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The Evolution of the Internet

The Internet and World Wide Web, two terms commonly used interchangeably in every day speech, actually have two completely separate meanings. The Internet is a global series of interconnected computer networks linking computers to each other and serving over a billion users worldwide. It is a global data communications system.

The Internet, originally termed Arpanet from the U.S. military arm that funded it, was developed in the late 1960’s to allow a community of computers to connect and share information across long distances. It is not owned or run by anyone. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was in charge of setting up the network and enlisted several additional groups to test and implement the system. The Internet first connected large universities, UCLA and Stanford. The system then expanded to the University of Utah and University of California Santa Barbara. The Arpanet was renamed Internet in 1984, made available to the public in the mid 1990’s and has grown to host close to 2 billion users in 2011. Users reside globally, from England to Asia and from Billings and Bozeman, Montana to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The World Wide Web (WWW) is an Internet service that provides access to interlinked hypertext documents. Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web in 1990 as a way to publish information via the Internet. Computer science student, Marc Andreessen created the first-ever web browser, known as Mosaic. Internet traffic then grew further with Internet websites and web pages.

While the Internet gives users the capability to connect, the web allows users to view text documents, images and videos via hypertext on websites, web pages, articles, blogs and email.

The Internet and World Wide Web have also given way to e-commerce, the buying and selling of goods electronically. Communicating between Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado, all the way to Boise, Idaho now comes exceptionally easy. Conducting business between Ogden, Park City, Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah can be done with the click of a mouse.

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