A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB AND THE INTERNET

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 Part 3

In 1982, the Department of Defense adopted the use of TCP/IP protocols on ARAPANET, which by this time, consisted of more than 100 nodes. The military felt that separate resources were needed for research and military uses. Thus, MILNET was established for the exclusive use of the military while ARAPANET continued to be a tool dedicated to government related research. ARAPANET and MILNET became separate networks when the term "Internet" was expanded to include the academic and research computer networks that were emerging. The proliferation of the IBM compatible personal computer, which sold over 75 million machines in the early 1980s, provided an increasing number of researchers and scholars access to computer networks. Groups of universities within various regions of the country began to form networks, some with fiber optic lines, to exchange E-Mail and other computer data.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) established the CSNET in 1981 to provide a network between engineers and computer scientists, and soon after the network adopted the TCP/IP protocols. The NSF made an even greater contribution to the Internet in 1984 when five supercomputers were linked to eight regional network hubs. This new TCP/IP based network, called NSFNET, assisted communication between linked universities by the application of high- speed supercomputer data capabilities.

With the establishment of NSFNET, a hierarchical structure of networks across the country began to evolve into its present form, which is comprised of three levels. The supercomputer nodes of the NSFNET comprise the first level. Regional networks make up the second level. Each of the regional networks has a link to one of the NSFNET supercomputers. Local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs) are the lowest network level, serving particular universities and other institutions. Connections between computers within a particular organization can be through fiber optic cables, leased data lines or even analog telephone lines with corresponding differences in the speed of data transmission. The term "Internet" is usually used to describe the first two levels of the system. To the extent that data is transmitted using TCP/IP from computers at all three system levels, an Internet or "net" exists amongst the entire universe of computers connected to any host computer or node.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB AND THE INTERNET
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