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Understanding the Internet

Discover the inner workings of the internet, its history, applications, and global governance protocols.

910 enrolled on this course

The Internet is global

Understanding the Internet

910 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the essential elements of the internet from IP addresses to digital data

The internet allows people all over the world to connect, communicate, and transfer data.

On this four week course from Keio University, you’ll discover how the internet works. You’ll be guided through the basics of internet infrastructure and the history of the internet, giving you the skills to discuss internet functionality and explain data transference.

Investigate the fundamentals of network technology and internet connectivity

Taking a deeper look at both the OSI reference model and the TCP/IP model, you’ll learn about network architecture and protocol details, examining the different layers of internet infrastructure.

You’ll explore the global internet infrastructure, allowing you to understand the workings of the internet on both a personal level and on a global scale.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to explain how the internet works as an essential service within the exchange of digital data.

Learn about the evolution of internet applications

Taking an in-depth look at the application layer, you’ll explore its impact on communication, security, and creativity.

You’ll investigate the concept of cloud computing and learn how it has transformed data handling.

Using this understanding, you’ll be able to track the evolution of applications to align with changing user requirements and discuss potential future applications of the internet.

Examine cyberspace as a global space

Described as the foundation of global society, the internet allows communication unlimited by borders. However, with this freedom comes risks that the global community must consider and address.

By exploring the challenges of an internet based society, you’ll finish this course understanding how the internet works and how it is operated, as well as how it is managed and governed.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds [Music] The Internet

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 seconds the internet has changed our lives dramatically.   Today almost 70 percent of the world’s population  is connected through the internet [Music]   the Internet to be a human rights, it’s life  line infrastructure for the human being. so from   any point to any point to any point connected,  and that is the responsibility of the internet.   but what exactly is the internet? how is it born  and developed, and what does the future hold?   In this course, we will learn all about  the essential workings of the internet   its history and the global internet community  that operates manages and governs the internet.   through this four-week journey you’ll understand  all about the internet from technology to society

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds the other civilization is a kind of different  locations sometimes conflicting with each   other. but the internet civilization is a single  civilization. it’s a very interesting time that   everybody’s on the internet then everybody and  every single Society is a totally merging space   about global space and the International  Space which is pretty new and maybe not   many people really understand that there are two  concepts now merging together, almost completely

Skip to 1 minute and 59 seconds we are now living in an entirely  new Cyber civilization, and this   civilization has many possibilities and risks.   what can we do as citizens of cyber  civilization? Let’s learn together. [Music]


  • Week 1

    What is the Internet?

    • Introduction

      Let's get started to explore all about the Internet!

    • How is the world connected?

      Let's look at the Internet connection around us. And let's deepen our understanding of the Internet from the history of its birth.

    • What is digital data?

      The Internet carries digital data. Let's take a closer look at digital data on the Internet.

    • The Foundation of the Internet

      Let’s learn about the fundamental operations when computers communicate with each other as well as "addresses" and "names", which are the most important elements for the Internet to operate.

    • How does Data Travel on the Internet?

      How does the data of the website that you are looking at reach your smartphone from a remote computer? In this section, we will focus on the basic task of the Internet, "delivering data", and learn more about how it works.

    • Summary of the Week 1

      Recap what we learned in the week1.

  • Week 2

    How is the Internet working?

    • Design of the Internet

      Let’s further explore the Internet system that we learned about in Week 1 focusing specifically on the architecture and design of the Internet.

    • Quality of the Internet

      In this section, let's try to understand the quality of Internet communication, while taking a closer look at the IP and TCP mechanisms we've learned so far.

    • Technology for the Internet Infrastructure

      Let’s shift our focus to the part below those two layers, namely the physical layer, which actually sends the digital signals physically.

    • Summary of the Week 2

      Summary of the Week 2 and introduction of Week 3

  • Week 3

    Applications on the Internet

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Discussion about the applications from the Internet perspective.

    • Client-Server Model

      Let's learn the basic model of the Internet applications.

    • Secure Communication

      Secure communication is the fundamental functionality for the Internet as a social platform.

    • Network Engineering

      The Internet is evolving to meet the people and society's needs. Let's take a look at its challenges and solutions.

    • Network Computing

      The computers on the Internet are more integrated to become a stronger cloud for the service.

    • Summary of the Week 3

      Let's recap what you learned this week and discuss the future you will create.

  • Week 4

    Internet Based Society

    • Welcome to Week 4

      Let's discuss the global internet based society!

    • Global Collaboration for Internet Technology

      We will learn about the people and social structures that create, run, develop, and protect the Internet, and consider what an Internet-based society would be like.

    • Global Coordination for the Internet Operation

      Global Coordination for the Internet Operation

    • Global Collaboration for Governance

      Understand the current Internet Governance issues and how you can contribute.

    • REN - Research and Education Network

      There is a specialized Internet for research and education purpose connecting Universities and research institutes around the world. Why is it so important for our future?

    • Challenges to the Global Cyberspace

      The Internet is growing and evolving. Let's see some challenges we are facing today for the future.

    • Summary of the Course

      Recap what we learned and discuss the future!

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain what is the Internet
  • Explain how the Internet is running
  • Describe the technology behind the Internet
  • Discuss the importance of global collaboration to make the Internet
  • Discuss the individual responsibility for the future Internet
  • Discuss the future of the Internet
  • Evaluate your internet connectivity
  • Investigate the network problem in your house
  • Debate privacy and security issues related to the Internet
  • Explore your career in the Internet industry

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in the internet and how to be responsible a cyber citizen.

It’s particularly suited to those considering a career in internet engineering or computer networks.

Who will you learn with?

Distinguished Professor, Keio University
Founder, WIDE Project
"Internet Hall of Fame (Pioneer)"

Network operations & security research
Course navigator for "Understanding the Internet"
Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University

Who developed the course?

Keio University

Keio University is Japan’s first modern institution of higher learning, and since 1858 has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.

  • Established

  • Location

    Tokyo, Japan
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

APIE (Asia Pacific Internet Engineering Program)

The APIE program is designed and operated by the SOI Asia project, in partnership with APNIC, WIDE Project and AITAC.

Through the APIE program, we believe that students in the Asia Pacific region will learn Internet philosophy, practical skills for network operation and engineering, and collaboration in diversity, becoming professional network engineers who can contribute to the future of the Internet community in the area.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 20 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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