When you connect two or more computers together so that they can communicate with each other you create a network. Many organizations, such as schools, universities and businesses have networks of computers. You can interconnect networks to make a bigger, interconnected network—or an internet for short.


The Internet (with a capital I) is a huge example of an internet. It connects many thousands of networks all around the world. The Internet allows us to use a computer at school, work or home to access billions of items of information held on other computers no matter where they are in the world. The word Internet is sometimes shortened further to just Net.

In many ways the Internet has changed our way of life. Never before have we had instant access to so much information. You can find out just about anything you need to know on any subject almost immediately. The Internet allows people from distant parts of the world to communicate cheaply. It allows us to easily send text, sounds, still and moving pictures over thousands of kilometres. You can do your shopping on the Internet; you can access your bank account to pay bills or send money to someone. You can download music. A doctor can learn to perform life-saving operations by watching live pictures of another doctor doing the same thing thousands of miles away. Scientists can work together on the same project even though they may be working on opposite sides of world.


Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn designed the Internet for the United States’ military, which wanted a way to connect its many networks. They finished the design in the early 1970s and the Internet started working in 1983. The types of network connected to it gradually increased. These were mostly government and university networks in the early days.