The Internet

As with any new facility, there will be a period of very light usage until the community of users experiments with the network and begins to depend upon it. One of our goals must be to stimulate the immediate and easy use by a wide class of users.

– Steve Crocker; Host Software; RFC 1; 7 April 1969.

The Internet is named after the Internet Protocol, the standard communications protocol used by every computer on the Internet. The Internet can powerfully leverage your ability to find, manage, and share information. Never before in human history has such a valuable resource been available to so many people at such little cost. You are incredibly lucky.

The main Internet applications are described in the chapters accessible through the home page, while this chapter describes the underlying Internet network itself. The following sections provide more information: