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Formation of Internet
First network of computers called Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork (ARPANET) was developed by US Department of Defense in 1969. By 1990, many countries of the world came up with a common set of rules for Internet communication among computers called protocols. Nowadays, standard sets of protocols called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) are used for exchange of information through Internet.
It is important to note that the exchange of information on Internet is very fast (at the speed of light) as electronic signals (messages) of computers are communicated through electromagnetic waves. In India, Internet was started in November 1988 by VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited) in Mumbai. On Internet, information is provided / available through webpages that may contain text, images, videos, etc. One can move from one webpage on Internet to another through a system called interlinked hypertext documents. In this system, one webpage is linked to another webpage by providing hyperlinking (a way of highlighting) to any text, image or video. This way of accessing information on Internet through interlinking of webpage is called www or World Wide Web.
Anyone can provide specific information on Internet by making a couple of webpages containing that information. Such a set of webpages together constitute a website. One can design a website of own organization containing information about its different aspects and its activities. Anyone can connect its computer to the Internet network through various Internet Service Providers (ISP) by paying a prescribed fee. Commonly, mobile network companies also acts as ISP.
Applications of Internet
People use Internet for many purposes like searching and viewing information on any topic of interest, for sending electronic mails (e-mails), for e-banking, e-shopping (e-commerce), e-booking (e-ticketing) etc. This list of uses of Internet is endless.
- (i) Internet Surfing: Moving on Internet from one webpage/website to another is called Internet surfing. It is an interesting way of searching and viewing information on any topic of interest.
- (ii) E-mail: E-mail means “electronic mail”. This is the most used application of Internet. Email is a way of sending texts written on computers through Internet. Along with text one can send images and videos too. This is cheapest and fastest way of sending messages. For using this facility of Internet one needs to create a personal email account with an email-Id (identity) or email address. Email-Id is like an identity card (Name and address)
through which people can identify and communicate to you through Internet. A few websites provides free email accounts and Ids to Internet users. These email-Ids are password protected and thus no one other than whom it belongs can use them. Internet Service Providers (ISP) also provide email-Ids. Every email-Id has two parts separated by a sign @ called at the rate of. For example, “[email protected]” is an email Id. Its two parts:
(i) Part before @ sign : prakrittyagi It is personal information part. Here it denotes a name Prakrit Tyagi. (ii) Part after @ sign : gmail.com It is called a domain name. It provides information about the server that is providing this email facility. A message sent through email is instantly delivered to the addressee because communication of messages is by means of electromagnetic waves through Internet. Beauty of email lies in the fact that a message is stored in an email account even at a time when its user is not connected to Internet, which can be viewed later. Email’s use is increasing day by day. We can even send personalized greeting cards through email. Today it has become an extremely popular communication tool.
- (iii) E-banking: It is an electronic payment system allowing customers to proceed for financial transactions on a website operated by that financial institution (usually a bank). For this purpose, customer needs to be a member of that institution, needs to have internet access and must register with the institution for the service. In turn, the financial institution provides the login number and password to the customer for his/her unique identification. With the help of this facility a customer can link his account with any other facilities such as checking on line status of the balance, check book requisition, loan, recurring, credit card, debit card etc.
- (iv) E-shopping (E-commerce): Virtual Malls are available on Internet where one can view and order to purchase various products. Buying products through product selling websites is called e-shopping. These websites provide the buyer pay cash on delivery or making online payments (using e-banking or credit cards) options. Similarly, there are websites on which one can upload (put) photographs of products, which you want to sell. This trading
of products using Internet along with many other market related activities is called ecommerce.
- (v) E-booking (e-ticketing): It is an application developed for ticket reservation through the Internet to help the travel and tourism industry. It helps consumers to book flight tickets, railway tickets, hotels, holiday packages, insurance and other services online. To book an e-ticket, a customer needs to visit a home page of an Airline Company or Indian Railways. Once he/she enters the travel preference, gets an opportunity to view the available flights / trains through an appropriate interface. Once the choice is fixed, the customer needs to select the mode for transfer of money. Once the payment is done through an authentic mode (like e-banking), an online ticket is issued to the customer.
- (vi) Social Networking: It is a service providing a platform to the people having same interests to build a social network. It is a web-based service allows an individual to create his/her own profile, list of users with whom they want to connect. The service allows the user to share their ideas, pictures, events, activities etc. with their group. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. are some popular social networking sites.