How Networking has Changed Over the Years and What We Can Expect in the Future
Technology has changed the way we communicate with one another. It allows people to communicate just as it allows machines to begin communicating with each other using networking ideas. Let’s take a look at where networking started to better understand where networking is headed.
Networking started as a small project when computers were so large that they could take up entire rooms. They used an equally large amount of power, which made owning and operating them only affordable by expensive universities and government agencies.
The idea of linking computers together over large distances was an obtuse idea. Researchers theorized that signals could be sent by one machine and received by another using something as convenient as the copper lines already put in place for public telephone networks. The first network was created in 1973 as a result of ARPAnet, a project funded by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The goal of the program was to establish a form of digital communication that could allow for military machines to communicate over great distances.
Developing TCP/IP Protocols
While the first long-distance communications occurred in 1973, networking itself was far from implemented. Standards that described the architecture of Internet-based communication first needed to be drafted. It took until the late 1970s for the first revisions of the TCP/IP protocol to be drafted. This revision was messy and, as Jon Postel alluded, they were trying to do too much at once. The Internet as we know it wouldn’t be created until the 1980s when IPv4 was drafted by researchers. The reason IPv4 is the first and most popular protocol consists around the way it segmented the process of creating network packets into different layers.
This segmentation was drafted by researchers whom worked intimately with machines. This is why engineers with computer science degrees and master’s degrees have and will continue to be instrumental in the development of networking.
The Future of Networking
Networking has remained relatively unchanged for the past 35 years. The biggest challenge that has been overcome is the limited real estate for IP addresses. IPv4 is limited to a little more than 4 billion IP addresses. IPv6 allows for 2^128 IP addresses, which should be sufficient until humans begin to colonize other worlds.
The other challenge with networking is creating reliable protocols that allow machines to communicate with one another. This problem stands out in any discussion about the Internet of Things, which is a networking concept where smart machines communicate directly with one another. The last major challenge with networking is efficiency. “Heavy” traffic such as VoIP and video transmissions require a more efficient way to encode data to deal with limited physical bandwidth.
Improving the Future of Networking
Computer networking has required countless challenges to be solved by brilliant networking engineers. The future of networking will require more engineers to draft protocols and create more efficient ways for computers to network.
Seeking a degree in networking will not only prove profitable, but also allow individuals to influence the future of mankind. This kind of improvement in something as vital as networking will allow technology and humans to evolve at a rapid pace.
About the Author:
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about technology, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. If you are interested in working in this exciting field, consider getting a master’s degree in networking.