Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as the net or web, the Internet was initially developed to aid in the progress of computing technology by linking all the best academic computer centers. The Internet as we know it today first started being developed in the late 1960's with the start of ARPANET and transmitted its first message on Friday, October 29, 1969. In 1993, the Internet experienced one of its largest growths to date and today is accessible by people all over the world.

Tip: See our Internet history section for full information about the development and creation of the Internet.

Map of the InternetThe Internet contains billions of web pages created by people and companies from around the world, making it a limitless place to locate information and entertainment. The Internet also has thousands of services that help make life more convenient. For example, many financial institutions offer online banking that enables a user to manage and view their account from different locations. The picture is a representation and map of the Internet done by The Opte Project.

Internet basics

  • The Internet and the WWW are not the same.
  • The Internet utilizes the TCP/IP protocol and is accessed using a computer modem, broadband, 3G, 4G, or network that is connected through an ISP.
  • In the case of broadband, many computers and devices use Wi-Fi to connect to a router that is connected to the ISP.
  • The Internet is explored, which is more commonly referred to as surfing, using a browser.
  • Finding information on the Internet is achieved by using a search engine.
  • Users browse websites and web pages by following hyperlinks that point to an address more commonly referred to as a URL.
  • Files, pictures, songs, and video can be shared by downloading (receiving) and uploading (sending).
  • The Internet is also used for communicating with others through social networks, online games, forums, chat, e-mails, IM, and VoIP.

Why do people use the Internet?

Today, the Internet is the best place to communicate and share information with people from around the world and gives a person an endless supply of knowledge and entertainment. See the links below for a more comprehensive breakdown of what can be done on the Internet.

Why is the Internet considered a network?

The Internet is the world's largest network because it is a collection of computers and servers that are connected to each other using routers and switches around the world. The Internet works the same way a network would in a home or office just with millions of more computers and other routers and switches.

ARPA, Internet of Things, Intranet, IPTO, Network terms