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What is the Internet?

Chew Yuxi
Chew Yuxi 26 March 2020

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You use it on a daily basis, incessantly surfing through Instagram or Facebook with no regard for lost time. But really, what is the internet? The answer to this question is often filled with lots of technical jargon and confusing diagrams. Fret not, for I will craft this article with analogies and bite-sized nuggets. nom-nom.

Skip the Bullshit, Sir.

In its basic form, the internet is a network of networks.

A single network is two or more digital devices that exchange information through a physical medium. For example, your phone or your computer is connected to your home's wireless network via a router. We call this your local network.

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Have you ever connected to a printer or speaker via Wi-Fi? This functionality is tapping on the concept of a local network to transmit information between devices. This allows your school or workplace to access the same electronic devices easily.

The Internet is an expansion of this - it connects many many many local networks together. It is easiest to view the internet as a never-ending wire, with an unlimited amount of wires that it can be linked to, regardless of geographical location.

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Therefore, your home network is now able to access information from any network around the world.

Internet vs World Wide Web

This is a common misconception - they are not the same thing! The World Wide Web is a method or service to access the internet. There are many other ways to access the internet, such as email or instant messaging.

Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the World Wide Web, and he developed several technologies to enable it to grow to the mammoth it is today.

Oh no... I can already hear your groans. Technical... JARGON?! But hang on, I promise I will keep the descriptions brief.

Firstly, we are all familiar with these letters - HTTP. It stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Think of this protocol as a set of rules that governs how data is transmitted between computers.

Next, we have URLs - Uniform Resource Locators. Best understood as a web address. You're familiar with seeing these addresses in the address bar of your web browser.

Lastly, Tim created HTML - Hypertext Markup Language. This programming language is used to write and read text, images or other elements into visual or audible web pages. HTML is all about formatting, much like how you format your documents using Headers and Paragraphs in Microsoft Word, HTML aims to do the same.

Done and Dusted!

Awesome, you're now armed with random facts that you can drop during parties to show off your vast knowledge of the internet.

If your curiosity is not satisfied, a quick web search on the internet will answer all your questions about the internet.

But how do you get traffic flowing to your website? Take a look at our articles on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to rank highly on search engines, or reach out to potential customers via Social Media Marketing.

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Chew Yuxi
Written by

Chew Yuxi

I'm an enthusiast of all things web development. As a programmer who deals with jargon on a daily basis, I enjoy reducing complicated concepts to their most basic forms for the consumption of anyone.

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