The Aethernet is Earth's current version of the Intenet in the 22nd century. It is modeled after the Galactic Union's GalNet.

From the Books: "Jim closed his eyes and let himself slip into the Aethernet through his pinplants. It was only his own personal node, but he’d been working on it for a year. Building, improving, and creating his own world. A long time ago people would have called it virtual reality. But that was before Aetherware was invented. Inside the Aethernet, his mind linked directly via synaptic relay, was better than reality. Especially his current reality." - Cartwright's Cavaliers, p. 15.