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The Internet

Although popular media accounts are often confused and confusing, the concept of the Internet really is rather simple: it’s a worldwide collection of computer networks — a network of networks — sharing digital information via a common set of networking and software protocols.

Networks are not new to computers. What makes the Internet unique is its worldwide collection of digital telecommunication links that share a common set of computer-network technologies, protocols, and applications. Whether you run Microsoft Windows XP, Linux, Mac OS X, or even the now ancient Windows 3.1, when connected to the Internet, computers all speak the same networking language and use functionally identical programs, so you can exchange information — even multimedia pictures and sound — with someone next door or across the planet.


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