As the internet turns 50, experts weigh future advances and emerging issues  | Network World

The INTERNET is a ‘network of networks’ that links computer systems around the world . It allows communication across networks , i.e., communication can take place between one network and another . This allow people to have access to information from different Web sites , locations and machines . It virtually makes accessible a sea of information and a nearly worldwide audience at the click of a button.

It was the Sputnik’s launch and the subsequent cold war , space race and the development of ARPANET (Advance Research Projects Agency NETwork ) in 1950 , that led to the establishment of the internet. However , it actually gained momentum in the 1980s when ARPANET was used by the National Science Foundation to connect the five supercomputers at its regional centres . Thus emerged a high speed Internet service that enabled access to many universities , networks , bulletin board systems , commercial online services and institutions . The decade closed with the introduction of the World Wide Web or WWW , which proclaimed the emergence of an independent platform of communication that was further augmented by a relatively easy-to-use and pleasant graphical interface .

Important Features

Some of the facilities that are available on the Internet are as follows :

  • World Wide Web : The Internet application that is currently drawing maximum attention is the WWW . It has dramatically influenced the online world and continues to grow in popularity .
  • Direct Communication : Through e-mail , messages can be sent to or received from any part of the world within a few minutes.
  • Round-the-Clock Availability : Information on the Internet is available to users 24 hours a day .
  • Wide Area Networks : Using the Internet , organizations can collect and compile information from offices spread over large geographical areas .