Internet is the communication enabler today. Without Internet your PC is isolated. you cant do searching for information on the Internet. You cant send and e-mail and you cant use instant messenger to connect to friends and relatives, and soon you cant even phone because Internet telephony is getting more and more popular.
What enables Internet on your PC:
You know about the Internet. You know it enables you to connect, communicate, etc.. but how? What happens in the background? what are the components of this great enabler?
Modem is not doubt heard by all but what is the significance of modem? what does it do? A modem the word is constructed from modulator and demodulator. It is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal (sound), to encode digital information, and that also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. Modems primary use is to communicate over telephone lines and for example Internet access.
ADSL modems are also a kind of modem, the main difference being that they are not limited to the “voiceband” audio frequencies carried over the telephone line.
These modems are high speed modems which can give you higher bandwidth to for a connection. High bandwidth enables you to do much more on the Internet like downloading files, viewing video etc..
We are talking about enabling communication on your PC as part of explaining PC fundamentals. This is to make you understand the basics of going to the world – outside your PC, ending the isolation. Internet is only an example of network connectivity. You can establish other kinds of communications using the modem too.
Next thing to know is about TCPIP. There are several communication protocols in the networking arena. TCPIP however is the most common and TCPIP is the fundamental enabler of the Internet. Internet outside your PC communicates over TCPIP. For you to get connected to that network you must have TCPIP too. TYCIP is to be understood as a communication protocol and protocol is a set of predefined rules.
How do you get TCPIP?
TCPIP is lying dormant in your operating system. Once you attempt to connect to other TCPIP networks (Internet for example) it gets activated and begins its work.
Now what you need is an entry point into the Internet. How do you get that? You need to sign up with an Internet service provider (ISP). ISP gives you an account to connect to their servers and through those servers to connect to the Internet. We will not go into the further complexities of networking. Underrated that modem or your broadband connection helped by the TCPIP component provided by your OS lets you link up to the Internet. You essentially dial a number enter user name and password and get hooked up.
Best Links on the Internet.
World of Ends, What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else
John Walker: The Digital Imprimatur
How Stuff Works explanation of the Infrastructure of the Internet
“It’s Just the ‘internet’ Now” – Wired.com article by Tony Long
The Internet as a new mass medium
Next : Basic Applications.