2.  INTERNET                                                                        

   Satish Kumar


Internet is a huge source of enjoyable, important and up-to-the-minute information, which can be accessed and shared by millions of people across the world. Every resource offered by Internet is there because some person or group of people, somewhere in the world, had an idea, developed it and then most important, made it available to the entire world using internet or the ‘NET’, as it is commonly called.

Internet is a collection of computer network that connects millions of computers around the world for exchanging information. Basically internet is a product of military undertaking. The Pentagon's Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) funded the creation of internet in 1969 as ARPnet. The initial intention was to develop a geographical dispersed reliable communication network for military use that would not be disrupted in case of partial destruction from a nuclear attack. The procedure developed for interconnecting ARPnet computer and communicating the data was called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). ARPnet allowed engineers and scientists working on military contracts all over America Online share computers and computer resources. Later on scientist developed a new procedure to exchange messages through a communication network link called E-mail.

The number of computers connected to internet has been growing exponentially. In 1983 there were less than 500 host computers mostly in the Government laboratories and computer science departments. By 1987 there were about 30,000 host computers at different universities and research laboratories. By 1998 this number had increased to more than 5 million hosts. 

Historical overview:

Internet evolved from a small computer network set up in 1969. Way back then an American defence department agency the Defence Advance Research Projects Agency, realized that they needed to develop an easy way to exchange military information between scientists and researchers based at different geographical locations. A simple network of four computers, know as DARPANET, was therefore established.

The system caught on, although the name was soon changed to ARPAnet, and by 1972 had grown to include 37 computers. At the same time, the way in which the network was being used was changing. As well as just using the system to exchange important, but boring, military information, ARPAnet users started to send e-mail sometimes trivial, sometimes important to each other by means of private mail boxes. They might not have realized it at  the time, but this quickly growing group of US defence workers had started something big. Internet had begun and the era of free information exchange was in. Tim Berners-Lee propose World Wide Web, in 1989 and later wrote the first Web browser and server in 1990. The well-known web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer were dveloped, which are used by the vast majority today. More than 36 million computers and 200 million users are on Internet (survey of June 1998).  

Internet in India

History and Status  

Before the appearance of VSNL’s GIAS, Internet had been in India for many years in the form of ERNET. However, it was not possible for many people to get access to it, as it was meant for only the educational and research communities. This followed the policy laid down by the American Internet Manager NSF, at the time. 

Educational Research Network (ERNET)

Internet in India was established almost 10 years ago, as ERNET. It was a joint undertaking of the Department of Electronic (DOE ) of the Government of India, and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), which provides technical assistance to developing nations. ERNET is one of the most successful operations that UNDP has funded. It established for India the idea that we can participate in the Internet. Current ERNET operates many nodes and has a 64 Kbps link to USA via Mumbai. All major nodes of ERNET are connected to each other using 9600 bps leased lines. These lines are being ungraded to 64 Kbps links. Over 200 academic and R & D groups exchange e.mail with each other using ERNET. Over 8000 scientists and technologists have access to ERNET facilities. International access is provided over a 64 Kbps leased line, from NCST, Mumbai to USA Plans for ERNET include the creation of a satellite communication system to enable ERNET to reach locations, which do not have good data communication links. 

Gate Internet Access Service (GIAS)  

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) India’s international trunk carrier and Gateway to the World launched the Gateway Internet Access Service (GIAS) on August 15th 1995 for the first time on commercial basis in the country. VSNL has set up 6 Internet nodes that were established at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Pune. Each GIAS internet node is connected to internet via high speed circuits from one of the following service providers: MCI (USA), KDD (Japan), Telecom Italia and TELEGLOBE. A total approximately 40 Mbps bandwidth is available for internet data transmission in and out of India. VSNL has got other access nodes at Ernakulam, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Dehradun and Arvi. VSNL in coordination with DOT has also launched Internet service at Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Patana, Aurangabad, Gwalior, GOA, Pondichery, Trivendrum, Keonics (Mysore) and Guwahati. Users in remote areas of India can reach GIAS via I-NET. The Department of Telecommunication (DOT) has a widespread network in India called I-Net, which has direct connectivity to each GIAS node You can access GIAS from 99 cities in India by this means. 

GIAS Network Topology

          The GIAS network uses dual hub and spoke topology. There are six gateways, which forms the backbone for the network. (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Pune) Mumbai is the central node. Each node is connected to Mumbai with multiple high speed uplinks to Internet via different carriers. The total uplink is more than 40 Mbps. Dynamic routing protocol ensures that the shortest path to the destination is always chosen. Load balancing automatically occurs if more than one equal cost path to the destination exists. The best backup path is chosen when the primary path goes down. VSNL’s GIAS network is multihomed to MCI, Telecom Italia and Teleglobe via the International connections of the nodes, to ensure proper backup and redundancy at the carrier level also. 

Working of Internet:

All the content of Internet is held by computers known as the “Servers” which are owned by organizations and companies, eg. University of Kansas, Microsoft etc. who want to distribute the information. When request is made of these servers for the information, they bundle the requested information is small packets, with address as to where it is to be sent, and send them down to the nearest connection to the internet. When they arrive at the internet, the packets are read by the router, which is nothing more than a traffic cop, and sent down in the same general direction as the address. A similar thing happens at the next junction on the Internet. This goes on till the packet is delivered to the right address, where it is put together again with other packets, to make up the original information. Says for example you are sending a message from Mumbai to Lao Alto, California, to a server named svpal.org. The message will be broken up into packets of approximately 1500 bytes, and some may travel from VSNL here to the MCI router in the US some may travel to Madras and then to the MCI router, and so forth. There is no predetermined path and even individual packets of the same message may follow different paths. It all depends on the traffic at the node, at the movement in time. As packets reach svpal.org, they are all put together as in the original message and delivered to the given address.

In order to accomplish the task massaging across a network, computers use a networking protocol. Taking the analogy of diplomacy, the relations and interactions between the representatives of different countries follow a set of rules laid down by tradition and treaty, which is called diplomatic protocol. Similarly, all computers wanting to talk to each other have a conform to a standard set of rules defined in the networking protocol. This enables different type of computers running different types of operating system to communicate efficiently. The de-facto standard today to TCP/IP. All this  is accomplished by dedicated but fast computers known as routes that work in unison. Every organization has its own network and every individual user, his own system and set up. What kind does not matter as long as they talk the same protocol to the external world. 

Domain Name System (DNS):

The domain name system was developed to solve this problem. DNS is a distributed database. This allows local control of the overall databases, and yet the data in each small segment is available across the entire network. Other than the distributed nature. This allows responsibility for maintaining a domain to be distributed and also allows for the information of the hosts tore side to different computers. Since Internet was conceived and developed in the USA, Americans defined the top level domains. Initially these were designated as follows. 

Domain Organization

Com       For commercial organization (ie business)

Edu        Educational organization (Universities, schools)

Gov        Government organization (non military)

Mil          Military (army, navy etc)

Net         Network resources eg Internet Service Provider

Org        Other organization


These national domain names follow an existing international official standard of two letter abbreviations for every country in the world. An example of other countries represented with domain include 

Au          Australia

CA          Canada

Fr           France

UK         The United Kingdom

In            India


How to get connected:

Basically there are four steps to getting connected to the Internet. The first step is to get an account with VSNL. The second step is to get a modem for your computer which is approved by DOT for use on telephone lines, and computer hardware suppliers familiar with the internet can guide you with that. The third step is to ensure that your computer hardware is adequate for the type of account you have chosen, and the forth and last step is to verify that you already have suitable communications software stored on your hard disk, and if not to obtain and install the required software package. 

Types of accounts available and their cost:

There are basically two types of accounts available the terminal account and the TCP/IP account. There are also two types of connections to GIAS-dial-up and leased line. Depending on your status for example, student, professional or commercial organization your costs will vary. 

Where to go and what to do:

The procedure involved in getting either the Terminal account or a TCP/IP account is the same. Contact the VSNL customer relations section in your city and get an application form and brochure. Fill up the application attached the required Demand Draft taken in favour of VSNL and send it to the customer relations section. Within a short time you will be informed of your login name and password. 

Terminal Account:

i) Hardware Requirements:

The minimum requirement for accessing the Terminal account is either a VT 100/VT

220 type of terminal or a DOS machine. A 80386 processor machine with an adequate hard disk and 14.4 Kbps error correcting modem will serve you well.

The minimum requirement for accessing a TCP/IP account is a 80486 processor machine with 8MB RAM or having similar processing power such as the Apple MAC At least a 14.4 kbps modem is needed, and 28.8, 33.3 & 56.6kbps are also preferred if your line are noise free. For an IBM compatible machine either windows 3.1 or windows95/98/2000 operating system is required for the TCP/IP. 

ii) Software requirements:

With a DOS, a DOS based terminal emulation programme is needed. There are many of tese programmes available, either as shareware or commercially eg. Telix and Procomm Plus.

If you are using windows 3.1 or 3.11 system software, appropriate 16 bit TCP/IP stack software will be required. Windows 95/98/2000 has built in TCP/IP stack software supplied with it, which has to be installed and enabled. For Eudora you will need to supply your POP3 account name, which for VSNL accounts is your e-mail address. 

Programs for accessing the Internet: 

FTP: "File-transfer protocol" i.e. accessing files that are stored on remote computer system called sites.

TELNET: Helps communicate with computer using Telnet protocol.

Lynx: World-Wide Web information resource without graphics.

Netscape, Mosaic & Microsoft Internet Explorer: Powerful web browser for accessing  the Web server with the graphics.

RCP: The RCP command allow to copy file from remote to local or between two remote hosts.

WAIS: Helps search dozens of databases in one sitting.

Internet Access by Email: Different sites on internet allow to access resources via email. Others include FTP by e-mail, Archie by e-mail, Gopher by e-mail, WWW documents by e-mail using an Agora WWW-mail server.


These engines allow to search the web pages by keywords, phrases, or question by displaying the list of web pages. Few popular search engines are :www.yahoo.com, www.lycos.com, www.infoseek.com, www.excite.com, www.netscape.com, www.altavista.digital.com, www.webcrawler.com etc.



1.      To communicate in various ways

2.      To share resources

3.      Find things that interest for user and

4.      Exchange information and files.

5.      To send and receive e-mails with people all over the world. Almost as fast as the telephone, there is never a busy signal, and you never play phone tag.

6.      Allows to join discussion groups about a common subject

7.      To access the information available on remote computer using mail servers.

8.      To get or exchange software and files with the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). 

9.      Telnet lets you use the resources on a remote computer such as games, databases, library catalogs, and many more interesting things.

10.  It allow to connect to thousands of different computers using gopher menu systems

11.  To explore the World Wide Web (WWW), which can use all of the above, and adds easy links to other resources and adds multimedia--graphics, sound, and video capabilities.

12.  To talk by keyboard with Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which lets small groups of users meet in conference to "talk" to each other by typing on their keyboards.

13.  An effective media for business communications.

14.  To enjoy fun & games.

15.  To have personal development. 

Future for Internet:

1.      International connections

2.      Commercialization

3.      Privatization 


The post office of the future:

E-mail, is a simple tool for exchanging brief text messages between individuals or among a larger audience. E-mail is almost certainly the most widely used application on internet and unsurprisingly so. The advantages are numerous, the most obvious being speed. One of your e-mail letters can arrive at its destination on the other side of the planet within seconds of you hitting the Enter key on your keyboard. There are other advantages, besides raw speed, too. You can send sound, images, video-even computer software. E-mail has its disadvantages, of course. You can’t send something physically. Each e-mail is made up of two parts, a heading and the message. The heading is made up of the senders e-mail address and the receiver’s e-mail address. An e-mail address serves a similar purpose to an address on an envelop- the electronic postman needs to know where to send the letter and to whom it’s intended. E-mail address can seem complex at first glance, but they really are quite straightforward and logical once you look at them more carefully.

Working with E-Mail:

1.      Send mail

2.      Read incoming mail

3.      Reply to mail

4.      Delete mail

5.      Exit the mail program


1. Sending mail

All mail programs have a New Message or Compose E-mail command, located on a message menu, and they usually have a keyboard shortcut for the command as well, such as Ctrl+N for New Message. When you start a new message, your program will open a new window.

Type the address of the person to whom you wish to send the mail. The person’s address must be of the form username@address.domain

Username is the person’s identifier (the name they log in with).

Address is the identifier of the person’s network or machine on the network

Domain is the short code at the end indicating whether the address is a business (.com)

A non profit(.org), A university (.edu), A branch of the government (.gov), A part of the military (.mil) and so on.

If you are sending mail to someone on your own network (or another member of your online service or a subscriber of your own network  you only have to specify the username, not any of the Internet information. 

Sending mail to people on other network

If you want to send mail to someone on another network, you will need to know their identifier on the network address appears in internet form. Here an example of the most common internet address.

Network      Username                      Internet Address

Nagpur.dot.net.in          jbtdrc                     jbtdrc@nagpur.dot.net.in


Creation of an e-mail message

After entering the recipient’s address in the address box, press tab and then type a subject in the subject box(keep it shortly) this will be the first thing

If you want to send a copy of the e-mail message to more than one recipient , you can either:

Type that person’s address on the cc: line

Type multiple addresses in either the To: or Cc: line, separating each address by a comma. In some e-mail programs, the addresses may appear on separate lines.

Press tab until the insertion point jumps into the blank message area

When you are done, send the message or add it to a queue, a list of outgoing   messages to be sent all at once. Press the send button


Reading Mail

Here are the steps for reading an e-mail message

Open your e-mail program by double-clicking its shortcut icon or selecting it from the start menu. Some programs being by displaying your Inbox contents, and with others you will need to click on a Get New mail button , or select Fileâ Get mail or Get new mail. Others have a special mail menu selection, where you choose Mailâ Get new Mail, or mailâ Read Incoming Mail. Display your Inbox with the command appropriate for your program

If the message continues beyond the bottom of the window, use the scroll bar to see the To view the contents of a mail message, highlight it in the Inbox window and press Enter (or double-click it). The message will appear in its own window.

If the message continues beyond the bottom of the window use the scroll bar to see the next  screenful.

After reading the message, you can close or reply to the message


Replying to Mail

Somewhere near the New Message command (probably on the same menu or button bar), You’ll find the reply command.

Highlight the received message in the Inbox or open the message, and then select the reply command

Your program will create a new message automatically addressed to the sender of the message automatically include the contents of the original message (or will give you the choice of including the contents or not). Often, especially with e-mail programs that were designed primarily for use on the Internet, the included message will appear with a “>” character at the beginning of each line to indicate that it is quoted text, although different mail programs have different ways of showing quoted messages.

Sometimes, you’ll want to reply to everyone who was sent a copy of the original message. Most e-mail programs offer a variation on the normal reply command that includes all original recipients in your reply. Select reply to all or a similar command to send your reply to everyone.

Tab to the subject line and type a new subject if the old one isn’t very meaningful anymore.

Add other recipients if necessary or tab your way into the message area to type your reply, and then choose the Send command when you are done.


Deleting Mail

To delete a message, you typically highlight it and press Delete. 

Exiting an E-mail Program

When you are finished sending , reading , and replying to mail , you can quite your program or leave it running to check your mail at regular intervals.

You can quit most mail programs by selecting File âExit or File â Quite.