What Small Business Owners Need To Know About The Internet?
The Internet and Small Businesses
As a small business owner, have you ever wondered about the Internet and its value for your business? It is important to realize that in 2020, after more than 20 years of online access, the world is still at the beginning of the Internet revolution. The pace of digital change and how it impacts your small business will continue to accelerate as Internet technology advances and consumers and competitors alike, move online. Events such as the current Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) fuels this “Internet revolution” as business scrambles to accommodate the “new normal” introducing web-based business solutions. This event could significantly impact your general way of doing business, even long after this Coronavirus pandemic is over.
You as a small business owner need to embrace the change, get educated and empower your business by capitalizing on what the Internet/Web has to offer to help your business to be successful. Over the next couple of months Small Business Success Wilmington, NC will post information to assist small business owners on their journey to online success.
What is the Internet?
So, what is the Internet? The Internet is a gigantic system of interconnected computer networks around the world that follows the standardized Internet TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) Protocol Suite to operate. Within the Internet you will find public, academic, private, business, and government networks setup for a specific purpose or user group. These computer networks consist of millions of computing devices that allows people to share information and communicate with each other. The computing devices include computers, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, GPS units, and smart devices that are all capable of connecting to the internet. An Internet protocol is simply a standard set of rules or procedures for routing (sending and receiving) data on the Internet.
The vast amount of information available on the Internet is stored on servers on the Internet. There are file servers, mail servers, and web servers. In addition, the Internet is also made up of routers that are networking devices that forward/direct data packets between computer networks. The user computers, servers, devices, and networks on the Internet are linked by a broad array of wired (copper/fiber-optic cables) and wireless (also satellite) networking technologies. The Internet is also the backbone of the Web and provides the technical infrastructure that makes the Web possible.
What is the World Wide Web then?
If the Internet and the World Wide Web (or web) is not the same thing, what is the Web. The World Wide Web (or web) is a subset of the Internet that includes the universe of information which can be accessed via the Internet using a web browser. It is an information-sharing model/system that is built on within the Internet where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs such as https://www.serenitydayspawilmington.com/). HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the underlying command protocol used on the World Wide Web.
The Web is just one of the ways that information is shared over the Internet. Other ways include email, instant messaging, internet phone calling (Voice over Internet Protocol – VoIP), video conferences (e.g. Skype and Apple FaceTime) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
How the Internet Works is discussed in the blogpost “Simplified Explanation of How the Internet Works – click here. You can also find Internet and Web Terminology defined in the blogpost “Common Internet and Web Terms Defined for Small Businesses” – click here.
Brief History of the Internet
The origin of the Internet dates back to the late 1960s with the creation of the ARPANET funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. This first workable prototype of the Internet (ARPANET) used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate and share time on a single network. The Internet was commercialized in the 1980s with adopting adopted protocols such TCP/IP and DNS for the naming of websites (e.g. .edu, .gov, .com, .mil, .org, and .net). In 1990 the first web browser WorldWideWeb (not to be confused with the World Wide Web), was invented by Tim Berners-Lee using HTTP and HTML protocols. In 2020 there are many top Web Browsers to choose from including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, Maxthon Cloud Browser, Torch Browser, and many more.
The abbreviations and definitions of Internet terms used in the above Internet history overview are as follow:
- ARPANET – Advanced Research Projects Agency Network: ARPANET was the first proven wide-area packet-switching communication network to send and receive information in real time regardless of geographical location (distributed control). ARPANET was also the first network to implement the TCP/IP protocol suite.
- TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: TCP/IP is a suite of communication protocols (rules and procedures) allowing one computer to talk to another computer via the Internet. This is done through compiling packets of data and sending them to the right location.
- DNS – Domain Name System: The Domain Name System is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, services, or other resources connected to the Internet. The DNS is the phone book of the Internet and converts a human readable domain name (www.backyardparadisenc.com) to Internet Protocol (IP) address (188.8.131.52).
- HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol: HTTP is part of the Internet protocol suite that defines the commands and services used to transfer webpage data. HTTP defines what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.
- HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language: HTML is basic web publishing language used to create electronic documents (called pages) that are viewed in a web browser on the World Wide Web. HTML uses hundreds of different tags to define a layout for web pages that creatively link text, pictures, music, programs, etc., and give instructions to the browser what to do with them.