A network is a combination of hardware and software that enables the connected computer to share resources and communicate with one another. The Internet is a global network of networks around the world. It began in 1969 as a development for the Department of Defense. The advantages of the Internet are that it is globally available and it has immediate and constant access. You have access to information located on other machines around the world anytime you need to retrieve it. The World Wide Web is a subset of the Internet that consists of hypertext or hypermedia documents. These are documents that are accessible though hyperlinks. The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing, the World Wide Web is only a part of the Internet. The common terms associated with the Internet and the World Wide Web include:
- HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol – These are the rules (protocols) used to transmit documents over the World Wide Web.
- HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure – The rules to transmit secure / confidential documents over the World Wide Web.
- HTML – Hypertext Markup Language – This is the language used to create World Wide Web documents. HTML is the language interpreted by Web Browser Software (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator) to display the web pages.
- TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol – The rules (protocols) to transmit data across the Internet.
- ISP – Internet Service Provider – An Internet Service Provider allows individual users access to the resources of the internet. You need a connection to the Internet to access the information and this is commonly handled through a subscription to an Internet Service Provider.
The Internet and World Wide Web have developed into a marketplace for goods and services though the development of E-commerce. The Internet has many advantages to both buyer and seller. It provides a virtually unlimited access to goods and services. For buyers, they have the ability to shop without leaving home and have easy ability to comparison shop. The buyer also has access to a vast amount of information regarding the product they are shopping for. Sellers have the ability to attract customers from around the world. They have reduced costs in that they do not need to rent a store front in order to have an e-commerce store.