The History of the Internet

  • The first computer

    The first computer
    People had started making computers around the same time as World War II. Computers back then used to be large, expensive as well as unable to solve much information. It wasn’t until a team led by physicist Richard Feynman had found a way of solving many problems at once.
  • The origins of the internet

    The origins of the internet
    Due to how The Cold War was at its peak (a war between North America and the Soviet Union), the US realised it needed a communication system. A system that could not be affected by the Soviet nuclear attack in any way. At this time, computers still had not changed nor upgraded. They were still large, expensive machines. Though then, computers were only exclusively used by military scientists and university staff.
  • Before the internet

    Before the internet
    Before 1920, there was no such thing as ‘the internet’ or ‘a computer’. Back then, people lived a simple life, drastically different in comparison to ours nowadays.
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    The start of packet switching

    Back then, when a person called another, they had to call a switchboard operator first. Engineers knew that computers sent messages too quickly to make circuit switching practical. The alternative was packet switching. Where different computers could send messages along with the same set of wires. Every packet included an address label and a string of numbers representing where the computer was headed. The computer would then search for the address, and send a packet towards the destination.
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    The beginning of something new

    It was in the 1960s when some colleges were separating their computer. Someone would type their program from the computers themselves. This made it easy for lots of people to experiment with the new machines, while still being able to keep the circuits and tubes safe.
  • ARPANET was born

    ARPANET was born
    A computer enthusiast named Joseph Licklider helped convince the ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency), to fund research in a computer network. Within this project, it would connect many scientists and engineers throughout the country. A few key colleges agreed to be involved and ARPA started building this network. ARPANET was finally created in 1969, being the first network of its kind.
  • Packet switching discovering difficulties

    Packet switching discovering difficulties
    Even though packet switching had worked quite well for ARPANET in the beginning, problems started to pop up over the next couple of years, as more computers joined. The packet switching required every computer to always keep an updated list of all the other computers addresses. Since the network continuously grew, whenever a computers address changes, it would temporarily disconnect from the network. Updating the address book was also difficult due to all these complications and difficulties.
  • The growth of ARPANET

    The growth of ARPANET
    Although ARPANET started quite small, it was known to be more of a messaging service between computers at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University and the University of Utah. ARPANET grew over the next couple of decades, with many different and unique features added. These features were able to solve diverse problems. These features are also the features that shape everything we do online.
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    Stanford’s help in ARPANET’s grow

    This quick-fix allowed ARPANET to keep growing throughout the seventies, with sixty computers in 1974, and over 100 by 1977. Soon, satellites connected California and Hawaii, stretching ARPANET to what had been one of the most isolated places in the world. Then, ARPANET extended to England and Norway.
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    Selling access to the network

    In the 1970s, companies started selling access to the network. Even though some people were not connected to the central internet, they could still send emails, check weather reports, play games and even chat online. There, some of the first-ever chatting platforms were created. On CompuServe’s MicroNet (CompuServe Information Service or CIS), people were even able to read stories from newspapers. Although Micronet was only available during nights and weekends.
  • Emails

    Emails were created in 1971. Different computers had different email programs. A few computers required a list of every computer it would pass between the sender and receiver. This meant people would have to keep an updated map of the entire network by their desks at all times. People would also have to type their chosen path before they could send it.
  • The beginning of Stanford

    The beginning of Stanford
    Due to all the problems caused by packet switching, ARPANET’s engineers scrapped that system and selected Stanford as their official record-keeper.
  • Emails growing

    Emails growing
    By 1973, emails made up more than three-quarters of ARPANET’S packets.
  • Domain Name System

    Domain Name System
    ARPANET’s engineers realized that the structure of the internet had to be changed, so they came up with the Domain Name System (DNS). Instead of everyone being in a random order, people were organized into domains. The top-level domains included “.com’s” and “.edu’s”. There was also a second-level domain. The domain structure organized all hosts from all around the world, in a way computers could handle. The DNS’s job was to check and plan out everything before sending the email.
  • Needing another update

    Needing another update
    The number of people that kept joining APARNET grew and grew, while the users were switching addresses and downloading the updated address book, the record keepers were becoming overwhelmed. Every once in a while, the Stanford list would have errors that messed up communication throughout the whole network.
  • Connecting networks

    Connecting networks
    Connecting networks was a problem that had mostly been solved in 1974. The solution was a set of programs called TCP/IP or (transmission Control Protocol/Internet). The TCP was a way of formatting packets so that everyone spoke the same language. IP was another way of giving out addresses so there was no confusion about where a package was headed. Once networks began using TCP/IP, connecting them became easier. All the different networks were connected, forming what became known as the internet.
  • Other networks

    Other networks
    By the mid-70s, ARPANET was not the only network in town. Similar networks were popping up all over the world, some with even more computers on them. Everyone formatted their own packets differently.
  • Computer rooms

    Computer rooms
    Computer rooms or computer buildings later became known as data centres, which were used by many tech companies. Lots of start-ups needed computer space to store all their data, and computer speed to handle all the users on their websites. Instead of maintaining your own device, you could pay a data centre to do it all for you. Even after a lot of these start-ups went bankrupt, data centres held onto their role in handling a lot of the traffic for the larger companies.
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    Networks banned from the internet

    No matter how big networks got, no networks were ever allowed on the internet. It was acceptable to use the internet to download data or email your colleagues. Though, advertising and charging the public were both not permitted. The internet was used for research, not making a profit.
  • National Science Foundation (NSFNET)

    National Science Foundation (NSFNET)
    Since the ARPANET administrators had accomplished their goals, the US Department of Defence wanted to move on. The National Science Foundation’s, NSFNET, seemed to be the best candidate. This network started in 1986 and grew so quickly after connecting to ARPANET. In less than a year, it already needed major upgrades to handle new traffic.
  • Computer user count

    Computer user count
    There were approximately twenty thousand computers by the end of 1987.
  • Policy about banning commercial traffic

    The NSFNET also had a policy about banning commercial traffic on the network, but in 1988, they decided to try connecting a couple of the private networks’ email servers to the NSFNET.
  • The first commercial emails

    The first commercial emails
    CompuServe and an email service named MCI mail were the first to send commercial emails across the internet.
  • Questions about the future

    Questions about the future
    In 1989, questions started exploding from everywhere. Questions such as, “Should the internet become accessible to the public?”, “Who should be trusted?” and “Who can run the internet?”, were known to be some of the largest questions.
  • First commercial ISP

     First commercial ISP
    The first commercial ISP was by a company named “The World” which opened near Boston. Though, some people say it was first made in Australia instead. Others say, there weren’t any true ISP’s until Congress passed.
  • First internet providers

    The first internet providers were a group named the ISP’s. The ISP’s were networks that usually didn’t have any users of their own, but connected people to a local network or internet instead.
  • Department of Defence’s goal

    During the late 1980s, the US Department of Defence realized that it had long since accomplished its goal. They served as the backbone of a global network of thousands of universities, companies, governments. They decided to end the ARPANET project, yet and needed someone to take over, someone to run the internet.
  • NSFNET officially replaced ARPANET

    NSFNET officially replaced ARPANET in 1990, with its more than half a million users.
  • The Congress Law

    The Congress Law was a law passed in 1992 allowing commercial traffic on NSFNET.
  • The web made public

    The web made public
    Tim Berners-lee and his colleague Robert Calliau had the idea of adding hypertext into the web. In 1993, the worldwide web was made public.
  • Netscape navigator

    Netscape navigator
    Netscape was made in 1994.
  • GeoCities was made

    GeoCities was made
    GeoCities was one of the first social networking sites. Anyone in GeoCities could make an account there and create their own websites with all their chosen information, formatting, backgrounds and interests. GeoCities mixed together users and creators because everyone with an account was both at the same time. Users could send each other messages, join communities of pages with similar topics and interests, creating whole sections of sites that focussed on any topic imagined.
  • NSFNET shut down

    NSFNET shut down in 1995, handing everything to the ISP’s.
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    Investing in small companies

    Rich investors started piling in money to companies without worrying if they were making a profit or not, old rules for being cautious about investing in young companies didn’t apply anymore, and all anyone needed was a good idea and enough money to reach an audience.
  • GeoCities created a community

    GeoCities created a community
    The 19 million users made GeoCities the third-most-popular site on the web, behind AOL and Yahoo! The same year, Yahoo! bought GeoCities for 3.6 billion dollars. Unfortunately, it fell on hard times after the “.com” bubble burst, and never managed to regain its former glory.
  • Companies Becoming Bankrupt

    Companies Becoming Bankrupt
    When the “.com” bubble burst in 2000, stocks in tech companies plummeted for the next couple of years, over half of them declared bankruptcy, eventually losing trillions of dollars. Companies like Microsoft and Napster placed limitations on what could be done with the internet. Napster had been one of the fastest-growing businesses in history, but it went bankrupt paying back musicians for copyright infringement. Microsoft barely avoided bankruptcy after violating antitrust laws.
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    Ending the chaos on a positive note

    This chaos left a few well-run companies to quietly become empires.
  • Friendster

    Friendster was launched in 2002, giving each user their own profile and a way of seeing different networks of friends on the site. It quickly became popular with the 3 million accounts it had gathered within the first 3 months, though that was when it was struck by technical troubles and only after a few years, it had fewer users than Myspace.
  • Switching to broadband

    Switching to broadband
    Instead of using dial-up, most people had switched over to broadband. This was because dial-up has a built-in speed limit. Based on how phone lines were made, the fastest dial-up connection could only receive or transmit about 56 kilobits per second (56,000 ones and zeros in or out the computer per second). The DSL transmits digital data along phone lines instead of analog signals like dial-up does, and cable uses the wires for a cable box to connect to the internet.
  • Shutting down GeoCities

    Shutting down GeoCities
    Yahoo! finally shut down most of GeoCities, when it had long since been surpassed by other cites that took the idea of social networking.
  • Protesting about uncensored internet access

    Protesting about uncensored internet access
    In 2016, the United Nations declared uncensored internet access was a human right that deserves protection.
  • Now days – The Modern Age

    Now days – The Modern Age
    Nowadays, the internet is one of the most effective methods of communicating, with more than 50% of the world's population being active internet users. Furthermore, data has become more relevant, for example, your YouTube recommended list. Everyone has a completely different recommended list because no one’s watched the same videos you have, in the same order, for the same amount of time, from the same places in the world. However, the internet is still continuously being improved and modified.