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How the Internet Relates to Your Network

The most widely used data network in the world is the Internet, which is a public WAN. We gain access to it by paying a monthly fee to an Internet service provider (ISP) such as AOL or Verizon. Our interface with the ISP is with a dial-up link or a broadband connection. The ISPs have contractual arrangements with each other for the purpose of exchanging traffic with their respective customers.

The Internet owes its origin to the pioneering endeavors of the U.S. Department of Defense. During the 1960s, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was tasked with creating a government network to facilitate the exchange of information between various agencies and universities. Eventually, the ARPANET evolved to the Internet of today. This extraordinary network consists of millions of connected networks, such as the LAN in your home or office. According to www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm, 1.5 billion people are now using the Internet (sometimes called the Net for short).

The ISPs manage their respective part of the Internet with routers, servers, and firewalls and play the vital role of informing other networks and providers about their customers. This procedure is elegantly simple. An ISP advertises its customers to the Internet by sending out information. For example, a packet, sent to practically any ISP in the world, states, “Uyless Black can be reached through me.” In so doing, the ISP advertises my name (such as UylessBlack.com) and an address to reach me (such as a network ID and an end user ID).

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