The impact of technology and networks on our lives, culture, and society continues to increase. The very fact that you can take this course from anywhere in the world requires a technological infrastructure that was designed, engineered, and built over the past sixty years. To function in an information-centric world, we need to understand the workings of network technology. This course will open up the Internet and show you how it was created, who created it and how it works. Along the way we will meet many of the innovators who developed the Internet and Web technologies that we use today.
What You Will Learn:
After this course you will not take the Internet and Web for granted. You will be better informed about important technological issues currently facing society. You will realize that the Internet and Web are spaces for innovation and you will get a better understanding of how you might fit into that innovation. If you get excited about the material in this course, it is a great lead-in to taking a course in Web design, Web development, programming, or even network administration. At a minimum, you will be a much wiser network citizen.
Welcome to the class. We will first look at the history of the Internet and Web, followed by a look at how the network works and then examine how we secure information on the Internet and Web.
History: Dawn of Electronic Computing
World War II emphasized the strategic importance of computation, communication, and information. There was unprecedented investment in the development of new technologies during the war. We start with Alan Turing and others at Bletchley Park.
History: The First Internet – NSFNet
In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a great deal of research done to build the first wide-area packet switched networks for the US Department of Defense. In the 1980s, the first “Internet” was formed to allow academic researchers to access supercomputer resources.
History: The Web Makes it Easy to Use
The World-Wide-Web was invented in 1990 but it was not an overnight success. But by 1994 – “the year of the web” – the web was being widely used and Internet usage was growing by leaps and bounds.
History: Commercialization and Growth
The late 1990’s saw the web and Internet used increasingly to revolutionize how business was done. Companies like Amazon were founded and grew very rapidly.
Technology: Internets and Packets
The Internet is designed based on a four-layer model. Each layer builds on the layers below it. The Link and Internetwork layers are the lowest layers of that model.
Technology: Transport Control Protocol (TCP)
The Transport layer is built on the Internetwork layer and is what makes our network connections reliable.
Technology: Application Protocols
With reliable “pipes” available from the Transport layer, we can build applications like web browsers, file transfer applications, or email clients and servers.
Security: Encrypting and Signing
Using simple examples, we examing how to shield data from prying eyes and make sure that the data was not altered while in transit.
Security: Web Security
We apply the basic ideas of encryption and signing to who we actually secure the connections that we use on today’s Web and Internet.