What is the Internet?
  • A network of networks based on the TCP/IP protocols
  • A community of people who use and develop those networks
  • A collection of resources that can be reached from those networks

What is TCP/IP?
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the common name for a family of over 100 data communications protocols used to organize computers and data communications equipment into computer networks.

Who Governs the Internet?
In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and you can either take part or not. It's your choice. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The constituent networks may have presidents and CEO's, but that's a different issue; there's no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole.

The ultimate authority for where the Internet is going rests with the Internet Society, or ISOC. ISOC is a voluntary membership organization whose purpose is to promote global information exchange through Internet technology. It appoints a council of elders, which has responsibility for the technical management and direction of the Internet.

Who Pays for It?
No one pays for "it"; there is no Internet, Inc. that collects fees from all Internet networks or users. Instead, everyone pays for their part. The NSF pays for NSFNET. NASA pays for the NASA Science Internet. Networks get together and decide how to connect themselves together and fund these interconnections. A college or corporation pays for their connection to some regional network, which in turn pays a national provider for its access.

Tools for Access and Navigation
Loging in to one computer from another.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Transferring files from one computer to another.
Reading news from thousands of news groups.
Organizing and presenting information in a manner that is easy to understand and navigate, easy to create and maintain, and standard across a wide variety of computer systems.
WWW (World Wide Web)
Click here for an introduction of WWW.

Now, click this button to have a test drive on the information superhighway.