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How the Internet Is Structured

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The term Internet is a contraction of 'interconnected networks' and, indeed, the Internet is a gigantic global collection of linked networks. The networks that make up the Internet can range in size from tiny (just two or three connected computers) to massive (thousands of interlinked machines).

An Internet service provider (ISP) is a telecommunications business that delivers Internet-related services such as access to the Internet, domain name registration, website hosting, and so on. ISPs enable you to connect to the Internet.

When you use your computer to access the Internet from your home you most likely connect to an ISP via a modem and a local telephone number or through a dedicated high-speed line. When you connect to your ISP you become part of their network, which allows you to access the Internet.

The computers in the office where you work are likely to be connected together into a network known as a local area network (LAN). This enables the computers in the office t…