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November 5 - One of the greatest things about the Internet...

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One of the greatest things about the Internet is that nobody really owns it. It is a global collection of networks, both big and small. These networks connect together in many different ways to form the single entity that we know as the Internet. In fact, the very name comes from this idea of interconnected networks. The Internet Society , a non-profit group established in 1992, oversees the formation of the policies and protocols that define how we use and interact with the Internet. Every computer that is connected to the Internet is part of a network, even the one in your home . For example, you may use a modem and dial a local number to connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). At work, you may be part of a local area network (LAN ), but you most likely still connect to the Internet using an ISP that your company has contracted with. When you connect to your ISP, you become part of their network. The ISP may then connect to a larger network and become part of their network. The Internet is simply a network of networks. In each region, the company has a Point of Presence (POP). The POP is a place for local users to access the company's network, often through a local phone number or dedicated line. The amazing thing here is that there is no overall controlling network. Instead, there are several high- level networks connecting to each other through Network Access Points or NAPs. All of these networks rely on NAPs, backbones and routers to talk to each other. The routers determine where to send information from one computer to another. Routers are specialized computers that send your messages and those of every other Internet user speeding to their destinations along thousands of pathways. A router has two separate, but related, jobs: It ensures that information doesn't go where it's not needed. This is crucial for keeping large volumes of data from clogging the connections of "innocent bystanders."
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