Interconnected computer networks which follow the Internet Protocol Suite

        Operates on a global scale

        Network of networks which can be local or global in scale

        Used to link computers worldwide

Servers and clients

        Everything using the internet is either directly or indirectly connected to a series of cables underground which link the computers and networks together

        Servers connected to these cables can communicate directly

o   Servers are simply computers which are connected to these cables directly

o   They hold important data such as webpages which are just files stored on the server�s hard drive

o   Each server has its own unique internet protocol (IP) address, like an actual address, this is used to identify the servers and help them to find one another

        Most computers are not servers since they are not connected directly to the internet, instead these computers are called clients

o   Clients connect to the internet indirectly through Internet Service Providers (ISP)

Sending and receiving data

        To access a certain webpage, the client must communicate with the ISP which links it to the appropriate server which holds the desired webpage

        Another example is that of email. For this, the client connects to the appropriate email provider�s server, composes the email and sends it. The email server then sends it to the other email provider�s server. When the recipient connects to their email provider�s server, they receive the email on their client computer

        When data is sent across the internet, the data is broken into smaller pieces called packets which are reassembled when they arrive at their location

        Not only servers have IP addresses, but everything connected to the internet, indirectly or directly has an IP address

        Anywhere two or more parts of the internet intersect, a router is needed

        To send information, a packet is sent to the router which can be sent directly to the destination by referencing the IP address



        Easy communication between computers

        Easy file sharing

        Connects people all over the world without being physically near each other

        Information becomes readily available

        Opens up new services and options which would be unavailable otherwise



        Security becomes an issue

        Private information is at risk of being stolen

o   This can lead to identity theft, credit fraud, etc.

        Dependency on internet can cause problems, especially when internet connection fails