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The Internet

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The Internet is a magnificent global network with millions and millions of computers and people connected to one another where each day people worldwide exchange an immeasurable amount of information, electronic mail, news, resources and, more important, ideas.

It has grown at a surprising rate. Almost everyone has heard about it and an increasing number of people use it regularly. The current estimate is that over 70 million people are connected, in some way, to the Internet - whether they know it or not.

With a few touches at a keyboard a person can get access to materials in almost everywhere. One can have access to full-text newspapers, magazines, journals, reference works, and even books. The Web is one of the best resources for up-to-date information. It is a hypertext-based system by which you can navigate through the Internet. Hypertext is the text that

contains links to other documents. A special program known as «browser» can help you find news, pictures, virtual museums, electronic magazines, etc. and print Web pages. You can also click on keywords or buttons that take you to other pages or other Web sites. This is possible because browsers understand hypertext markup language or code, a set of commands to indicate how a Web page is formatted and displayed.

Internet Video conferencing programmes enable users to talk to and see each other, exchange textual and graphical information, and collaborate.

Internet TV sets allow you to surf the Web and have e-mail while you are watching TV, or vice versa. Imagine watching a film on TV and simultaneously accessing a Web site where you get information on the actors of the film. The next generation of Internet-enabled televisions will incorporate a smart-card for home shopping, banking and other interactive services. Internet-enabled TV means a TV set used as an Internet device.

The Internet is a good example of a wide area network (WAN). For long-distance or worldwide communications computers are usually connected into a wide area network to form a single integrated network.



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Networks can be linked together by telephone lines or fibre-optic cables. Modern telecommunication systems use fibre-optic cables because they offer considerable advantages. The cables require little physical space, they are safe as they don't carry electricity, and they avoid electromagnetic interference.

Networks on different continents can also be connected via satellites. Computers are connected by means of a modem to ordinary telephone lines or fibre-optic cables, which are linked to a dish aerial. Communication satellites receive and send signals on a transcontinental scale.

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