The internet has been the major thing that transformed society into the society that we now recognize today. It would be difficult for us to think of a time when the internet didn’t exist as we have all become so reliant on it. It has so many uses and if it was to stop working society as w know it wouldn’t be able to function. Considering this is such an important thing in everyone’s lives, it’s surprising that whilst most people know what it is they don’t know how it actually works.
What is the Internet?
The internet was developed by the United States back in October of 1969, it was used by the United States Department of Defence Researchers. The internet as the world wide web as we know it was developed later, it was created by CERN in Switzerland in the 1990s. In the simplest terms, it is the world’s biggest network of computers, within this huge network are smaller networks that all carry a large amount of information. Billions of people use the world wide web every single day. As so many people use it this increases the importance of a good broadband connection as this allows you to connect to the internet and it allows you to access it at high speeds.
Why is the internet important?
The creation of the internet affected every single aspect of life. It made it possible to connect with friends and family on the other side of the world in a way that’s much more personal than sending a letter. It changed the high street shopping experience as now you don’t have to leave to go shopping, you can do it from one of your devices whilst laying in bed. It changed how people watch films and TV shows, instead of slicking through cable channels complaining about how terrible daytime TV is, people can now watch any movie they want at any time of day.
The Internet and Education
One of the most important things that the internet changed is it massively improved the quality of education. The internet contains massive amounts of information, I’m yet to google a question and not be given a page full of sites that have the answer. This has made education much more accessible, even top institutes like Yale and Harvard provide free courses. It’s also made teaching much easier as students all learn differently, in the past teachers were restricted in what resources they can use mainly using textbooks. Thanks to the internet there are now resources online that will cover every teaching method so no students are left at a disadvantage.
The Internet and the News
Before the internet, the only way people could get any news was from reading newspapers and listening to the radio. If people were to read newspapers then they’d only be aware of things that were published in that specific newspaper. The internet has made it much easier for people to be aware of both national current affairs and things happening internationally. Many people now keep up to date with the news hourly, some get notifications on their phone of articles they may be interested in up to 10 times a day. It also allows for more variation in the news that people are reading as online there are many independent journalist websites where people with different opinions to the mainstream media write their take of events.
How does the Internet Work?
The internet has had a huge impact on society and had an extremely positive impact on many fields. But, how does it actually work to do all of this? You’ll probably be surprised to know that the internet is no more complex than your standard computer network, it functions by moving data from one place to another and this allows us to use all of its features. The process in which it moves this data is a process called packet switching. This process takes your data and splits it up into tiny little pieces, each piece has a location tag attached to it. The pieces separately make their way to the destination and then on arrival are all put back together. The data can take many routes to its destination but it is such a sophisticated network that it always takes the fastest and most efficient route available. The reason that packet switching is used is that if it wasn’t then if you were to, for example, send an email, and it was sent as a whole, this would cause a section of the network to be blocked, and it would be blocked every time anyone sent an email. Packet switching allows everyone to access and use the internet at the same time as it causes no blockages.