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what is the world’s largest network

what is the world's largest network


what is the world’s largest network

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Internet, a system architecture that has revolutionized communications and methods of commerce by allowing various computer networks around the world to interconnect. Sometimes referred to as a “network of networks,”

the Internet emerged in the United States in the 1970s but did not become visible to the general public until the early 1990s. By 2020, approximately 4.5 billion people, or more than half of the world’s population,

were estimated to have access to the Internet.
The Internet provides a capability so powerful and general that it can be used for almost any purpose that depends on information, and it is accessible by every individual who connects to one of its constituent networks.


what is the world's largest network
what is the world’s largest network

human communication

It supports human communication via social media, electronic mail (e-mail), “chat rooms,” newsgroups,

and audio and video transmission and allows people to work collaboratively at many different locations.

It supports access to digital information by many applications, including the World Wide Web.

The Internet has proved to be a spawning ground for a large and growing number of “e-businesses”

(including subsidiaries of traditional “brick-and-mortar” companies)

that carry out most of their sales and services over the Internet.



The first computer networks

The first computer networks were dedicated special-purpose systems such as SABRE

(an airline reservation system) and AUTODIN I (a defense command-and-control system),

both designed and implemented in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

By the early 1960s computer manufacturers had begun to use semiconductor technology in commercial products,

and both conventional batch-processing and time-sharing systems were in place in many large,

technologically advanced companies.

Time-sharing systems allowed a computer’s resources to be shared in rapid succession with multiple users,

cycling through the queue of users so quickly that the computer appeared dedicated to each user’s tasks despite the existence of many others accessing the system “simultaneously.”

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notion of sharing computer resources


This led to the notion of sharing computer resources (called host computers or simply hosts) over an entire network.

Host-to-host interactions were envisioned, along with access to specialized resources

(such as supercomputers and mass storage systems)

and interactive access by remote users to the computational powers of time-sharing systems located elsewhere.

These ideas were first realized in ARPANET,

which established the first host-to-host network connection on October 29, 1969.

It was created by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. ARPANET was one of the first general-purpose computer networks.

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time-sharing computers

It connected time-sharing computers at government-supported research sites,

principally universities in the United States, and it soon became a critical piece of infrastructure for the computer science research community in the United States.

Tools and applications—such as the simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP, commonly referred to as e-mail),

for sending short messages, and the file transfer protocol (FTP),

for longer transmissions—quickly emerged. In order to achieve cost-effective interactive communications between computers, which typically communicate in short bursts of data, ARPANET employed the new technology of packet switching.

Packet switching takes large messages

(or chunks of computer data)

and breaks them into smaller, manageable pieces

(known as packets) that can travel independently over any available circuit to the target destination,

where the pieces are reassembled. Thus, unlike traditional voice communications,

packet switching does not require a single dedicated circuit between each pair of users.


what is the world's largest network
what is the world’s largest network


Commercial packet networks

Commercial packet networks were introduced in the 1970s,

but these were designed principally to provide efficient access to remote computers by dedicated terminals.

Briefly, they replaced long-distance modem connections by less-expensive “virtual” circuits over packet networks.

In the United States, Telenet and Tymnet were two such packet networks.

Neither supported host-to-host communications; in the 1970s this was still the province of the research networks,

and it would remain so for many years.


DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; formerly ARPA)

supported initiatives for ground-based and satellite-based packet networks.

The ground-based packet radio system provided mobile access to computing resources,

while the packet satellite network connected the United States with several European countries and enabled connections with widely dispersed and remote regions.

With the introduction of packet radio, connecting a mobile terminal to a computer network became feasible.

However, time-sharing systems were then still too large, unwieldy,

and costly to be mobile or even to exist outside a climate-controlled computing environment.

A strong motivation thus existed to connect the packet radio network to ARPANET in order to allow mobile users with simple terminals to access the time-sharing systems for which they had authorization.



Thus arose the need to connect the packet satellite net, as well as the packet radio net, with other networks.


Foundation of the Internet

The Internet resulted from the effort to connect various research networks in the United States and Europe.

First, DARPA established a program to investigate the interconnection of “heterogeneous networks.”

This program, called Internetting, was based on the newly introduced concept of open architecture networking,


what is the world's largest network
what is the world’s largest network


Vinton Cerf(what is the world’s largest network)

In 1974 Vinton Cerf, then at Stanford University in California, and this author, then at DARPA,

collaborated on a paper that first described such a protocol and system architecture—namely,

the transmission control protocol (TCP),

which enabled different types of machines on networks all over the world to route and assemble data packets.

TCP, which originally included the Internet protocol (IP), a global addressing mechanism
that allowed routers to get data packets to their ultimate destination, formed the TCP/IP standard,

which was adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1980.

By the early 1980s the “open architecture” of the TCP/IP approach was adopted and endorsed by many other researchers

and eventually by technologists and businessmen around the world.

U.S. governmental bodies(what is the world’s largest network)

By the 1980s other U.S. governmental bodies were heavily involved with networking,

including the National Science Foundation (NSF),

the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

While DARPA had played a seminal role in creating a small-scale version of the Internet among its researchers,

NSF worked with DARPA to expand access to the entire scientific and academic community and

to make TCP/IP the standard in all federally supported research networks.

In 1985–86(what is the world’s largest network)

In 1985–86 NSF funded the first five supercomputing centres—at Princeton University,

the University of Pittsburgh, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Illinois, and Cornell University.

In the 1980s NSF also funded the development and operation of the NSFNET,

a national “backbone” network to connect these centres.

By the late 1980s the network was operating at millions of bits per second.

NSF also funded various nonprofit local and regional networks to connect other users to the NSFNET.

A few commercial networks also began in the late 1980s;

after extensive review of the situation(what is the world’s largest network)

In 1995, after extensive review of the situation,


since many commercial providers were now willing and able to meet the needs of the research community,


Meanwhile, NSF had fostered a competitive collection of commercial Internet backbones connected

to one another through so-called network access points (NAPs).


what is the world's largest network
what is the world’s largest network

The rise of commercial Internet services and applications helped to fuel a rapid commercialization of the Internet.


This phenomenon was the result of several other factors as well.

One important factor was the introduction of the personal computer and the workstation in the early 1980s—

. Another factor,

which took on increasing importance,

was the emergence of Ethernet and other “local area networks” to link personal computers.

But other forces were at work too.

Following the restructuring of AT&T in 1984, NSF took advantage of various new options for national-level digital backbone services for the NSFNET.

In 1988 the Corporation for National Research Initiatives received approval to conduct an experiment linking a commercial e-mail service (MCI Mail) to the Internet.

This application was the first Internet connection

to a commercial provider that was not also part of the research community. Approval quickly followed to allow other e-mail providers access,

and the Internet began its first explosion in traffic.



federal legislation(what is the world’s largest network)

In 1993 federal legislation allowed NSF to open the NSFNET backbone to commercial users.

Prior to that time, use of the backbone was subject to an “acceptable use” policy,

established and administered by NSF,


NSF recognized that commercially supplied network services, now that they were available,

would ultimately be far less expensive than continued funding of special-purpose network services.

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