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Part III: What is the Internet?  > What is the Internet

Chapter 13. What is the Internet

This Internet thing has been around for over thirty years. In the late '60s the United States military set up a system where computers could send messages to each other through telephone lines. This system of sending messages has grown to include literally millions of computers all around the world, all connected, all capable of sending messages to other computers, sometimes through telephone lines and sometimes through other sorts of specialized lines. And it's this worldwide connection that's now called the Internet.

Think of the Internet as being similar to the electrical wiring in your house. In your house, the wires go into every room, out to the garage, the back porch, the laundry room, and other places. And that wiring allows you to plug in a variety of devices, such as a refrigerator, washing machine, coffee pot, microwave oven, computer, and lamps. The wiring itself doesn't do anything—it is just the system that allows everything else to work.


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