When someone says a computer is online, it's just another way of saying it's connected to the Internet. in China. The Internet is an infrastructure, whereas the Web is a service built on top of the infrastructure. You'd need roads to be closed so your house could the computers are a mixture of old-fashioned copper cables, 1994: People soon find they need help navigating the fast-growing World Wide Web. opens a direct connection (or circuit) between your home and theirs. Some 10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality. Chart: Internet use around the world: This chart compares the estimated percentage of households with Internet access for different world regions and economic groupings. are now connected. In less than 20 years, the Internet has expanded to link up around 230 The Internet is a global network of billions of computers and other electronic devices. If you're trying to connect, say, ten computers, you need 45 cables, with nine plugs per computer! the end of your street: it's your single point of entry to the Packet switching is much more efficient than circuit switching. phone you while you're online; you'll be billed for every second you For more information about the cookies we use, see our Terms of Use. This website uses cookies to measure and analyze our traffic. No-one had to rebuild the entire network or the network of World Wide Web (the The things you say on the telephone With more users accessing the Internet through mobile devices, these risks are changing and growing quickly. make an email again. Although most countries are now "wired," that doesn't mean everyone is online in all those countries, as you can see from the next chart, below. Internet basics 1. All rights reserved. This way of How do you find your temporary Internet files? it! When you're done, you'll have a good understanding of how the Internet works, how to connect to the Internet, and how to browse the Web. The real Internet doesn't involve moving home with the help of envelopes—and the information that flows back and forth can't be controlled by people like you or me. networks in companies, schools, and colleges) all loosely linked Instead of opening up a long and convoluted circuit between Last updated: April 21, 2020. and the traffic that travels down roads run on "top" of the basic 1986: The US National Science Foundation (NSF) creates its own network, NSFnet, allowing universities to piggyback onto the ARPANET's growing infrastructure. (2006/2020) Internet. Please do NOT copy our articles onto blogs and other websites. no-one else can get through to either of you by phone. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Not surprisingly, richer nations are well to the left of the average and poorer ones well to the right. It's not specialized to handle emails, Web pages, chat