Internet - Basics

he Internet is a network of computer networks!

In the 1960s, during the Cold War, the US government saw the need for tracking all incoming flights into US airspace. They created 26 SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) computer systems; these systems were distributed all over the USA and Canada. The SAGE computers were networked together and all aircraft could be tracked, no matter where they were in North America. Each SAGE computer was contained in a specialised building, which was the size of seven football fields.
These networks had one crucial weakness: if one computer system was destroyed by enemy action, then the whole network would collapse and leave North America defenceless.

During this time, US defence agencies and universities were using different computer networks to store information. The idea was to join these computer networks together so that specialised information, about things like nuclear physics or the weather, could be stored in one university and the information could be shared with all the other linked organisations.













DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) were approached to find a solution to the problem of interconnecting networks, hence the phrase Internet.

This was termed the ‘Internet Problem’: how to get different computer networks, consisting of different hardware and software, and using different standards, all to talk to one another.

The resulting DARPA network was the ARPANET, the forerunner to all wide area networks (WAN).

Check out the history of the Internet at the following site:

Download and complete Worksheet 1.





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