The Internet is a global computer network through which information of all kinds circulates. It is even a network of networks. And that’s why it’s called that.
It is an amalgam that we often see: sometimes the Internet is confused with the web and vice versa. However, it is not at all the same. The web is a system that allows you to link resources to each other, through a system called hypertext. Links to a resource, usually a webpage, direct users to another resource, another webpage.
All of these resources, all of these links, all of these pages and websites are, in fact, distributed (that is, hosted) on computer servers, scattered all over the world. And it is these machines that make up the Internet. They are their physical reality and are connected to each other by immense telecommunications networks, essentially cables that run remarkably through the seabed.
Prove that the web and the Internet are two different objects, their date of birth is not the same. The Web was born in the late 1990’s. The origins of the Internet go back a long way. If there was work and reflection on a global computer network after World War II, the ancestor of the Internet was structured in the late 1960s. And its name already resembles it: Arpanet.
It was in 1984 when Arpanet became the Internet, with Arpanet sites switching to the Internet TCP-IP standard. On this subject, Inria explains: there is no difference in nature or DNA between Arpanet and the Internet. It’s the same network with the same apps. Simply put, the new streaming platform allows other networks to connect, and the Internet becomes more of a network of networks. »
The Internet is a network of networks
And this is another peculiarity of the Internet: it is not precisely a single network, but a network of networks (networking). It is also a nickname that we come across from time to time, because in fact it is about linking different computer networks, of all sizes, with their own rules, which are found on all continents.
And it is this specificity that gave the Internet the name of the Internet. We find in the archives of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), a structure whose mission is to standardize protocols on the network, a 1974 document signed by Vinton Cerf, Yogan Dalal and Carl Sunshine on the first specification of the TCP protocol ( Transmission). Control protocol), mentioning the Internet.
In the introduction, the three authors, rightly regarded as pioneers of the Internet for their contribution to the TCP protocol, explain that it is a question of being able to bring interconnected computer networks into dialogue with each other, since the whole issue is power to interconnect systems with each other (interconnection / interconnection). And the Internet is simply the diminutive.
Indeed, the 1974 paper begins by explaining that “ this document describes the functions that the transmission control protocol should perform [TCP] of Internetwork and its interface with programs or users who need its services But from the title of the document an abbreviated version is proposed, where we talk about transmission control protocol of the internet.
For a while, an alternative term might have been imposed: catenetto mean concatenated network (concatenated network in French). The idea was raised by Frenchman Louis Pouzin, another pioneer of the Internet, and was used by Vinton Cerf in his newspapers in the 1970s. Come to think of it, it could have had its charm: after all, cats (catsin English) have not become the protagonists of the networks?
It would have been a happy coincidence, and a funny joke!