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Computer Science Network (CSNet)

Definition - What does Computer Science Network (CSNet) mean?

The Computer Science Network (CSNet) is a now-defunct computer network designed to extend networking benefits to universities and institutions that could not be directly connected to ARPANET. CSNet was funded by the National Science Foundation from its inception in 1981 until 1984.

CSNet was a major milestone in providing access to national networking, which contributed to the development of the Internet. In 1991, the establishment of regional networks rendered CSNet redundant and the project was shut down.

Techopedia explains Computer Science Network (CSNet)

CSNet began by connecting just a few institutions, but eventually expanded to connect more than 180 institutions worldwide. CSNet was founded to create a network that would be open to all computer researchers in the United States. This was to be supported by their payment of fixed annual dues and usage fees. CSNet was initially made up of three subnets: ARPANET, Telenet and Phonenet.

The CSNET project had three primary components: email relay, name service and TCP/IP-over-X.25 tunnelling technology. Users initially accessed CSNet via email relaying, through specific gateways, over dial-up, or X.29/X.25 terminal emulation. CSNet later added TCP/IP.
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