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Bac G1 - G2 2009 Oral Exam: Text: What is the Internet?

Using the internet is also a means of communication or of information as the letter, the telephone, the fax, the telegram, but the latter may involve more time and expense than the internet. What is this computer phenomenon called the Internet or the net?
Imagine a room filled with many spiders, each spinning its own web. The webs are so interconnected that the spiders can travel freely within this maze. This is a simplified view of the internet - a global collection of many different types of computers and computer networks that are linked together.

Just as a telephone enables you to talk to someone on the other side of the earth who also has a phone, the Internet enables a person to sit at his/her computer and exchange information with other computers and computer users at any place in the world. Some refer to the Internet as the information superhighway. Just as a road allows to travel through different areas of a country, so the Internet allows information to flow through many different interconnected computer networks. As messages travel, each network that is reached contains information that assists in connecting to the adjacent network. The final destination may be in a different city or country; and even in the same town.

As a matter of fact, each network can speak with its neighbor network by means of a common set of rules created by the Internet designers. Some estimates say that over 30,000 networks are connected worldwide. According to a recent survey, these networks connect over 10, 000, 000 computers and some 30,000,000 users throughout the world. It is estimated that the number of connected computers is doubling each year because of the rapid growth of technology.

Adapted from Awake, July 23, 1997
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