To come to some conclusion first we need to know about how the internet originally came into the existence, how it works, how we people are evolved with it, and then we are able to decide/answer the very question – is internet software hardware or what??
Way Before the internet we know today there was a precursor ARPANET. ARPANET was funded by the US defence department to connect all research institutions and colleges through a big wire. by using this they can transfer or interact with each of these institutions very easily and fast. it was a really big breakthrough in computer or world history! later this tech was shared with many big companies later this network becomes so big that we now call it the internet! but in 1990 ARPANET stopped and the internet was unaffected by it ( tells how big internet became).
With time we have seen many advancements in tech too with lay down the path to normal users and made all this infrastructure so feasible that even a normal household can have a connection with the network, thanks to the introduction of WIFI and win98 in the 90s.
Internet and us: today
When we entered the 21st-century internet started becoming a big deal started using in many sectors and helped professionals even students! with tech it impacted on our lifestyle too, from space exploration department to personal AI in our phones …all this developed with help of the internet! millions of developers/contributors around the world contributed to making it in reach of every human! In the 2000s nearly 6.5 % of earth’s population was using the internet ( which is HUGE ngl) but this number became 50.8%! in 2018 and still growing at a faster rate than before too! when we talk about the internet and its working we think of few things like phone or pc which connected with WIFI/broadband network then that WIFI connected with some wire (ex.- fibre wire) coming from ISP(in case of broadband, it connected with some tower initially then ISP) …yeah that’s it, until which we able to visualize .. let us see this and understand in more detail.
It’s all connected …
Internet is very much the same as it was in ARPANET days. different system(ex- computer) connected with one common server which acts as a message counter aka help connect each other . back then all this connection used to happen only through wires but now we have wireless modems/routers which help us connect with the same network at on close range ( so no need to connect each of them with different wire !) . so communicate with others we need to identify each other by something unique name to all here comes IP addresses and make it happen some rules introduced called TCP. When ARPANET decommissioned and the internet growing rapidly to different nations connected through the big wire ( all way from oceans ) WorldWideWeb was introduced at the same time. through the browser, we can connect with all these IP addresses and request for things ( like this blog itself!) but as you noticed IP address look very different and numeric but what we use is are in more readable. this is because of DNS protocol all IP addresses have some word associated with them like http://www.facebook.com is associated with 69.63. 181.15 IP address
From the user side( called client ) when we enter some URL / website our HTTP request for that website goes to ISP(Internet Service Provider) then DNS servers identify the IP address and where that website is stored, yes you heard it right! websites are files just like your word or excel ones and similarly, it stored somewhere someplace ( called data centers ) . so this HTTP request rhea there and all this info comes to you all the way from there in packets and tada! Each and every website works like these even video ones where the same packets come… in the case of live interaction it comes continuously. These data centres/web servers are a bit different they are not connected with the internet as your client one is through isp but they are connected with the internet network directly!
SO… is it ?..
Now the big answer time! The answer is as you already figured out reading all this.. Internet is a mix of both!
The Internet consists of many interconnected networks. Those networks are composed of hardware and software. The systems connected to the network must have hardware network interfaces, which are either wired or wireless. Software is required to regulate those interfaces, to compose, send, receive, and decode packets of knowledge using several standard protocols. Routers, switches, firewalls, and other devices are required to attach systems and networks together. a number of these devices are purely hardware, but many perform some level of processing, which needs that they contain an embedded computer running software. The systems connected to the network also typically have some type of package running on them, and a software system is a software. Web servers, management systems, web browsers, web-enabled applications, etc. are all required likewise, and people are all samples of software.
So, the net consists of both hardware and software
Pls, comment down below tell me if you want me to cover something techy ! or have some suggestions! until then 🙂 sayonara!