The Internet (from English internetwork , composed of the prefix inter and network 'Netz' or short net 'Netz'), also colloquially known as the network , is a worldwide association of computer networks , the autonomous systems . It enables the use of Internet services such as WWW , e-mail , Telnet , SSH , XMPP , MQTT and FTP . Each computer can connect to any other computer. The data exchange between the computers connected via the Internet takes place via the technically standardized Internet protocols . The technology of the Internet is described by the RFCs of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The proliferation of the internet has led to extensive upheavals in many areas of life. It contributed to a surge in modernization in many areas of the economy as well as to the emergence of new branches of industry and has led to a fundamental change in communication behavior and media use in both professional and private life. The cultural significance of this development is sometimes equated with the invention of the printing press .
The term internet is an anglicism . It originated as a short form of the technical term internetwork , under which the development of a system for networking existing, smaller computer networks was discussed in the 1970s and 1980s. From the general English technical term for an internetwork or internet , the word "Internet" , which has also been included in the Duden since 1996, spread as a proper name for the largest network of its kind that emerged from the Arpanet . With the social penetration of the Internet, the terms "Internet" and colloquially "Net" also established themselves in everyday language . In IT, however, “network” does not necessarily mean the Internet, there are also various other network infrastructures.
Voice critics , such as different language associations and many right-wing organizations such as the NPD , instead of using the word Internet German neologisms as world power , intermediate network or internetwork . Although known since the mid-1990s, these word creations can be found in various language-critical publications, but have not achieved any practical significance in everyday language. The term world network is sometimes used today in right-wing extremist circles.
1969–1983 forerunner of Arpanet
The internet started on October 29, 1969 as Arpanet . It was used to network the mainframes of universities and research institutions. The aim was initially to use the computing power of these mainframes more efficiently, initially only in the USA, later worldwide.
These mainframes were connected to one another via interface message processors , which took over network communication using packet switching . The protocols used were unreliable in heterogeneous environments because they were optimized for a specific transmission medium.
Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn developed an early version of TCP in 1973 and 1974 to connect different types of networks. After further developments in the years that followed, it became known as TCP / IP .
According to a widespread legend, the original goal of the project against the backdrop of the Cold War was to create a distributed communication system to enable interference-free communication in the event of a nuclear war . In fact, mainly civil projects were funded, although the first nodes were funded by DARPA .
The most important application in the early days was e-mail . In 1971, the amount of data in e-mail traffic was more than the amount of data transmitted using the Arpanet's other protocols, namely Telnet and FTP. The goal of outsourcing arithmetic according to supply and demand was therefore not achieved.
1981–1993 TCP / IP, DNS and Usenet
In 1981, RFC 790-793 specified IPv4 , ICMP and TCP , which are the basis of most connections on the Internet to this day. These should be active on all hosts on January 1st, 1983 after a two-year notice period. With the switch from the Arpanet protocols to the Internet Protocol , the name “Internet” began to gain acceptance. This marks the first global protocol changeover in the history of the Internet and, according to Kahn, took almost six months. The initial spread of the Internet is closely related to the development of the Unix operating system .
With the DNS , developed in 1984 , it became possible to address computers all over the world with names that people can remember.
The Internet spread to more and more universities and also expanded beyond the borders of the USA. There the found Usenet widespread and was occasionally to the dominant use of the Internet. The first rules of conduct ( netiquette ) were formed and thus the first signs of a " network culture ".
From 1989 commercialization and the WWW
In 1990, the US National Science Foundation decided to use the Internet for commercial purposes, making it public beyond the universities. Tim Berners-Lee developed the basics of the World Wide Web at CERN around 1989 . On August 6, 1991, he made this project of a hypertext service publicly available worldwide via Usenet with a contribution to the newsgroup alt.hypertext.
The Internet received a rapid boost from 1993, when the first graphics-capable web browser called Mosaic was published and offered for free download, which made it possible to display content from the WWW. AOL and its software suite in particular resulted in a growing number of users and many commercial offers on the Internet. Since the web browser replaced almost everything else, it is also known as the " killer application " of the Internet. The internet is a major catalyst for the digital revolution .
With the improvement in data transmission rates and the introduction of standardized protocols, the use of the Internet infrastructure for telephony has become attractive. At the end of 2016, around 25.2 million people in Germany were using Voice-over-IP technology (VoIP).
When it became apparent that the IP address space that was still available was becoming scarce, the development of a follow-up protocol began. The first specification of IPv6 was published in December 1995 and henceforth tested in pilot projects, for example in the global test network 6Bone and in the German-speaking area in the JOIN project. In February 2011, ICANN assigned the last IPv4 address blocks to the Regional Internet Registries for further distribution. Depending on the registry, the remaining IPv4 address blocks are still allocated or have already been used up. As a result of World IPv6 Day and World IPv6 Launch Day in June 2011 and June 2012, the share of IPv6 in Internet traffic increased, but totaled less than one percent.
2003 to today: Web 2.0 and the cloud
With social media platforms such as Facebook , Twitter or YouTube , the bi-directional exchange of content among users (so-called user-generated content ) came to the fore, but now on central, closed platforms and practically exclusively through the use of a web browser. The catchphrase Web 2.0 refers to the increasing interactivity of the Internet, also through audio and video integration.
Technologies have been established under the collective term " Internet of Things " that allow devices, machines, plants, mobile systems, etc. to be connected directly to the Internet. They were used for the interaction of these “things” with one another or for remote access to them by the human operator. These connection technologies comprised cloud-based services on the one hand and device-side connection technologies on the other .
Social Aspects and State Interventions
Many experts consider the Internet to be one of the greatest changes in information systems since the invention of printing, with a major impact on everyday life. In 2013 the Federal Court of Justice declared that the Internet is part of the livelihood of private individuals.
Online journalism , which today has become a major competitor to the classic media landscape, is also gaining in importance . In addition, observers are currently seeing a change in the user from “ surfing ” (passive) media consumers to active user-generated content authors who network with like-minded people on a wide range of topics in online communities that complement the classic, previously technology-heavy network culture . Spatial boundaries have been abolished by the Internet and are being replaced by topic-related groups. Due to the large number of information sources, the sensible use of the Internet places different demands on the media competence of the user than classic media.
In political contexts, the Internet is often referred to as an unlawful area , as national laws are viewed as difficult to enforce due to the international structure of the Internet and anonymity . In the case of applications such as e-mail, it has been shown that the technology is not at all prepared for the phenomenon of spam . Services such as Myspace or Facebook should enable the establishment of social networks ; Functions such as instant messaging enable almost instantaneous communication online. With the increasing spread of the Internet, the term Internet addiction is repeatedly discussed in the media , but it is scientifically controversial. Various studies are currently investigating whether and when the excessive use of the Internet constitutes “harmful use” or abuse and leads to dependency . For a long time, government agencies had little knowledge of the functioning of the Internet and little experience with the application of the law. Until the New Economy from 1998, the importance of the Internet was also underestimated by politics. This only changed as a result of the development of the New Economy, laws were adapted and the case law has eliminated a number of uncertainties, at least de jure . The increasing influence of the state is welcomed partly as an increase in legal certainty , partly as progress towards a surveillance state (“ netocracy ”) criticized, for example through the law on data retention that came into force on January 1, 2008 and which was approved on March 3, 2010 has been classified as unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court .
Internationally, the Internet is monitored, controlled and partially blocked by various countries, such as the partially blocked Internet in the People's Republic of China or the establishment of a state-controlled Internet in Russia . A case-by-case blocking of the Internet is known from Turkey or Iran ; there the internet is switched off during demonstrations.
The term digital divide describes differences in the access to and use of information and communication technology, especially the Internet, between national economies or different population groups due to technical and socio-economic factors.
Mailbox networks based on remote data transmission via the telephone network or on networks such as Datex-P had already emerged in the early 1980s . However, this technology was reserved for experts, just as for a long time access to global TCP / IP networks was initially only possible via universities. It was only with the commercial spread of Internet e-mail at the beginning of the 1990s and then with the World Wide Web that the Internet increasingly established itself as the standard for the dissemination of information of all kinds from the mid-1990s.
In the beginning, this was primarily communication via email and the self-portrayal of people and companies, but online trading followed in the course of the new economy at the end of the last millennium . With increasing data rates and lower prices and not least helped by the availability of DSL - flat rates it also serves the proliferation of larger amounts of data. Linked to this, however, are massive copyright violations, the fight against which constitutes a large part of Internet legislation today.
The Internet consists of networks of different administrative administrations that are interconnected. Among them are mainly
- Provider networks to which the computers of the customers of an Internet provider are connected,
- Company networks ( intranets ) that connect a company's computers, as well as
- University and research networks.
Physically, the core area of the Internet, i.e. connections between the above-mentioned networks and in the backbones of large networks, continental and intercontinental, mainly consists of fiber optic cables that are connected by routers to form a network. Fiber optic cables offer enormous transmission capacity and a few years ago they were laid in large numbers both as land and submarine cables in anticipation of very high traffic growth. Since the physically possible transmission rate per fiber pair has increased immensely with advanced light feed technology ( DWDM ), the Internet currently has overcapacities here in some cases. In 2005, it is estimated that only three percent of the fiber used between European and US cities was used. Also, satellite and microwave links are integrated into the global Internet structure but have a small share.
On the so-called last mile , i.e. at the house connections, the data is often transmitted on copper lines from telephone or television connections and increasingly also via radio, using WLAN or UMTS . Glass fibers to the house ( FTTH ) are not yet very widespread in Germany. Private individuals access the Internet either via a narrowband connection, for example via modem or ISDN (see also Internet by Call ), or via broadband access, for example with DSL, cable modem or UMTS , from an Internet provider. Companies or government institutions are often connected to the Internet via a leased line based on copper or fiber optics, whereby technologies such as channel bundling , ATM , SDH or - more and more frequently - Ethernet are used in all speed variants.
In private households, computers are often connected to the Internet to access services that themselves provide few or no such services for other users and are not permanently available. Such computers are known as client computers. Servers, on the other hand, are computers that primarily offer Internet services. They are usually located in so-called data centers , where they are quickly connected and secured in air-conditioned rooms against power and network failures as well as break-ins and fire. Peer-to-peer applications also enable the above client computers to temporarily offer services that they call up from other computers in this network. The strict distinction between the client-server model is dissolved here.
At Internet nodes , many different backbone networks are connected to one another via high-performance connections and devices (routers and switches ). The exchange of availability information between two networks is then contractually and technically organized as peering , i.e. on the basis of reciprocity, thus enabling data exchange. For example, more than a hundred networks are interconnected at DE-CIX in Frankfurt am Main , the largest exchange point of its kind. Such a transfer of data traffic between separate administrative areas, so-called autonomous systems , can also be switched at any other location, but it is usually more economically sensible to do this bundled at different Internet nodes. Since an autonomous system, such as an Internet provider, cannot usually reach everyone else in this way, it needs at least one provider to deliver the remaining data traffic for a fee. This process is technically similar to peering, except that the so-called upstream or transit provider provides the customer provider with all availability information available via the Internet, including those for which he himself has to pay for the delivery of the data traffic leading to them. There are currently nine very large, so-called Tier 1 providers who can handle all of their data traffic on a reciprocal basis or deliver it to their customers without the need for an upstream provider .
Since the Arpanet, as a decentralized network, should be as fail-safe as possible, it was already considered during the planning that there should be no central computer, i.e. no place where all connections come together. However, this decentralization was not observed on the political level of the Internet. As the highest organization in the hierarchy, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for assigning IP address ranges , coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) and the necessary root name server infrastructure as well as defining other parameters of the Internet protocol family that require worldwide uniqueness. It is formally subordinate to the US Department of Commerce .
The network-like structure and the heterogeneity of the Internet contribute to a high level of reliability. There are usually several possible routes for communication between two users via routers with different operating systems, and it is only when the data is actually transmitted that it is decided which one to use. Two data packets sent one after the other or a request and the response can run through different paths depending on the load and availability. Therefore, the failure of a physical connection in the core area of the Internet usually has no serious effects; just a failure of the only connection on the last mile cannot be compensated.
Internet Protocol and Domain Name System
The Internet is based on the Internet protocol family , which regulates the addressing and data exchange between different computers and networks in the form of open standards . The protocol in which the globally unique addressing of connected computers is specified and used is called Internet Protocol (IP). Communication with it is not connection-oriented, as with the telephone, but packet-oriented. This means that the data to be transmitted is transmitted in IP packets with a size of up to approx. 65,000 bytes , but mostly only 1500 bytes, each of which contains IP addresses as sending and destination information. The recipient reassembles the data from the packet contents, also known as user data , in a defined order.
The network protocols are assigned to different layers depending on the task , with higher layer protocols including user data being transported in the user data of lower layers. The standards and protocols of the Internet are described and specified in RFCs . A great advantage of the Internet protocol is that the packet transmission can take place regardless of the choice of operating system used and regardless of the network technology of the protocol layers below IP, similar to how an ISO container in freight traffic can be transported one after the other by ship, train and truck to to get to his goal.
In order to be able to address a specific computer, the internet protocol identifies it with a unique IP address. For the IPv4 version, this is four bytes (32 bits ), which are specified as four decimal numbers in the range from 0 to 255, separated by a point, for example
220.127.116.11. In the new version IPv6 , this is 16 bytes (128 bits), which are specified as eight blocks of four hexadecimal digits each separated by a colon , e.g. B.
2001:0db8:85a3:08d3:1319:8a2e:0370:7344. You can think of these addresses as telephone numbers for computers with the Domain Name System (DNS) as an automatic telephone book.
The DNS is an important part of the Internet infrastructure. It is a hierarchically structured database that is distributed over many administrative areas and provides a translation mechanism: a domain name that people can easily remember (for example “wikipedia.de”) can be translated into an IP address and vice versa. This happens - unnoticed by the user - whenever he clicks on a new hyperlink in the web browser or enters a web address directly . The browser then first uses an IP packet to ask a known DNS server for the IP address of the foreign name and then exchanges IP packets with this address in order to call up the content of the services offered there, such as websites . To determine the IP address, the DNS server itself often queries other DNS servers following the hierarchy. The root of the hierarchy, which can be recognized by the dots in the names, are the root name servers . In this way, the aforementioned services can be achieved with IP packets, through which the users benefit from the Internet. Strictly speaking, the DNS itself is such a service, albeit a very basic one, without which users would have to enter IP addresses instead of names to connect to other computers.
In the core area of the Internet, the IP packets have to pass through a widely branched network. The branching points are routers that decide on the shortest route to the destination IP address of the packet. To do this , they use routing tables that are automatically created and kept up-to-date using routing protocols ; this is how it reacts automatically to failed connections. In routing tables, several possible destination IP addresses are combined into destination networks with the help of network masks - in IPv6 one speaks of prefix lengths - and each of these becomes an output of the router, for example in the form of the jump address to the next router ( next hop IP address ) , assigned for forwarding. This availability information is exchanged between autonomous systems today exclusively via the Border Gateway Protocol ; many other routing protocols are available within an autonomous system. For computers and routers that are not in the core area of the Internet, a static routing table that is not created by routing protocols is sufficient. This then contains a default route , often also called a standard or default gateway , which points towards the core area of the Internet for all target networks that are not entered otherwise, similar to a “All directions” sign in road traffic. The routers in the core area currently manage routing tables with up to 540,000 target networks for IPv4 and 21,000 for IPv6.
In the user data of the Internet protocol, depending on the service used, higher-level protocols (such as TCP or UDP ) are still transmitted, just as an ISO container in freight transport can contain postal parcels in which goods are in turn packed. Most websites use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) based on TCP and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) for encrypted pages . E-mails use the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol ( SMTP ), also based on TCP, while DNS is largely handled using UDP.
With IPv4, many workstation computers in the network of a company or organization often receive private IP addresses , which are translated to a few public, globally unique IP addresses using network address translation (NAT) when communicating with the outside world. These computers cannot be accessed directly from the Internet, which is usually desirable for security reasons (see also: Firewall ), but it also has obvious disadvantages. There are considerably more public addresses available for IPv6, so according to RFC 4864 NAT can be dispensed with and the filtering of data traffic has more options.
The electricity demand in private households for using the Internet has increased considerably in recent years and, according to reliable estimates, will continue to increase in the next few years. In 2003, around 6.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were required to operate the Internet in Germany ; for 2010, estimates assume that the Internet will only have a power requirement of 31.3 billion kilowatt hours in Germany. Both the end devices of private households and businesses as well as the energy consumption to provide the necessary infrastructure of the Internet at server locations were taken into account . The energy requirements of server locations abroad are not included in this calculation. The use of the Internet makes up a large part of the electricity consumption of a private household.
For the year 2005, an energy consumption of 123 billion kilowatt hours was assumed worldwide only for the operation of the infrastructure for the Internet. According to this study, consumer devices were not taken into account. At that time around 0.8% of the world's electricity generation was required to operate the Internet. Due to the constant expansion of the Internet, also in developing countries , a further increase in consumption is to be expected.
According to one estimate, the share of global electricity consumption increased from around 3.9% in 2007 to 4.6% in 2012, which corresponds to a good 900 terawatts . This includes the entire area of information and communication technology . The energy requirement in the area of cellular networks increases fastest through their expansion, since fast download speeds are expected on every device ; the problems of streaming media are known.
According to a study by the American scientist Jonathan Koomey , data centers account for between 1.1 and 1.5 percent of global electricity consumption, and in the USA it is estimated that up to 2.2 percent. The Borderstep Institute is assuming 2 percent of the total electricity consumption in the data centers in Germany in 2015 - in the Frankfurt area this would even be up to 20 percent.
Information security or IT security is of great importance for companies , administrations , associations and private and other users. The threats on the Internet include malware such as computer viruses , keyloggers , Trojan horses , phishing emails and other attacks from hackers , crackers or script kiddies . A firewall and up -to- date anti-virus software serve as protective mechanisms .
In 2012, the data volume on the hard-wired, publicly accessible Internet was more than 26.7 exabytes (1 exabyte = 1 billion gigabytes) per month, which corresponds to a daily data volume of approximately one exabyte. The amount of data of one exabyte is comparable to more than 2500 times the amount of data of all books that have ever been written. The volume of mobile data (data exchange via cellular networks ) amounted to over 1.1 exabytes of data per month in 2012.
By 2015, the data volume on the hard-wired Internet is expected to grow to almost 60 exabytes per month. A data volume of more than 6.2 exabytes per month is forecast on the mobile Internet. Video services ( video-on-demand ) make up over half of the data transmitted .
Worldwide, the IP data traffic for 2017 is assumed to be 1.4 zettabytes, 38 exabytes are assumed in Germany alone, compared to a volume of 17 exabytes in 2012. An increase in mobile data traffic with smartphones and tablets is expected to increase by 60% annually to 13.6 exabytes by 2017.
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|Republic of Cyprus||62%|
This section deals with access to the Internet from a demographic perspective; technical aspects are explained in the article Internet access .
According to the Web Foundation, around 54% of the world's population had access to the Internet in April 2020, compared with only around 16.9 percent in March 2007. According to EITO, 1.23 billion people were using the Internet at the beginning of 2008. At the beginning of 2008, more than half (51 percent) of the 500 million EU citizens in the EU regularly used the Internet, with 40 percent not using the Internet at all. In Europe there are big differences in the number of regular internet users: see table. 80 percent of households with an Internet connection have broadband access . In the USA it is already 75 percent, Scandinavian countries 70 percent, and some Eastern European countries 14 percent. The Internet is particularly widespread in Estonia, as Estonia guarantees free Internet access by law.
In China, according to the report on the development of the Internet in mid-2007, 162 million people had Internet access, of which 122 million had a broadband connection. For young Europeans, the Internet is displacing television and other traditional media. Americans primarily (48 percent) use the Internet as a source of news.
The ARD-ZDF online study found that in 2013 77.2% of the population aged 14 and over in Germany were online, which corresponds to 54.2 million people. Mobile devices in particular are driving the use of the Internet. Within a year, the share of mobile internet use rose from 23% (2012) to 41% (2013).
Classic is being replaced by electronic toys: “While 80 percent of 10 to 13 year olds use the Internet at least now and then, every third person among 6 to 9 year olds does.” In Germany, elderly people also use it socially Weak and unemployed the Internet less. In Germany, over 80 percent of Internet users have broadband access.
According to a current study by the Foundation for Future Issues - an initiative by British American Tobacco - around 73 percent of Germans are regularly online in 2015. In the period from 2010 to 2015, the number of Internet users increased by 25 percent.
Especially among 14 to 24 year olds there is full coverage. In the age group 25-49 years, 86 percent cannot do without the Internet and among young seniors aged 50-64, more than seven out of ten are regularly online. In contrast, those over 65 were still comparatively cautious in 2015 at 35 percent. In a five-year comparison, however, there is also a significant increase here. In 2010 it was 14 percent.
From a statistical point of view, Germans regularly visit eight websites. (Men: average 9.4; women: 6.4 pages / 14 to 19 year olds: 5.8; 30 to 39 year olds: 9.1 pages). The boys prefer to use entertainment. German men spend an average of 1.3 hours a day online; German women spend an average of 0.8 hours online.
The analysis of the survey of private households in the information society in 2013 produced the following figures for Germany
- 83% of private households have a computer, 82% have Internet access
- 97% of households with Internet access use a broadband connection, while 82% have DSL access
- 19% of people over 10 years of age have never been online, on the other hand 78% are online at least once within a quarter, of which 80% use the Internet daily or almost daily
- The use is almost gender-independent, the age structure is more differentiated: only 66% of the over 54-year-olds use the Internet frequently, among the 10 to 24-year-olds 49% use mobile devices. The use of mobile devices decreases with age and men are more likely than women to be mobile on the Internet.
- Internet access is used by 91% of private users for e-mail, 50% use social networks, 89% use it not only for information but also for goods and services and 64% read online news. 61% use their access for travel services and 20% for job searches and applications.
Eight out of ten households had internet access in 2012 (79%). More and more households are using broadband connections for Internet access, with broadband connections being used in 77% of all households. 60% used fixed broadband connections via a line (DSL, TV cable, glass fiber), in 41% mobile broadband (e.g. via portable computers with modems or via mobile phones with at least 3G technology, such as UMTS , HSDPA ) was used .
88% of internet users used the internet to find information about goods and services. 57% of the users also did their banking transactions over the Internet. 46% used the Internet to chat or post messages on social networking sites, blogs, newsgroups or online discussion forums, or to use instant messaging.
The largest proportion of Internet users who used the Internet anywhere other than at home or at work is found among the under 35 year olds: 83% of 16 to 24 year olds have done so, among 25 to 34 year olds For year olds it was 71%.
In the first quarter of 2017, almost the entire Swiss population between the ages of 15 and 54 had internet access. Depending on the age category, it is between 96 and 99 percent. 91 percent of people aged 55 to 64 use the Internet, compared with 80 percent three years earlier. Among the 65 to 74 year olds, the number rose from 62 to 77 percent. 45 percent of people aged 75 and over use the Internet; in 2014 it was 20 percentage points less.
The internet has produced its own kind of writing. Social networks have also contributed to the development of their own network culture with different linguistic characteristics.
The Internet is suitable for communicating in writing across temporal and spatial distances. It integrates multimedia aspects into its written form ( emoticons - symbols that move and are intended to represent certain emotional states). In addition, it is subject to constant change and has no claim to finality. The written products on the Internet can be changed quickly and require the willingness to constantly adapt to new things. The possibility of local and global linking of individual words in an online text can partially cancel out the linearity inherent in a traditional text. One speaks in this context of hypertexts .
Literature on the Internet
Literature is made available and literature is written via the Internet. This is how literary genres such as digital poetry , weblogs and collaborative writing on the Internet emerged. Literary production via the Internet follows different criteria than conventional literature and text production. Literature on the Internet is shaped by aspects of technology, aesthetics and communication. For example, Neal Stephenson and his team have started to write a novel (“The Mongoliad”) via the Internet, in which a community of authors is taking notes interactively. In addition to the actual text, there is a separate e-publishing platform (“Subutai”) with videos, images, a kind of Wikipedia and a discussion forum for the novel.
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