WHAT IS INTERNET?
What Does Internet Mean?
The internet is a globally connected network system facilitating worldwide communication and access to data resources through a vast collection of private, public, business, academic and government networks. It is governed by agencies like the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (or IANA) that establish universal protocols.
The terms internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing; the internet refers to the global communication system, including hardware and infrastructure, while the web is one of the services communicated over the internet.
ORIGIN OF INTERNET
The internet originated with the U.S. government, which began building a computer network in the 1960s known as ARPANET. In 1985, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) commissioned the development of a university network backbone called NSFNET.
The system was replaced by new networks operated by commercial internet service providers in 1995. The internet was brought to the public on a larger scale at around this time.
Since then, the Internet has grown and evolved over time to facilitate services like:
- Web-enabled audio/video conferencing services.
- Online movies and gaming.
- Data transfer/file-sharing, often through File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
- Instant messaging.
- Internet forums.
- Social networking.
- Online shopping.
- Financial services.
As a global network responsible for vast amounts of data transfer and process facilitation, the Internet is constantly evolving. For instance, an initial protocol called IPv4 distributing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses has largely been replaced by a new IPv6 model that will increase the number of addresses available for each continent around the globe.
The Internet has also expanded beyond the traditional workstation, as the “Internet of Things,” (IoT) as it’s called, is born. There’s still somewhat of a delineation between traditional Internet nodes, which use a classic web browser, and Internet-connected devices which will more commonly use reduced instruction set software, but the Internet of Things is blurring the line of where the Internet stops and the analog world begins.
INTERNET AND THE FUTURE
In addition, there is a key framework that helps people to understand how the Internet is changing, and where it’s likely to go in the future.
This is composed of three versions or iterations of the World Wide Web, as defined above.
- Web 1.0 is the original incarnation of the Internet as a place where most data was read-only. Web 1.0 is often described by experts as an Internet where the most common kinds of activity are passive – reading, doing research, or learning about products and services before making a purchase over traditional media, for example, by telephone.
Web 2.0 is, by most people’s assertions, the Internet that we now use. The problem of “stateless” web-delivered functionality as is Web 2.0, is largely solved by digital “cookies,” trackers that save individual user data in the browser to enable things like saved passwords.
The trade-off is that user activity is inherently tracked: when a user erases the cookies, that session data is gone, and the user will have to start over as a new guest in any future sessions.
- Web 3.0 is the posited future Internet called the “semantic web,” where Internet data will have evolved relationships, and mapping will help automate a lot of what we now do on the Internet manually. The semantic web, proponents suggest, will be a web that is in many ways automated by linking individual virtual objects and websites together in a seamless manner. With that in mind, Web 3.0 may help us to do away with the current model of using cookies for session data retrieval.
All of these changes show the general purpose nature of the Internet and its broad scope in human societies. Defining groups like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) continue to work on standards and universal approaches.
Features of Internet
Let us now discuss the features of Internet. The features are described below −
An Internet is a global service and accessible to all. Today, people located in a remote part of an island or interior of Africa can also use Internet.
Easy to Use
The software, which is used to access the Internet (web browser), is designed very simple; therefore, it can be easily learned and used. It is easy to develop.
Interaction with Other Media
Internet service has a high degree of interaction with other media. For example, News and other magazine, publishing houses have extended their business with the help of Internet services.
The development and maintenance cost of Internet service are comparatively low.
Extension of Existing IT Technology
This facilitates the sharing of IT technology by multiple users in organizations and even facilitates other trading partners to use.
Flexibility of Communication
Communication through Internet is flexible enough. It facilitates communication through text, voice, and video too. These services can be availed at both organizational and individual levels.
Last but not the least, Internet facility has to a certain extent helped the security system both at the individual and national level with components such as CCTV camera, etc.
Internet Software comprises of all the tools needed for networking through computer. Following are a few important components of the Internet Software −
- Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
- Dialer Software
- Interment Browser
Internet applications are server-based applications. Following are a few Internet Applications −
- World Wide Web (WWW)
- Electronic mail (e-mail)
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
- Telnet (i.e., log-in to the computer located remotely)
- Internet Relay Chat (IRC) (Real time video chatting)
Starlink Satellite Internet
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access coverage to most of the Earth.
Starlink internet works by sending information through the vacuum of space, where it travels much faster than in fiber-optic cable and can reach far more people and places.
While most satellite internet services today come from single geostationary satellites that orbit the planet at about 35,000km, Starlink is a constellation of multiple satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth, at about 550km, and cover the entire globe.
Because Starlink satellites are in a low orbit, the round-trip data time between the user and the satellite – also known as latency – is much lower than with satellites in geostationary orbit. This enables Starlink to deliver services like online gaming that are usually not possible on other satellite broadband systems.
As the world’s leading provider of launch services, SpaceX is the only satellite operator with the ability to launch its own satellites as needed. With frequent, low-cost launches, Starlink satellites are constantly updated with the newest technology.
Technically a division within SpaceX, Starlink is also the name of the spaceflight company’s growing network — or “constellation” — of orbital satellites. The development of that network began in 2015, with the first prototype satellites launched into orbit in 2018.
In the years since, SpaceX has deployed thousands of Starlink satellites into the constellation across dozens of the most recent of which took place on March 3 and delivered another 47 satellites into low-earth orbit. That brings the total number of functional satellites in the constellation above 2,000 though some of those satellites are prototypes or nonoperational units that aren’t functioning parts of the network.
“Starlink is ideally suited for areas of the globe where connectivity has typically been a challenge,” the Starlink website reads. “Unbounded by traditional ground infrastructure, Starlink can deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable or completely unavailable.”
All you need to do to make the connection is set up a small satellite dish at your home to receive the signal and pass the bandwidth on to your router. The company offers a number of mounting options for rooftops, yards and the exterior of your home. There’s even a Starlink app for Android and iOS that uses augmented reality to help customers pick the best location and position for their receivers.
Starlink’s service is only available in select regions in the US, Canada and abroad at this point, but the service now , and the coverage map will continue to grow as more satellites make their way into the constellation. Eventually, Starlink hopes to blanket the entire planet in a usable, high-speed Wi-Fi signal.
How fast is Starlink’s internet service?
“Users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50 to 150 megabits per second and latency from 20 to 40 milliseconds in most locations over the next several months,” Starlink’s website says, while also warning of brief periods of no connectivity at all. “As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.”
Last year, CNET’s John Kim signed up for the service at his home in California and recently began testing it out at a variety of locations. At home, he averaged download speeds around 78Mbps, and latency around 36ms.
Advantages of Starlink Internet
Here are some advantages of Starlink’s broadband service.
Improved internet speed.
Traditional satellite internet is slower than Starlink internet. Starlink is so quick that it’s impossible to compare it to traditional satellite internet.
Why is Starlink internet so much quicker than traditional satellite internet?
The solution is found in mathematics. Except for Starlink, all other internet providers use geostationary satellites to transmit data. The operational height of geostationary satellites is 35,000 kilometres. The electromagnetic wave from the user terminal travels to the geostationary satellite when a user sends a signal. The response is then returned to the user receiver end. So, for internet, the total round trip is 35,000 km + 35,000 km = 70,000 km.
A light-speed electromagnetic wave is a wave that moves at the speed of light (about 3,00,000 km per second). So, with satellite internet, the entire roundtrip time is 70,000 km / 3,00,000 km/sec = 233 milliseconds. Latency is the term for this period of time. The weaker the connection, the larger the latency. Though the latency is theoretically 233 milliseconds, the actual latency is significantly over 300 milliseconds due to numerous system delays. This latency could be as high as 1500 ms depending on where you live (for example, Guam).
Connectivity, on the other hand, has a delay of 20 to 40 milliseconds. The normal satellite internet is at least 10 times slower than cable internet, according to this analysis. There isn’t anything a geostationary satellite can do to speed up the internet.
Let’s see how much delay Starlink satellite internet has. The working altitude of Starlink is barely 550 kilometres above the earth’s surface. As a result, the roundtrip distance for an internet signal from Starlink dish to Starlink satellite to Starlink dish is 550 km + 550 km = 1,100 km. As a result, the roundtrip time is 1,100 km / 3,00,000 km/sec = 3.67 milliseconds. Though the latency is nominally 3.67 milliseconds, in practise it is closer to 20 to 30 milliseconds due to numerous system delays. To summarise, Starlink internet is faster than traditional satellite and cable internet. Furthermore, the internet speed provided by Starlink is sufficient for professional gaming.
Starlink’s internet service is reasonably priced. In rural and suburban locations, it is less expensive than cable and satellite internet. Suburban consumers pay the same price as city residents in many areas, but they get much slower internet. People in cities, for example, sometimes spend $50-$60 for 100/10 internet (100 Mbps down, 10 Mbps up). Users in rural areas, on the other hand, pay more than $100 for a 10/1 broadband connection (10 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up). Starlink, on the other hand, charges only $99 for limitless speed.
It’s simple to set up.
The installation of a Starlink dish is simple. After your transaction is confirmed, SpaceX will send you a Starlink kit that includes a dish, WiFi router, mounting brackets (of your choice), and all necessary wires. Installation of the dish does not necessitate any particular expertise or experience. Simply select a location with a clear view of the sky. Install the mounting bracket and secure your Starlink dish so that it is pointed upwards. After turning it on, the dish will automatically reposition itself for the best signal. It doesn’t get any easier than this when it comes to installation.
Starlink can be found almost anywhere.
Starlink internet is available in your area, regardless of where you live. From Antarctica to the middle of the ocean, Starlink spans the entire globe. Thousands of low-earth-orbiting satellites orbit us. Its signal can be heard all across the world. Starlink internet is available whether you are in a remote neighbourhood, the middle of the ocean, or the sky.
Cable internet, on the other hand, is not available everywhere (for example, Spectrum). Their service is restricted outside of large cities. The speed of rural cable internet is dismal and expensive. It also works with cellular internet. For media consumption, such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, cellular internet is not ideal
Faster recovery from disasters.
When a crisis strikes a region, restoring internet service can take days, if not weeks. Storms, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods can all cause internet cable to be seriously damaged. Fixing the wires after a strong storm is not only costly, but also time-consuming.
However, due to the earth disaster, Starlink internet does not experience any internet outages. You can get Starlink internet as soon as the sky clears. There are thousands of base stations all around the world. Even if certain base stations are unavailable due to severe weather, other base stations will continue to supply internet to Starlink satellites.
Starlink offers a dependable internet connection. Only a few geostationary satellites are used by traditional satellite internet providers. Their internet is poor and spotty due to the high altitude of geosynchronous orbit.
The portability of Starlink internet is superior than that of cable internet. Even though cellular service is ubiquitous, it is not available everywhere. Traditional satellite internet is as mobile as Starlink, but it offers slower speeds, more latency, and worse service.
The disadvantages of Starlink Internet.
The Starlink internet service has a number of drawbacks. None of these, however, are serious enough to prevent this outstanding service from being provided.
Installation of the hardware.
For many users, hardware installation could be a problem. Hardware installation is often provided by a cable or satellite internet provider. Starlink, on the other hand, does not provide this hardware installation service. As a result, users must either install the Starlink dish themselves or hire someone to do it for them. It may be difficult to find an installer in some areas.
Furthermore, in order to obtain uninterrupted internet, Starlink requires a good view of the sky. It may be difficult to install a Starlink dish if you live in a condominium or high-rise building. You might have to mount the hardware on pinnacle on the house roof, depending on where you live. If you live in a city and your landlord refuses to let you install the dish, it may be impossible.
It is not transportable.
When compared to cellular internet, Starlink is not as portable. We can use our phones to access the internet from anyplace. The Starlink dish, on the other hand, is not at all portable. Though the dish can be installed above an RV or a boat, it is not small enough to be carried easily.
During bad weather, service may be disrupted.
It’s common for satellite service to be disrupted by rain, storms, or solar storms. However, this isn’t a major problem. Cable internet is also subject to this type of disruption.
Summary : Each innovation has advantages and disadvantages. However, if the benefits of a technology outweigh the drawbacks, we should adopt it. Traditional satellite, wireless, and cable internet have fewer advantages than Starlink. That is why, rather than avoiding the internet, we should embrace it.
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