The Internet – A Cold War Invention

The internet or the World Wide Web has become the world's first information source, but do you know its story?

The creation

The idea was devised by the Department of Defense (DOD) in the US. Initially it was created so that officials would have a way of communication, in case of being hit by a nuclear bomb. The internet was supposedly to survive the attack, as it consists of a network of interconnected computers. The idea was that as long as the computers exist, the connections should exist. It was called APRANET when it first started in 1969. Slowly, the network started to develop and grow with the number of users, so that it reached 550 users in 1981 and 940 users in 1984. From then on, people started to run wild with ideas of how it should be used and how to develop it.

Its mechanism

As mentioned before, the internet is an interconnected network of computers that exchange data. The data exchange is done through packet switching using Internet Protocol (IP). There are many ways to use the packet switching, but the most popular is TCP / IP and UDP. This stands for Transmission Control Protocol and User Datagram Protocol. UDP is a lousy protocol, meaning that packets which are lost are not resent. On the other hand, the TCP resends its lost packages, making it more reliable, but slower than UDP.

Messaging through the net

Emailing has become a staple of the worlds of business, education and more. An email can pass through and get stored in many networks and machines (on its way from the sender to the recipient); making it really fast and reliable. Yet this same feature makes it possible for hackers to tamper with it or alter it. Thus the internal email network is much more secure and heavily relied on, when it comes to press protection needs. The internal network is a much smaller and controlled internet.

The reality

Although we use the keywords internet and World Wide Web synonymously, each term is slightly different. The World Wide Web refers to a network of documents, such as images and files, which are typically connected through hyperlinks. The documents travel the internet using the HTTP or the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Web browsers have to enable hyperlinks, so that users can swiftly move through the thousands of documents posted on the internet.