gain easy access to pornography and other unethical communities, available on the internet, which is not safe.
Hence, children are becoming addicted to the internet, which is unsafe and dangerous.