Internet began as the ARPANET by the USA during the cold war between Soviet Union and USA. It is a lot more than just a defense project.
History of Internet:
Developed by the US Department of Defense's (DOD) in 60's, in conjunction with a number of military contractors and universities to explore the possibility of a communication network that could survive a nuclear attack. It continued simply because the DOD, its contractors, and the universities found that it provided a very convenient way to communicate. By 80's standardization of Internet Protocol Suite had taken place, and the Internet was no longer used in military but was now used for Scientific Purpose, in Universities and Organizations.
It was primarily used to facilitate email, support online discussion groups, allow access to distant databases, and support the transfer of files between government agencies, companies and universities. Seeing the increase in speed of communication through Internet, by 90's all restrictions on the Internet were lifted and now the Internet was to be used for commercial purpose too. This led the growth of a new industry which provided internet services to the masses known as the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
A number of different services have been developed over the years, to facilitate the sharing of information between the sites on the Internet because the Internet was originally research oriented. Many of these services were hard to use and poorly documented.
The internet is a system of interconnected computers but on a global scale. For a computer to communicate with another computer it was important that some sort of standards to be used. These standards would ensure the safety and security of the information flow. And because of this concern Internet Protocol Suite or TCP/IP was developed. The concept of TCP/IP is that of two tin cans connected by a string of wire. Communication between the two can will only be established when they are connected to this string of wire. The wire is the medium which will carry the communication and the cans which are the hosts and receivers.
The TCP/IP work in layers namely Layer 1 being the Physical Layer, Layer 2 Logical link Layer, Layer 3 Network Layer, Layer 4 Transport Layer, Layer 5 Session Layer, Layer 6 Presentation Layer and Layer 7 Application Layer being on the top.
Currently Internet Protocol Version 4 is used better known as IPv4. This was the the first version and is still dominant. But due the massive growth of the Internet IPv4 address exhaustion has taken place, which means no more IP addresses would be allotted to the hosts by the end of the year 2011. The IPv4 will be replaced by IPv6. IPv6 is currently in it deployment phase but there is no interoperability between IPv4 and IPv6. So to use IPv6 a user must upgrade their devices and soft-wares.
The modern use of the internet is now not limited. In today's world Internet can be accessed from almost anywhere. WIFI, WiMax, DSL Lines, GSM GPRS are all the access points of internet. Not just accessibility but also the speed and the huge amount of data transfer taking place has also increased. From the typical slow dial-up of 33-56Kbps to a fast 1-10Mbps, the internet has gone from a horse cart to a race car in a less time.And with all these advancements, it has brought in ways for many business to establish and run smooth operations.Today's internet is not just used for e-mails, but today's internet is used for gaming, online movies & videos, songs, rich flash content, education, virtual universities, elections and much more.
Now each individual can create graphic pages (a Web Site/Page). They can share any type of information. They can communicate with business contacts, friends, or family in another part of the world in seconds by using email or social media. They can send and receive messages immediately, and they don't have to look for an envelope or stamp. They can send files, pictures to their relatives and friends; they can even chat online. The possibilities are endless, but unfortunately the term endless also includes negative uses of internet like hacking, porn and piracy. Though restrictions can be placed, the responsible use of the internet ultimately depends on the user. Connection to the Internet involves a modem, a phone line, and an Internet Service Provider (ISP), be sure that you choose your ISP wisely.