The Internet

The Internet originated in the early 1970’s when the United States wanted to make sure that people could communicate after a nuclear war. This need a free and independent communication network without a centre and it led to a network of computers that could send each other e-mail through cyberspace.

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (WWW) when he discovered a way to jump to different files on his computer using the random, or unplanned, links between them. He then wrote a simple coding system, called HTML (Hyper Text Mark Up Language), to create links to files on any computer connected to the network. This was possible because each file had an individual address, or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). He then used a set of transfer rules, called HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), to link Web files together across the Internet. Berners-Lee also invented the world’s first browser. This lets you locate and view Web pages and also navigate from one link to another.

The WWW became available to everyone in 1991 and the number of Internet users grew from 600,000 to 40 million in five years. Today, that number is much larger and there are now many browsers that provide Web pages, information and other services. You can also do research, download music files, play interactive games, shop, talk in chat rooms and send and receive e-mail on the WWW.

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