A History of the Internet (Infographic)

Before the Internet became the internet, it was just a tiny blip in the peripheral vision of technological advancement. And like any major innovation, it didn’t develop into the pulsing highway of information that has transformed our everyday life overnight. The internet occurred as a series of discoveries, building on one another until they scaled into the digital revolution. It might surprise you to know that our modern network can be traced all the way back to the 1800s, long before Charles Babbage. The internet’s story begins with the first long distance method of communication, the telegraph, and culminates into the dynamic, video-rich tapestry of media and sharing that sits on the cusp of virtual reality today. Come take a tour through the history of the internet and the origins of the most miraculous invention since the printing press.   A History of the Internet Before the Internet became the internet, it was just a tiny blip in the peripheral vision of technological advancement. And like any major innovation, it didn’t develop into the pulsing highway of information that has transformed our everyday life overnight. The internet occurred as a series of discoveries, building on one another until they scaled into the digital revolution. It might surprise you to know that our modern network can be traced all the way back to the 1800s, long before Charles Babbage. The internet’s story begins with the first long distance method of communication, the telegraph, and culminates into the dynamic, video-rich tapestry of media and sharing that sits on the cusp of virtual reality today. Come take a tour through the history of...
The Times, They Are a Changin’: HSI Cozies Up To the internet

The Times, They Are a Changin’: HSI Cozies Up To the internet

As of June 1st, it’s a new world for the web. The venerable New York Times announced it would join the likes of thousands of other publications and more recently, the AP Stylebook, in decapitalizing the Internet. The HSI team has decided, at the risk of being labeled copycat copywriters, that we will gladly follow suit. Moving forward, at least on this blog, we’ll be referring to that vast network, the one that encompasses our lives as seamlessly as the air we breathe, as “the internet” rather than “the Internet”. This change has been a long time coming. Back when the internet was in its infancy in the mid 1970s, the word was typically used as a generic term referring to a network of connected computers. But by the late ‘70s, that usage began to change as the World Wide Web took off. Internet became capitalized because it referred to a proper noun and was an abbreviation of the programming language used to establish the web, the Internet Protocol Suite. Since then, the capitalization of the internet has been enshrined in every style guide, dictionary, and esteemed newspaper from sea to shining sea. Daily usage, however, has a way of shifting our protocols as surely as the tide. Over time, many formerly capitalized terms such as the World Wide Web have gone the way of the eerie whine of an AOL dial-up connection. Web became web. Net became net. And the Internet, a place we once thought of as an almost physical space of interaction, became as ubiquitous as oxygen. Today, the capitalization of internet seems as absurd as...
The FCC Wins Big in the Fight for a Free Internet

The FCC Wins Big in the Fight for a Free Internet

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that has big implications for net neutrality. In a 2 to 1 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled to support the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) efforts to reclassify Internet service providers as “Title II common carriers”. The ruling gives the government agency a broader authority to enforce rules surrounding net neutrality. Internet service providers have vowed to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but the ruling is seen as a resounding victory for FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and President Obama. Both have been strong and vocal supporters of increased FCC regulatory measures for a troubled telecomm industry and they’ve championed the effort to bring the public better access to high-speed Internet. A Bit of Backstory Before we discuss the ruling and its implications for the future of the Internet, let’s clarify what net neutrality is. Net neutrality refers to the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. The principle implies that the Internet is a right, not a privilege or a luxury afforded to people of means. Net neutrality opposes the throttling of content or imposing “fast” lanes that might prevent individuals from having unfettered access. Cable companies have been staunch opponents of net neutrality, insisting that the regulations the FCC wants to put in place would squelch innovation in a fledging industry. Back in 1996, Congress passed The Telecommunications Act, which provided some much needed regulation after over sixty years of legislative silence. It did not, however, specifically classify Internet service providers. Congress had decided that while it was in the best interest of consumers...
Suddenlink vs. Frontier

Suddenlink vs. Frontier

If you live in a rural area, your Internet options were likely once limited to dial-up and satellite. However, you may now have more service packages to choose from, as many providers — including Suddenlink® and Frontier® — have expanded their infrastructures into rural communities. But that leaves you with a dilemma: you have to figure out which Internet Service Provider (ISP) to choose. You’ll want to look at your own unique situation and needs, because constraints like availability, pricing, download and upload speeds, and connection type may affect the options you have. If you live in an area where you have access to Suddenlink and Frontier Internet, the information that follows will help you to consider both services and make an informed purchasing decision between the two. Service Type Suddenlink’s Internet infrastructure is made up of coaxial lines, the same type of wiring that delivers cable TV services. This cable framework allows the company to offer broadband speeds — at least during non-peak times. However, because cable Internet isn’t considered a designated connection, actual speeds may fluctuate depending on network traffic. Frontier, by contrast, has a much more complex infrastructure that is composed of both copper and fiber-optic wiring. This ISP has been rapidly expanding its networks in a number of states, though not all of its products are available in all locations. For example, FiOS® from Frontier — one of the company’s faster offerings — currently has a relatively limited availability, while other High-Speed Internet plans offer slightly lower bandwidth with wider availability. Speed Suddenlink Internet speeds are comparable to larger providers like Time Warner Cable® and...
The Speed You Need for The Internet of Things

The Speed You Need for The Internet of Things

Imagine a world where a refrigerator assesses its own contents, creates a customized shopping list, and sends it to your smartphone. Your phone takes this information and compiles coupons and pins recipes that coordinate items from your grocery list. Your car’s navigation system plots the quickest route to the necessary stores on your way home from work. Apps turn on your oven, crockpot, or rice maker remotely, warming in preparation for dinner. Your family is welcomed home by the smell of a home-cooked meal and the convenience of a well-stocked arsenal of perishables for the weekend. All this seamless integration frees you to spend the evening enjoying quality time together instead of running errands and checking off items on a massive to-do list. Sound idyllically futuristic? Maybe. But the reality of interconnected devices that’ll make this dream life attainable is already here. It’s called the Internet of Things (IoT) and experts say it’s poised to become the next information revolution. This web of sensors and devices operate using Wi-Fi capabilities and share a vast treasure trove of data. The goal of this kind of universal connectivity is to provide the average consumer with unparalleled technological integration that will dramatically reshape everyday life. In 2013, nearly half of the products at the Consumer Electronics Show integrated Wi-Fi. By 2020, the NCTA (National Cable and Telecommunications Association) estimates nearly 50 million devices will be connected to the Internet of Things, able to synch data and provide insights across a myriad of applications in real time. “The vast majority of respondents to the 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing agree that the...
Cox vs. CenturyLink Internet

Cox vs. CenturyLink Internet

Today’s modern household is more dependent than ever on high-speed Internet service. From streaming movies and downloading music to playing video games and checking social media, a fast Internet connection is essential for both work and play. With so many companies offering Internet service of different speeds and prices, it’s more important than ever to do some research to find one that meets your needs. The first step is to find out which companies provide Internet service where you live. For example, if you’re looking for high-speed Internet in Phoenix, AZ, Cox® High Speed Internet™ and CenturyLink® High-Speed Internet are two of the most popular offerings available — and you may not be sure which is right for you. We’ve taken some time to compare and contrast the Internet plans these two companies offer, so read on to learn more. Cable Internet vs. DSL Internet Before diving into company specifics, here’s a brief explanation of the two different types of high-speed Internet: cable and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). Cable Internet — the main type of service that Cox provides — transmits digital data over existing coaxial cable lines, while DSL Internet — a popular CenturyLink offering — transmits data using a phone line. Here are some pros and cons of each technology. Cable Internet Pros Typically faster than DSL Not affected by distance from provider’s location Cable Internet Cons Often more expensive than DSL May be shared by other users nearby, which could lead to slow speeds during peak use hours May not be available in remote areas DSL Internet Pros Often cheaper than cable Internet Easier to access...

Technology that Connects Service Members and Their Families

Summer is in full swing and Father’s Day is right around the corner. For many of us that means a weekend full of barbecues and vacations with Dad, but for some it means hopping online to have a video call with their military hero abroad. This is why the team at HSI has created a visual guide to the best tech to help military members abroad connect with their loved ones at home this Father’s Day. We know that our deployed military members rely heavily on the support of their families to protect our nation’s freedoms, and we hope that this resource will help in at least some small way to make connecting with their loved ones a little easier. Please feel free to share this resource with your friends and...
Data Cap Debate: Are ISPs Finally Backing Away From Usage-Based Billing?

Data Cap Debate: Are ISPs Finally Backing Away From Usage-Based Billing?

As streaming services gain popularity, the shift towards usage-based billing by major Internet service providers has been as unpopular and inevitable as death and taxes. A few years ago, several ISPs began conducting trials and enforcing data caps in major metro areas across the South and Central United States. Customers in these areas, who faced overage fees for exceeding the limits of their data plan, found themselves rationing Internet in an effort to conserve cost. A recent Wall Street Journal article exposed the effects of these widespread data cap trials, painting a picture of families whose Internet usage was feast or famine, depending on the billing cycle of their provider. Sorry, sweetie. No My Little Pony today. Mommy only has 10 GB left. Why do Internet service providers use data caps? Depends on the provider. Satellite providers utilize caps to limit streaming and maintain speeds across their network. This is largely a factor of satellite technology and a valid concern for those providers if they intend to deliver on promised Internet speeds. Most broadband providers, however, have shied away from claiming data caps are imposed due to congestion. Instead, these ISPs have argued that usage-based billing helps ensure the people who use high-speed Internet the most are the ones who pay more. This rationale seems fair, but a closer inspection of how data caps are enforced belies this logic. Since overage fees are applied across markets and providers in a wildly inconsistent way, it seems unlikely to be the motivation behind usage-based billing. Most experts agree that broadband Internet providers are utilizing data caps to pressure potential cord cutters...
6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Cybersecurity

6 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Cybersecurity

Children begin using the Internet for both educational and social purposes when they are very young. But when one in four people surveyed has been hacked or know someone who has been hacked, parents have reason to be concerned about protecting their children’s information online. Anyone can be a victim of hacking, and unfortunately there is no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, following safety best practices and implementing security protocols can help keep your children and their information safe from online predators. 1. Improve Your Computer and Internet Literacy You need to be familiar with safe computer and Internet tactics before you can teach your children how to behave online. Take a computer class, read a guide book, or browse online tutorials to learn more about Internet safety, computer viruses, and safely downloading and sharing files. Before allowing your child to download any programs or applications, read the user manual and fine print to learn about the data it may gather from your computer. 2. Teach Internet Safety Best Practices Educate your children about potential online dangers and how to protect themselves from becoming victims. Your children should follow these rules to improve their cybersecurity. Create strong passwords for each online account. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Never share passwords with friends or strangers or write them down on paper. Use a password manager if your child needs help remembering their passwords. Ignore requests or messages from strangers and unknown usernames or email addresses. Never download an unknown or suspicious email attachment, app, or software program. Never share personal information, such as home addresses,...