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History of the Internet – An Invention That Changed the World

Here’s a Brief History of the Internet That That Has a Revolutionary Impact on Technology

Internet is one of the infrastructures for communications technologies and information that has a radical impact on culture, commerce, and various technologies. It’s something that most of our important work revolves around. Let’s be a child, a normal person like you and me, a Government official, or any top-level Business tycoon. The Internet has helped tremendously. Banking, online shopping, online studying, or transmission of sensitive information are some of the small examples anyone can think about when anyone hears the word Internet.

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” ~Bill Gates.

I think everyone is on the same page when someone says – In today’s date, the Internet is something everyone loves it, and many things from personal to office work are dependent on it.

But who invented this god level internet technology that everyone got adopted to it? What’s the history of the Internet? I think it’s a legit question that might come into mind.

So, if you’re of the same tribe who’s curious to know who that intelligent person was, who invented this Internet, or what’s the history of the Internet, then you’re at the right place. Here, we’re going to talk about the same topic.

What’s the Internet?

Put simply, the Internet itself is just one of the means to access data online via websites and hyperlinks. It’s the vast network that interconnects computers all over the world. Using the Internet, people can share information and communicate from any part of the globe using an Internet connection.

Who Invented This Amazing Internet?

It’s foreknown that the Internet is one of the comprehensive and everchanging technology, so it’s not possible to credit one single person for it. The Internet was the work of several pioneering scientists, engineers, and programmers that has contributed to developing new features and technology that eventually become one of the greatest inventions.

Before the technology came into existence, many scientists had played around the technology to make something similar. For instance, in the early 1900s, Nikola Tesla played with an idea of building a “world wireless system.” Another example is from the 1930s to 1940s, where Vannevar Bush and Paul Otlet invented searchable storage systems of media and books.

An idea of an Internet practically came into existence from the early 1960s due to MIT’s J.C.R. Licklider, who popularized the idea of “Intergalactic Network.” Shortly, the concept of “packet switching” came into existence to successfully transmit electronic data. Later, it also became one of the building blocks of this powerful technology Internet.

In the late 1960s, ARPANET’s creation (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) came into existence. It became the first workable prototype of the Internet, originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The first “node-to-node” communication from one computer to another took place on October 29, 1969, through ARPANET. The first computer was in a research lab at UCLA and another at Stanford.

Furthermore, ARPANET went ahead and on January 1, 1983, even adapted TCP/IP, and from there on, researchers started assembling the “network to networks” that came out as the modern Internet. Lastly, the online world took a more recognizable turn when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee came out with the World Wide Web.

Let’s Have a Brief Look at the History of the Internet

The Internet is made up of numerous computer networks that are networked (connected) with each other. From eCommerce to streaming movies, the Internet is the platform where technology thrives at their best. Despite daily usage of the Internet today, many lives believe that the Internet is one of the recent discoveries. However, it’s not true. Let’s have a deeper look at their origins and timeline to get a better idea about it.

1957

In 1957 on October 4, during the Cold War, the Soviet quietly launched Sputnik, its first spacecraft satellite, into orbit. Due to this launch, the United States Department of Defense came under pressure. They worked and researched science and technology projects on high priority and came up with an agency named ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency).

1961

The Rand Corporation got funded by the United States Air Force to move further with their research project, which was for the protection and transfer of critical information if any nuclear war happens.

1962

Paul Baron, a Polish American engineer from Rand Corporation, the pioneer in the network development, came up with the packets or dividing information into blocks concept and further sending the packets individually from one computer to another till it reaches the final destination. If any nuclear attack happens, packets of the information can be transmitted between computers.

1965

At MIT Lincoln Lab, two computers communicate for the first time successfully with one another through packet-switching technology.

1968

  • The ARPANET project was handed to BBN Planet (GTE). BBN (Beranek and Newman, Inc.) received its first Honeywell minicomputer (Honeywell 516) that contained 12 KB of RAM.
  • BBN reveals its final version of the IMP (Interface Message Processor) specifications.

1969

The packet switching network got funded by ARPA. And they also come out with their first four nodes, namely, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, U of Utah, and Stanford.

1971

In different institutes and universities of the United States, 23 minicomputers got connected by ARPANET by using the NCP (Network Control Protocol) for transferring data.

1972

  • New network email introduced by Global networking.
  • The INWG (Internetworking Working Group formed to address the need to establish standard protocols.

1973

New project for developing TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) started by an American computer scientist Vinton “Vint” Cerf and an American engineer and computer scientist Robert E. “Bob” Kahn at the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). On the other hand, ARPANET connected with England and Norway and became international.

1974

For the first time, the term called “Internet” was used in the notes of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn for the Transmission Control Protocol. Also, the publication of the design and implementation of TCP took place in IEEE Transactions on Communications.

1979

Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, and Steve Bellovin created Usenet with the help of UUCP (Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol).

1981

Wired on 56 Kbps speed, a separate network named CSNET created by the NSF (National Science Foundation) for institutions without ARPANET access. Later, Vint Cert proposed an idea to establish a connection between both CSNET and ARPANET. Also, the full specification of the TCP/IP protocol was created.

1982

In Europe, for the first time, Public WAN got introduced.

1983

  • In January 1983, NCP (Network Control Protocol) got replaced by TCP/IP, and it became ARPANET’s standard communication method.
  • An organization named IAB (Internet Activities Board) was created to oversee the Internet’s development and web research.
  • The University of Wisconsin created the DNS (Domain Name System).
  • ARPANET got connected with at least 500 hosts.
  • The Internet got fully active using three original networks and hosts running TCP/IP, namely, ARPANET, PRNET & SATNET.

1984

  • The ARPANET got divided into two separate networks, namely ARPANET itself and another MILNET. Here, ARPANET is kept only for educational and research purposes, and MILNET is used only for military purposes.
  • Now, around 1000 hosts are connected with ARPANET.
  • Germany came out with their first email.

1985

  • The very first domain of the world named Symbolics.com got registered. – Registration information can be found out on who.is.
  • Several institutions and universities got funded with supercomputer centers for making it available for universities around the country by the NSF (National Science Foundation).
  • Many universities linked up with the NSF network and used them for various reasons like research and education and newsgroups and email file transfer.

1986 – 1988

  • The NSF (National Science Foundation) continued to make their network named NSFNET, available for educational institutions. So, they can get a better and faster connection.
  • Merit Networks got hired by NSF, so they can help them boost the speed for their network.
  • Modern Email Routing System got developed by Craig Partridge.
  • One of the largest ISP (Internet Service Providers), UNNET got founded.
  • A network service provider CERFnet started their business.

1989

  • An engineer and the computer scientist, Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee from Great Britain, working at MIT and CERN Laboratory as a professor, invented WWW (World Wide Web) and started developing HTTP.
  • The very first commercial ISP (Internet Service Provider) named PSINET got founded.
  • WAIS, the very first Internet Publishing System got invented by Brewster Kahle.

1990

Alan Emtage, the postgraduate student at McGill University in Montreal, wrote the first Internet search engine Archie, a tool that’s used for indexing FTP archives. So, people can find a specific file.

1991

  • The 50Kbps ARPANET got obsolete by the Department of Defense, replaced by NSFNET (The National Science Foundation’s Network).
  • The first line browser called www used over the CERN network, and it also became publicly available.
  • The invention of a new protocol called Gopher took place.

1992

CERN made the WWW browser available for download through FTP, which also became one of the big boosts towards the WWW (World Wide Web).

1993

InterNIC consisting of three organizations, namely, AT&T, General Atomics, and Network Solutions, Inc., created by the National Science Foundation, where

  • AT&T got the responsibility for database services.
  • General Atomics handled information services.
  • Network Solutions, Inc. handled host and domain name registrations and IP assignments.

Note:

  • Network Solutions started registering services for .com, .org, .net, and .gov.
  • The NSF (National Science Foundation) started turning back from the internet business while designing a series of Network Access Points called NAPS. Further NSF, even invited private telecommunication companies for interconnecting at a series of single points.

1994

The tremendous growth of the Internet was witnessed due to the acceptance of commercial use.

The NSF (National Science Foundation) announced four network access points (NAPS):

  • Chicago by Ameritech
  • New York by Sprint
  • San Francisco by Pac Bell
  • Washington DC by Metropolitan Fiber Systems

An initial release of Internet Search Engines started:

  • Yahoo!
  • Netscape
  • Infoseek
  • Excite

1995

  • Apache project started.
  • The total number of Internet Hosts reached 4 Million.
  • Network Solutions Inc. acquired by SAIC.
  • Network Solutions started charging $100 fees for two years registrations of Domain Name Registration Services.
  • Amazon.com, eBay, and Craiglist goes live

New Internet Search Engine started:

  • Alta Vista
  • Go.com

1996

  • IANA gave IP Registration Authority to ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers).
  • The number of Internet hosts reaches a new level of 9 million.

1997

  • The number of Internet hosts reaches close to double. Now it has become 16 million in a mere one year.
  • Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings founded Netflix as a company that sends DVDs to users via mail.
  • On the new Microsoft Windows 95 version, PC makers got the right to remove or hide Microsoft’s Internet software.

1998

  • CANN (Internet Corporation formed Assigned Names and Numbers) was formed.
  • The official launch of the Google search engine for public use took place.
  • The Internet Protocol version 6 came into existence for the future growth of Internet Addresses.

1999

  • AOL bought Netscape.
  • As Napster got online, P2P (Peer-To-Peer) file sharing becomes a reality.

2000

  • Due to a DDoS attack, the dot-com bubble bursts.
  • Websites like Yahoo! and eBay got hit by large scale denial of service attack that highlighted the Internet’s vulnerability.

2001

  • Napster got shut down by a federal judge due to the sharing of copyrighted material before going online.

2003

  • Launch of WordPress, the blog publishing platform.
  • The SQL worm named SQL Slammer spread globally within 10 minutes.
  • The debut of Skype, Myspace, and the Safari Web browser.

2004

  • Born of Facebook, the remarkable year and turning point of the social media community.
  • Mozilla comes out with its browser Mozilla Firefox.

2005

  • YouTube & Reddit goes online.

2006

  • A new social media platform called Twitter goes live.
  • The Internet Governance Forum happens to meet for the very first time.
  • AOL radically changed its business model by making most of its service free and relying on advertising revenue.

2009

  • The Internet celebrated its 40th anniversary.

2010

  • Facebook got 400 million active users.
  • Launch of Instagram and Pinterest.

2014

  • For the safer internet experience of users, Google & other popular Browser community started enforcing the Internet with HTTPS.

2016

  • Launch of Google Assistant

2018

  • Chatbot started trending.

Concluding thoughts

If Internet history is something unheard of you, then go through this blog, and you’ll get an idea about it. It informs what event occurred in which year and how it has helped shape the Internet everyone is using today.

Please let’s know in the comment section below whether you liked this article or you know something that we’ve missed over here.

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