Using a standard protocol known as TCP/IP to connect computers and networks around the world constitutes the Internet. There are billions of users worldwide who access the Internet through private, public, academic, business or government networks. Many types of sophisticated technologies are used to link all these networks together to form the Internet. Among other things, the Internet includes two types of resources: information in inter-linked documents written in hypertext on the World Wide Web and the ability to support electronic mail.
The Internet has changed and redefined many traditional forms of communication such as film, music, television and the telephone. Blogging or comments on a website left by visitors has become an important part of print publications such as newspapers magazines and books and is one way that people can now communicate with each other. People can also communicate with each other through electronic mail, instant messaging and social networking web sites. Shopping can now be done online in the comfort of one’s home and this has been a boom for both major retailers and smaller operations. Organizations can also carry out their business across the Internet by selling and buying products, exchanging communication and offering other types of financial services.
The Internet started in the 1960s when academic institutions and the United States military were trying to find a way to communicate with each other using computers. The National Science Foundation as well as some other private organizations provided the funding for a backbone in the United States that would be able to combine various networks and lead to better communications. It was not until the 1990s that the World Wide Web came into being that the Internet became more of a commercial operation and started changing the course of human activity. The Internet remains today as a global network with no central authority to govern policies, access or set standards.