History of the Internet

  • The Beginning of the Internet

    President Eisenhower requests funds to create ARPA. Approved as a line item in Air Force appropriations bill.
  • The Packet Switch

    Len Kleinrock, Professor of Computer Science at UCLA, writes first paper on packet switching, "Information Flow in Large Communications Nets." Paper published in RLE Quarterly Progress Report.
  • ARPA

    •J.C.R. Licklider & W. Clark write first paper on Internet Concept, "On-Line Man Computer Communications."
    • Len Kleinrock writes Communication Nets, which describes design for packet switching network; used for ARPAnet
  • The Message Blocks

    Paul Baran writes, "On Distributed Communications Networks," first paper on using message blocks to send info across a decentralized networktopology.
  • Computers Talked

    First Network Experiment: Directed by Larry Roberts at MIT Lincoln Lab, two computers talked to each other using packet-switching technology.
  • The ARPA Project

    ARPA project begins. Larry Roberts is chief scientist.
  • The Contract

    ARPANet contract given to Bolt, Beranek & Newman (BBN) in Cambridge, Mass.
  • The First Node

    First ARPANet node installed at UCLA Network Measurement Center. Kleinrock hooked up the Interface Message Processor to a Sigma 7 Computer.
  • The Second Node

    Second node installed at Stanford Research Institute; connected to a SDS 940 computer. The first ARPANet message sent: "lo." Trying to spell log-in, but the system crashed!
  • The Third Node

    Third node installed at University of California, Santa Barbara. Connected to an IBM 360/75.
  • The Fourth Node

    Fourth node installed at University of Utah. Connected to a DEC PDP-10.
  • The Fifth Node

    Fifth node installed at BBN, across the country in Cambridge, Mass.
  • The Packet Radio Network

    Alohanet, first packet radio network, became operational at University of Hawaii.
  • The @ Sign

    The @ Sign
    First basic e-mail programs written by Ray Tomlinson at BBN for ARPANET: SNDMSG and READMAIL. "@" sign chosen for its "at" meaning.
  • The First International Connection

    First ARPANET international connections to University College of London (England) and NORSAR (Norway).
  • The Processor

    • Intel releases the 8080 processor.
    • Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection," which details the design of TCP.
  • The Apple & the Queen

    •Apple Computer founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
    • Queen Elizabeth II sends out an e-mail.
    • Vint Cerf joins ARPA as program manager.
  • TCP

    TCP split into TCP and IP
  • 3Com

    Bob Metcalfe and others found 3Com (Computer Communication Compatibility).
  • Enquire Within

    Enquire Within
    Tim Berners-Lee writes program called "Enquire Within," predecessor to the World Wide Web
  • PC & DOS

    IBM announces its first Personal Computer.
    Microsoft creates DOS.
  • Cisco

    Cisco Systems founded.
  • Domain Name

    Domain Name
    Domain Name System (DNS) designed by Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris, and Craig Partridge. .edu, .gov, .com, .mil, .org, .net, and .int created.
  • Cyberspace and Mac

    • William Gibson writes "Neuromancer." Coins the term "cyberspace".
    • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh on January 24th.

    Symbolic ".com" becomes the first registered domain
  • The Hosts

    5000 hosts on ARPAnet/Internet
  • The Host Increases

    • 10,000 hosts on the Internet.
    • First Cisco routershipped.
    • 25 million PCs sold in US.
  • DNS Privatization

    US Depart of Commerce outlines proposal to privatize DNS. ICANN created by Jon Postel to oversee privatization. Jon Postel dies.
  • McAfee & AOL

    • 100,000 hosts on Internet.
    • McAfee Associates founded; anti-virus software available for free. Quantum becomes America Online.
  • The World Wide Web

    ARPAnet ends. Tim Berners-Lee creates the World Wide Web.
  • Surfing

    "Surfing the Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly.
  • The Web Grows

    •Mosaic Web browser developed by Marc Andreesen at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
    • InterNICcreated.
    • Web grows by 341,000 percent in a year.
  • Amazon & Netscape

    • Netscape Communications founded.
    • Jeff Bezos writes the business plan for
    • Java's first public demonstration.
  • Windows 95

    Microsoft licenses technology from Spyglass to create Web browser for Windows 95
  • Java

    Sun Microsystems releases Java.
  • Windows Release

    Windows 95 released.
  • The Browser Wars

    Domain name sold to CNET for $15,000. Browser wars begin. Netscape and Microsoft two biggest players.
  • sold for $150,000.
  • The Browser War

    Microsoft reaches a partial settlement with the Justice Department that allows personal computer makers to remove or hide its Internet software on new versions of Windows 95. Netscape announces plans to give its browser away for free.
  • The Copyright War

    •AOL buys Netscape; Andreesen steps down as full-time employee.
    • Browsers wars declared over; Netscape and Microsoft share almost 100% of browser market.
    • Microsoft declared a monopoly by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.
    •Shawn Fanning creates Napster, opening the possibilities of peer-to-peer file sharing and igniting a copyright war in the music industry.
  • Hi-Speed Internet

    Fixed wireless, high-speed Internet technology is now seen as a viable alternative to copper and fiber optic lines placed in the ground. The Dot-Com Bubble bursts. A majority of the dot-coms ceased trading after burning through their venture capital, often without ever making a net profit.
  • The Merger

    • AOL Merges with Time-Warner. AOL shareholders take 55% stake in newly formed company.
  • Internet Security

    A large-scale denial of service attack is launched against some major Web sites like Yahoo! and eBay, alerting Web sites to the need for tighter security measures. 10,000,000 domain names have been registered.
  • The Number Double

    There are 20,000,000 websites on the Internet, numbers doubling since February 2000.
  • Virus Attack

    A federal judge rules that Napster must remain offline until it can prevent copyrighted material from being shared by its users. The Code Red worm and Sircam virus infiltrate thousands of web servers and email accounts, respectively, causing a spike in Internet bandwidth usage and security breaches.
  • Treaty on Internet Offense

    The European Council adopts the first treaty addressing criminal offenses committed over the Internet. First uncompressed real-time gigabit HDTV transmission across a wide-area IP network takes place on Internet2.

    .name begins resolving
  • Unofficial 20th Birthday

    The SQL Slammer worm causes one of the largest and fastest spreading DDoS attacks ever, taking only 10 minutes to spread worldwide. The Internet celebrates its 'unofficial' 20th birthday.
  • Copyrighted Music

    The RIAA sues 261 individuals for allegedly distributing copyright music files over peer-to-peer networks
  • The Numbers

    The Research project "How much information 2003" finds that Instant messaging generates five billion messages a day (750GB), or 274 Terabytes a year and that e-mail generates about 400,000 terabytes of new information each year worldwide.
  • Youtube

    . launches
  • The Number Soars Higher

    There are an estimated 92 million Web sites online
  • Blue Security Attack

    A massive DDOS assault on Blue Security, an anti-spam company, is redirected by Blue Security staff to their Movable Type-hosted blog. The result is that the DDOS instead knocks out all access to over 1.8 million active blogs.
  • AOL Freebies

    AOL announces that they will give for free virtually every service for which it charged a monthly fee, with income coming instead from advertising.
  • Google Acquires Youtube

    There are an estimated 92 million Web sites online (some stats say over 100 million) Google Inc. acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction.
  • Vista

    Microsoft launches its various consumer versions of Microsoft Vista.
  • iTunes

    Apple surpasses one billion iTunes downloads.
  • Internet Users

    1.114 billion people use the Internet according to Internet World Stats.
  • Internet MVP

    Search engine giant Google surpasses Microsoft as "the most valuable global brand," and also is the most visited Web site.