What Does Catenet Mean?

Catenet is an obsolete term for the global internet that was developed very early in the process of structuring simple packet-switched communication networks.


The term originally referred to the concatenation of various local area networks.

Techopedia Explains Catenet

Although the term Catenet was used in some models to describe early versions of the internet, the latter term won out.

Catenet was used into the late 1980s, but eventually the term internet evolved from the kinds of consumer-facing networks that emerged out of the ARPANET military network development projects that preceded the public internet.

Along with the term “internet,” which became the popular way to refer to global packet-switched networking, the term world wide web was also widely used, and the two terms continue to coexist to this day, whereas Catenet has become obsolete and is no longer used as a standard term.

It is worth pointing out that the internet is probably a more accurate way to describe today’s network in that, while the early regional networks were mainly concatenated local area networks, today’s model involves a much more sophisticated handling of network traffic that would not usually be described as simple concatenation but as an interconnecting network or internet.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…