(n.) A packet-switched network developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the Department of Defense to give researchers access to databases and computers. The Internet dates from 1969, when the ARPANET was started. The Internet has grown into a large, diverse community of online users that is self-governing and that develops its own procedures. Physically, it is the interconnection of many small “stub” networks at campuses, research institutes, corporations, and military installations that have middle-level networks and backbones operating with multiple protocols. Nodes on the Internet share a common TCP/IP addressing interface. The Internet spans the globe, consists of thousands of networks, and has billions of users. It is expected that distributed multimedia over the Internet will continue to increase exponentially as bandwidth increases for more users. The Internet is used for “surfing” World Wide Web sites, sending messages over email, accessing databases such as Google, playing games, shopping, and engaging in virtually every other form of communication, commerce, and entertainment.

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