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Internet Fundamentals - I

The Internet

A vast network of networks that electronically connects millions of people worldwide. Formed in 1968, when the U. S. Department of Defenses Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) funded what would become the first global computer networkthe Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). The ARPANET allowed university and government engineers to research and work from any location on the network. In the late 1980s, the Department of Defense decommissioned the ARPANET, and all sites switched over to the National Science Foundation network, called NSFnet. The NSFnet, plus thousands of others, compose what has become the largest network of networks: the Internet.

Internet Fundamentals
What is the Internet?
Global network of networks Communicating using same set of rules (protocols/languages)

How was the Internet Created?

grew out of a network in the 1960's created by the U.S. Dept. of Defense (ARPANET) In 1985, Natl Science Foundation created NSFNET for education and research

How the Internet Works











software on your computer. This software sends information to the computer with which you are connected, which then passes it on to other computers until it reaches its destination. TCP/IP ensures that your information is transferred quickly and reliably. It divides your data into packets and sends each packet separately across the Internet. The routing flexibility of TCP/IP software ensures the accurate and steady flow of information, regardless of any one users connection.

Internet Fundamentals
How does it work?
Data is sent in packets Routers direct packets to their destination using TCP/IP protocol

How does TCP/IP work?

Transmission Control Protocol controls how data is broken into packets Internet Protocol defines how data is routed over the Internet

Internet Protocols

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The set of rules required to exchange files, such as text, images, video, and multimedia content, across the Web. Files contain references to other files, so they are linked to one another.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Used to access programs and transfer files across the Internet.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Electronic Mail

Involves an outgoing and incoming mail server. You receive e-mail from an incoming mail server using the Post Office Protocol (POP) or the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).

The Internet standard protocol for remote terminal connection service. Some public Telnet servers are still widely used by administrators to remotely manage servers, firewalls, and routers.

Internet Protocols

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) - Newsgroups After registering with a newsgroup, you can read and post news Gopher (An older menu-based program in UNIX-based systems used to find resources) One of the first tools developed to unite the Internet so that users could access the entire Internet rather than just one site. Gopher allows you to browse for information (usually text-based) without having to know exactly where the information is located. Most Gopher servers have been replaced with HTTP (Web) servers.

The Difference Between FTP and HTTP


File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is a protocol used to upload files from a workstation to a FTP server or download files from a FTP server to a workstation. It is the way that files get transferred from one device to another in order for the files to be available on the Internet. When ftp appears in a URL it means that the user is connecting to a file server and not a Web server and that some form of file transfer is going to take place.


Most FTP servers require the user to log on to the server in order to transfer files.


In contrast, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is a protocol used to transfer files from a Web server onto a browser in order to view a Web page that is on the Internet. Unlike FTP, where entire files are transferred from one device to another and copied into memory, HTTP only transfers the contents of a web page into a browser for viewing. FTP is a two-way system as files are transferred back and forth between server and workstation.


HTTP is a one-way system as files are transported only from the server onto the workstation's browser. When http appears in a URL it means that the user is connecting to a Web server and not a file server. The files are transferred but not downloaded, therefore not copied into the memory of the receiving device.

Internet Fundamentals
How do routers know where to send the Internet packets? Every device on the Internet has a unique address (IP address) Each IP address has four numbers separated by dots Example: The Domain Name System associates names with the IP addresses:

Internet Fundamentals
How does the Domain Name System work?
All computers are grouped into hierarchical domains Top level domains are: .com, .org, .edu, .gov, .net, .mil Name servers know your domain name Example:

Internet Fundamentals
How does the Domain Name System work?
A master database keeps track of which domain name servers (DNS servers) are authority for each and every domain DNS servers store names of domains they have looked up recently

Internet Fundamentals
Who runs the Internet?
No one organization Certain groups establish standards Internet Society (ISOC) is responsible for standards for Internet infrastructure Internet Architecture Board (IAB) makes technical recommendations to ISOC

Internet Fundamentals
Who runs the Internet?
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates assignment of Internet addresses and domain names

Internet Fundamentals
How does a Web Browser work?
It downloads and displays pages from a Web Server

How does a browser know how to display the pages?

It interprets specially coded text called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

Internet Fundamentals
What makes a computer a Web Server?
Special software designed to serve up web pages and related files

How do Web Servers communicate with Browsers?

Using HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol)

Uniform Resource Locators (URL)

A URL is a text string that supplies an internet or intranet address and the method by which the address can be accessed. URLs start with the http:// prefix which identifies them as web pages using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. For example, if you enter the following web address: The URL will access a web page because it begins with http. It then contacts the web server and domain named It will locate a file on the server.

Internet Fundamentals
Anatomy of a URL (Uniform Resource Locater):


domain name

Internet Fundamentals
Steps to Retrieve a Web Page: 1. User enters URL 2. Web browser communicates with DNS to get IP address 3. Web browser sends request to server using http protocol

Internet Fundamentals
Steps to Retrieve a Web Page: 1. Web server receives request and retrieves file and graphics 2. Web server sends file and graphics to Web Browser of requesting (client) computer 3. Web browser interprets the HTML code and displays the page and graphics

Internet Fundamentals
Types of Files Served by Web Servers:
Graphics (.jpg, .gif, .png) Audio (.mp3, .wav, .ra) Multimedia (.mpeg, .mov, .qt, .avi) Flash and Shockwave (.swf require plug-ins)

Internet Fundamentals
Impact of Internet on Society:
Reduces personal interaction with online shopping and banking, etc. Enables working from home (telecommuting) Brings people closer together through email, instant messages, auctions, etc. Makes communicating from a distance easier

Connecting to the Internet

Elements required to connect to the Internet:

Computer, WebTV, mobile phone, or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) Dial-up modem, digital subscriber line (DSL) modem, or cable modem Operating System: Windows 95/98/Me, Windows NT/2000/XP, Linux/UNIX, Macintosh Telecommunications/Client Software: Web browser, e-mail or news client programs Internet Connection (telephone line or cable connection): dial-up or direct connection to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or ValueAdded Network (VAN) such as America Online (AOL) or Microsoft Network (MSN) Internet Addresses: Web addresses (e.g.,, e-mail addresses (e.g.,, server addresses (e.g., ss1.ProSoftTraining)

Connection Types

Dial-Up Connection

Use a modem to access the Internet on a per-use basis. The user accesses the ISP via phone line and when finished, disconnects from the ISP. The speed of access is determined by the speed of your modem. To gain faster access, you can install an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) line, which is a digital phone line.
Provide continuous access to the Internet Convenient and fast and capable of handling high bandwidth

Direct Connection

Dial-up Connection(Shell Connection)

In this type of Internet Connection, the user will get only textual matter of a Web Page. This connection does not support Graphics display. However the user will be able to surf the Internet, do FTP, receive mail. Shell Accounts were the only type of Internet access available for many years before the Internet entered in to the world of graphics and became more users friendly.

Dial-up Connection(TCP/IP Connection)

Todays graphical World Wide Web browsers provide easier access with multimedia sound and pictures. The major difference between Shell and TCP/IP account is that, Shell account can only display text and does not support graphics display, whereas TCP/IP can display both. Hence it is more popular Internet connection. Shell accounts are slowly phasing out from the Internet scenario.

Dial-up Connection(ISDN)
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) offers Internet connectivity at speeds of up to 128 Kbps through the use of digital phone lines. ISDN is a dial-up service that has been provided by telephone companies. This line combines two 64 Kbps channels to offer 128 Kbps band width broken into three bands: one band for the ringing signal of your phone, one band for your telephone conversation, and one band for data.

Direct Connection (Leased Line & DSL))

Leased connection is also known as direct Internet access or Level Three connection. It is the secure, dedicated and most expensive, level of Internet connection. With leased connection, your computer is dedicatedly and directly connected to the Internet using high speed transmission lines. It is on-line twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Leased Internet connections are limited to large corporations and universities who could afford the cost.