Corey Bailey
Audio Engineering
The Internet The part of the name; ‘net’ stands for network. A network is two or more computers that are linked via wires or wireless technology and they are capable of sending data to each other. Often referred to as ‘The Cloud,’ the internet is a network made up of many networks, that are all connected by an array of networking technologies. That includes academic, business, government, private and public networks from local to worldwide. The term ‘The Cloud’ has been around for awhile. At first, the internet was only available to the government and universities, but then it went public in the early 1990’s and it has grown exponentially ever since. The internet carries a vast range of information, resources and services and today, it rivals brick and mortar establishments for trade. It can also be equivalent to the wild west because some of the information is misleading or downright deceptive. If you surf the internet at work, know that it is generally not private. You can see a graphical representation of the internet here: I often refer to the internet as the ‘outernet’ because of home networking. The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT), usually refers to a physical object capable of connecting to the internet or to a network. A smart TV, a smart phone or a personal computer are some examples. Some History The Internet was established in the US in the early1960’s, by several people and organizations. In 1962 a scientist from M.I.T., named J.C.R. Licklider and the government office of ‘ARPA,’ proposed a solution; A “galactic network” of computers that could talk to one another. Such a network would enable government leaders to communicate even if another government or enemy destroyed the telephone system. In 1965, another M.I.T. scientist developed a way of sending information from one computer to another that he called “Packet Switching.” Packet switching breaks data down into blocks (packets) before sending it to its destination. Without packet switching, the government’s computers would have been just as vulnerable to attacks as the cell phone system. Although we may not be aware of it, we communicate online through data packets. Information is transported from your computer, across the internet to it’s destination, in data packets. They are usually sent at regular intervals and take a set amount of time and each packet can take its own route. The internet was first called the ARPANET. Robert W. Taylor led the development of the ARPANET which, was an acronym that stood for “Advanced Research Projects Agency Network” after the US Government agency (ARPA) that first proposed linking computers together. The term ‘ARPANET’ was abandoned about 1990. In 1969, the ARPANET delivered its first message; from one computer to another. The message was the word “LOGIN.” One computer was located in a research lab at UCLA located in Los Angeles, CA and one was at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Each computer filled a large room. Although the message LOGIN was short, it crashed the ARPANET so, Stanford University’s computer only received the first two letters. By the end of 1969, four computers were networked. The fledgling internet grew steadily through the 1970’s as more computers were added. By the end of the 1970’s, two computer scientists named Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn began developing a way for all of the computers on the internet to communicate. They called their invention ‘Transmission Control Protocol,’ (TCP). Later, they added a protocol, known as ‘Internet Protocol.’ The acronym that is in use today is; ‘TCPIP.’ Currently, there are two types of IP addresses that are in use for the internet; IVP4 and IVP6. An IVP4 IP address, consists of several numbers separated by periods or dots such as; An IVP6 address, usually consists of a shorter number such as; Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides an IP address every time that you connect to the internet. That IP address will be either ‘Dynamic’ or ‘Static.’ A dynamic IP address will change every time you log on and a static IP address will be the same every time. Most ISP’s charge extra for a static IP. Hackers, Social Media, ISP’s and many others learned early on that an IP address carries a wealth of information about you and that information can be valuable. While the Internet has grown exponentially, the issuance of domain names and it’s maintenance has been controlled by several company's. Today, the internet is maintained by the ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN). VPN VPN stands for ‘Virtual Private Network.’ The public internet has brought into existence new forms of exploitation, such as Spam E-mail, Trojan horses and various types of Malware. With the public internet, new terms such as Cyberbullying, Doxxing, Flame Wars and Ransomware have been created. Many companies collect extensive information from users which, some see as a violation of privacy. Hence, the popularity of a VPN service. A VPN service will route your IP address through a server that is typically out of the country and change it in the process. That server should be as far away from your personal computer as possible. Some services can sell you a modified wireless router so that your entire connection is through their service, starting with your connecting device which, will keep your ISP out of your business. Many companies make VPN hardware or software because it has become big business. Some browsers have a VPN built in that can be turned on or off. The use of a VPN in your browser can make the surfing of some sites difficult or impossible. So, be ready to switch off the VPN option in your browser if you need to surf that website. What a VPN Cannot Do VPN’s cannot make online connections completely anonymous, but they can increase privacy and security. A VPN does not make your Internet connection secure (private). You can still be tracked through tracking cookies and device fingerprinting, even if your IP address is hidden. A VPN does not make you immune to hackers and, a VPN is not a means for good internet privacy. VPN plus HTTPS is no better. You will still need to be diligent by not allowing tracking cookies and the like through your browser settings. I personally have my browsers set to maximum security. My browsers and antivirus software are set so tight that they won’t let me go to a website that they think is suspicious. Those sites that won’t let me browse because of my security policies, simply loose my business. VoIP The acronym stands for ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol.’ VoIP enables you to connect your phone service over IP networks as opposed to over a land line. This may be not as secure as a land line, but it is more cost-effective than having both. VoIP uses the internet for making calls. This means you can make calls directly from a cell phone or your computer. There is software available that allows the use of old style phones. VoIP offers features like Voicemail to E-mail and you can access it on your computer or phone. Another feature is simultaneous ring. This is where calls show up on your desk phone and on your mobile device. You can also route calls from the destination phone to any mobile phone that’s connected to the system. Call logs can give you a better understanding how the phone lines are being used. The downside of a VoIP service is that when you lose power, your phone service is also dead. Web Pages British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee published the first-ever website while working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). Tim Berners-Lee developed HTML, HTTP and URL’s. So, with the creation of a single web page, the World Wide Web was born. Today, the number of websites is somewhere North of 1.8 Billion. Web Page Hosting If you plan to build a website, there are two main types of hosting. Typically, the cheapest form of internet hosting is called ‘Shared Hosting.’ This is where everyone shares space and other resources on the same server or servers. Several hosting companies are usually involved with the server(s) to share the cost and often, they are owned by the same company or group of investors. I usually refer to shared hosting as ‘Server Malls.’ Not only are you reading this article via shared hosting, you are using the internet to read it. Another form of hosting is called ‘Dedicated Hosting.’ Dedicated hosting is where one person or company rents the space. Dedicated hosting is generally more expensive and it can be tailored to fit the bandwidth needs of the person or company. Many companies host there own web sites. Return to TOP of page © Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
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