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  Report: What is the Internet

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  Internet services

The Internet can be used in in different ways: for distributing and retrieving information, for one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many communication, and for the access services. Accordingly, there are different services on offer. The most important of these are listed below.


FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

Electronic Messaging (E-Mail)

World Wide Web (WWW)

Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Multiple User Dimensions (MUDs)


browse Report:
What is the Internet
-3   What is the Internet?
-2   How the Internet works
-1   Acessing the Internet
0   Internet services
+1   Operating the net: overview
+2   Who owns the Internet and who is in charge?
+3   Internet, Intranets, Extranets, and Virtual Private Networks
Global Data Flows
World Wide Web (WWW)
Probably the most significant Internet service, the World Wide Web is not the essence of the Internet, but a subset of it. It is constituted by documents that are linked together in a way you can switch from one document to another by simply clicking on the link connecting these documents. This is made possible by the Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML), the authoring language used in creating World Wide Web-based documents. These so-called hypertexts can combine text documents, graphics, videos, sounds, and Java applets, so making multimedia content possible.

Especially on the World Wide Web, documents are often retrieved by entering keywords into so-called search engines, sets of programs that fetch documents from as many servers as possible and index the stored information. (For regularly updated lists of the 100 most popular words that people are entering into search engines, click here). No search engine can retrieve all information on the whole World Wide Web; every search engine covers just a small part of it.

Among other things that is the reason why the World Wide Web is not simply a very huge database, as is sometimes said, because it lacks consistency. There is virtually almost infinite storage capacity on the Internet, that is true, a capacity, which might become an almost everlasting too, a prospect, which is sometimes consoling, but threatening too.

According to the Internet domain survey of the Internet Software Consortium the number of Internet host computers is growing rapidly. In October 1969 the first two computers were connected; this number grows to 376.000 in January 1991 and 72,398.092 in January 2000.

World Wide Web History Project,