History of Internet

Long before the technology existed to actually build the Internet, many scientists had already anticipated the existence of worldwide networks of information.

The first workable prototype of the Internet came in the late 1960s with the creation of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, ARPANET used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate on a single network. The technology continued to grow in the 1970s after scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf developed Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a communications model that set standards for how data could be transmitted between multiple networks.

The Stanford University Network was the first local area network connecting distant workstations. In 1981, the NSF expanded ARPAnet to national computer science researchers when it funded the Computer Science Network (CSNET). BBN assumed CSNET operation management in 1984.

ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet.

The NSFNET eventually became a linked resource for the five supercomputing centers across the US, connecting researchers to regional networks, and then on to nearly 200 subsidiary networks. NSFNET took on the role of internet backbone across the US, with ARPAnet gradually phased out in 1990.

The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While it’s often confused with the Internet itself, the web is actually just the most common means of accessing data online in the form of websites and hyperlinks.

Eventually the NSFNET modified its acceptable use policy for commercial use, and by 1995, it was decommissioned. Soon, the internet provider model created network access points that allowed the for-profit, commercial side of the internet to be developed.

The internet went from being an obscure research idea to a technology that is used by over 3.2 billion people in less than sixty years.


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