Internet Basics

Sometime in the mid 1960′s, during the Cold War, it became apparent that there was a need for a bombproof communications system. A concept was devised to link computers together throughout the country. With such a system in place large sections of the country could be nuked and messages could still get through.

In the beginning, only government “think tanks” and a few universities were linked. Basically the Internet was an emergency military communications system operated by the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA). The whole operation was referred to as ARPANET.

Animated illustration of how the Internet works

In time, ARPANET computers were installed at every university in the United States that had defense related funding. Gradually, the Internet had gone from a military pipeline to a communications tool for scientists. As more scholars came online, the administration of the system transferred from ARPA to the National Science Foundation.

Years later, businesses began using the Internet, setting up their own dedicated servers and cabinets, and the administrative responsibilities were once again transferred.

At this time no one party “operates” the Internet, there are several entities that “oversee” the system and the protocols that are involved.

The speed of the Internet has changed the way people receive information. It combines the immediacy of broadcast with the in-depth coverage of newspapers…making it a perfect source for news and weather information.

According to a December 2009 Pew survey, 74% of American adults (ages 18 and older) use the internet .  60% of American adults use broadband connections at home. And 55% of American adults connect to the internet wirelessly, either through a WiFi or WiMax connection via their laptops or through their handheld device like a smart phone.

What You Need to Know About Web Hosting

If you are relatively new to learning how the Internet works, understanding hosting is a great place to start. After all, it is the foundation that keeps website alive and that powers their many features. There are many types of hosting solutions, and knowing each type and how they work will empower you with the knowledge to know which solution is right for you. By doing a simple Google search you can find the best Internet hosting sites like that offer multiple types of hosting solutions to meet business and personal needs. Continue reading to learn the benefits of the different types.

Let’s share some shared hosting

If you are just starting a new business and are looking to spread yourself thin in the beginning, shared hosting may be a great choice to meet your needs. The way it works is that one physical server is used by multiple websites and website owners. The equipment resources are divided among all the users. Sometimes the size of the shared hosting package dictates how much space a user gets, but in general the portions are even. Here are the benefits:

  • Lower cost than other server types
  • No responsibility for technical support
  • No maintenance or adjustments needed
  • Great for people who are not tech savvy
  • User-friendly with simple control panel

This is a very popular option with starter businesses that will aim to expand in the future while keeping things simple and cost-effective in the beginning.

Dedicated hosting

If you want total control of your environment, dedicated hosting is the option for you. Dedicated hosting consists of a server located in a data center that is “dedicated” to you, and only you. The hosting company you partner with will have staff members to oversee network operations and keep things running while being able to assist you with basic functions. This option is more expensive, but well worth it if you have a larger operation that has outgrown more minimal solutions.

VPS hosting

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting has increased in popularity, and can best be described as a hybrid of shared and dedicated hosting. This server type has its own operating system, bandwidth and disc space. In other words, you have a physical server that resides in a data center that is used for VPS hosting. The server is divided into multiple spaces that create a virtual server of it’s own. However, the account holder on the virtual server can only see their environment and no others. So the space acts as a dedicated server but it is actually part of a physical one.

Choosing the right hosting company

Finding a company that offers a great hosting service with the best technology is a given, but the best web hosting company you can find will also offer stellar technical support and customer service. Regardless as to what type of hosting solution you sign up for, you will want to have 24/7 access to the host in the event there are problems. In times like this having prompt and friendly customer service will really matter. Be sure you read client reviews, and ask the provider to help recommend the best hosting solution for your computing needs.

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 There are several ways to access the Internet. Learn about the options that are available to you.