The brief History of Internet

Today we all take for granted that we should have instant access to the Internet regardless if we're at home or at work. We can even browse the web while on the go thanks to cell phones. It obviously hasn't been like this for ages and to help clarify the progress of the Internet we've written you a timeline with the most important things happening. Although the Internet only has a brief history it's a very interesting one - especially because things have happened so fast. What one thought was impossible some 20 years ago is now a reality for all web users.
1950's

1957 - It was this year that the USSR launched 'Sputnik', the first artificial earth satellite. The United States in reply formed the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within the Department of Defense (DoD) to create US lead in science and technology applicable to the military.
Backbones: None - Hosts: None
1960's

1962 - The U.S. Air Force commissioned Rand Paul Baran, of the RAND Corporation (a government agency), to do a study on how it could maintain its control and command over its missiles and bombers, after a nuclear attack. It was to be a military research network that could survive a nuclear strike. It was decentralized so that if any locations in the U.S. were attacked, the military could still have control of nuclear arms for a counter-attack.

Baran's completed document explained the different ways to achieve this. His final proposal was a packet switched network - "Packet switching is the breaking down of data into datagrams or packets that are labeled to indicate the origin and the destination of the information and the forwarding of these packets from one computer to another computer until the information arrives at its final destination computer. This was crucial to the realization of a computer network. If packets are lost at any given point, the message can be resent by the originator."
Backbones: None - Hosts: None

1968 - ARPA awarded the ARPANET contract to BBN. BBN had chosen a Honeywell minicomputer as the base to build the switch on. In 1969 the actual, physical network was constructed linking four nodes: University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah, University of California at Los Angeles, and SRI (in Stanford. The network was wired together via 50 Kbps circuits.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 4
1970's

1972 - Ray Tomlinson of BBN created the first e-mail program. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was renamed The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA) ARPANET was currently using the Network Control Protocol or NCP to transfer data, allowing communications between hosts running on the same network.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 23

1973 - DARPA began development on the protocol which was later to be called TCP/IP. It was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow varied computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 23+

1974 - It was in 1974 the term Internet was first used by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in paper on Transmission Control Protocol.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET - Hosts: 23

1976 - Ethernet was developed by Dr. Robert M. Metcalfe which allowed coaxial cable to move data extremely fast. This was a crucial component to the development of LANs. The packet satellite project was then put to practical use and Atlantic packet Satellite network, SATNET was born. It was this network that linked the United States with Europe. But surprisingly it used INTELSAT satellites that were owned by a consortium of countries and not exclusively the United States government. It was in AT&T Bell Labs that UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) was developed and distributed with UNIX one year later. The Department of Defense began to experiment with the TCP/IP protocol and soon decided to require it for use on ARPANET.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 111+

1979 - USENET (the decentralized news group network) was developed by Steve Bellovin, a graduate student at University of North Carolina along with other programmers Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. It was based on UUCP. The Creation of BITNET, by IBM, "Because its Time Network", introduced the "store and forward" network. It was used for email and listservs.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 111+
1980's

1981 - National Science Foundation created backbone called CSNET 56 Kbps network for institutions without access to ARPANET. Vinton Cerf came up with a plan for an inter-network connection between CSNET and the ARPANET.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 21

1983 - This year saw the creation of Internet Activities Board (IAB). On January 1st, every machine connected to ARPANET had to use TCP/IP. NCP was replaced entirely and TCP/IP became the core Internet protocol. The University of Wisconsin created Domain Name System (DNS). This allowed packets to be directed to a domain name, which would be translated by the server database into the corresponding IP number. This made it much easier for people to access other servers, as there was no need to remember numbers.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 562 Hosts: 111+

1984 - The ARPANET was divided into two networks and the Department of Defense continued to support both networks. The networks were ARPANET and MILNET. ARPANET was to support the advanced research component, and MILNET was to serve the needs of the military. MCI was given the contract to upgrade to CSNET. New circuits would be T1 lines, 1.5 Mbps which is twenty-five times faster than the old 56 Kbps lines. IBM was to provide advanced routers and Merit to manage the network. New network was to be called NSFNET (National Science Foundation Network), and old lines were to remain called CSNET.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 1024

1985 - The National Science Foundation began deploying its new T1 lines, which were finished by 1988.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, 1.544Mbps (T1) NSFNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 1961

1986 - IETF or The Internet Engineering Task Force was developed to serve as a forum for technical coordination by contractors for DARPA working on ARPANET, US Defense Data Network (DDN), and the Internet core gateway system.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, 1.544Mbps (T1) NSFNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 2308

1987 - BITNET and CSNET were merged to form the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN), another work of the National Science Foundation.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, 1.544Mbps (T1) NSFNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 28,174

1988 - Soon after the completion of the T1 NSFNET backbone, traffic increased so quickly that they had to immediately start upgrading the network again.
Backbones: 50Kbps ARPANET, 56Kbps CSNET, 1.544Mbps (T1) NSFNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 56,000
1990's

1990 - IBM, Merit and MCI formed a non-profit corporation called ANS, Advanced Network & Services. This was formed to conduct research into high speed networking. It soon came up with the idea of the T3, a 45 Mbps line. NSF immediately adopted the new network and by the end of 1991 all of its sites were connected by this new backbone. While the T3 lines were being constructed, the ARPANET was disbanded by the Department of Defense and replaced it by the NSFNET backbone. The original 50Kbs lines of ARPANET were taken out of service. Tim Berners-Lee and CERN in Geneva implemented a hypertext system to provide efficient information access to the members of the international high-energy physics community.
Backbones: 56Kbps CSNET, 1.544Mbps (T1) NSFNET, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 313,000

1991 - CSNET (which consisted of 56Kbps lines) was discontinued after fulfilling its important early role in the provision of academic networking service. A key feature of CREN is that its operational costs are fully met through dues paid by its member organizations. The NSF established a new network, named NREN, the National Research and Education Network. The objective of this network was to conduct high speed networking research. It was not to be used as a commercial network, nor was it to be used to send a lot of the data that the Internet now transfers.
Backbones: Partial 45Mbps (T3) NSFNET, a few private backbones, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 617,000

1992 - In this year the Internet Society was chartered. World-Wide Web was released by CERN. NSFNET backbone was upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps)
Backbones: 45Mbps (T3) NSFNET, private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 1,136,000

1993 - The InterNIC was created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: directory and database services (by AT&T), registration services (by Network Solutions Inc.), and information services (by General Atomics/CERFnet). Marc Andreessen and NCSA and the University of Illinois developed a graphical user interface to the WWW, called "Mosaic for X". Search engine Lycos was created, as a university project.
Backbones: 45Mbps (T3) NSFNET, private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, and 45Mpbs lines, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 2,056,000

1994 - This year saw no major changes to the physical network. Growth was the most important thing that happened. Many new networks were added to the NSF backbone. Hundreds of thousands of new hosts were added to the INTERNET during this time period. Pizza Hut offers pizza ordering on its Web page. First Virtual, the first cyberbank, opens. ATM (Asynchronous Transmission Mode, 145Mbps) backbone is installed on NSFNET. WebCrawler, the first full-text Search Engine was created.
Backbones: 145Mbps (ATM) NSFNET, private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, and 45Mpbs lines, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 3,864,000

1995 - The National Science Foundation discontinued direct access to the NSF backbone from April 30, 1995. The National Science Foundation contracted with four companies that would be providers of access to the NSF backbone (Merit). These companies would then sell connections to groups, organizations, and companies. $50 annual fee is imposed on domains, excluding .edu and .gov domains which are still funded by the National Science Foundation. Industry leaders, at least at the time, Yahoo! and Altavista were founded.
Backbones: 145Mbps (ATM) NSFNET (now private), private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, 45Mpbs, 155Mpbs lines in construction, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: 6,642,000

1996 - Most Internet traffic is carried by backbones of independent ISPs, including MCI, AT&T, Sprint, UUNet, BBN planet, ANS, and more. Currently the Internet Society, the group that controls the INTERNET, is trying to figure out new TCP/IP to be able to have billions of addresses, rather than the limited system of today. The problem that has arisen is that it is not known how both the old and the new addressing systems will be able to work at the same time during a transition period.
Backbones: 145Mbps (ATM) NSFNET (now private), private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, 45Mpbs, and 155Mpbs lines, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: over 15,000,000, and growing rapidly
2000's

The early 2000's is heavily connected with the dot-com bubble that really created a stir in the whole web industry. Reaching an audience of millions was suddenly possible at a low cost and this made opportunists and venture capitalists go crazy. Many of these people were truly talented but the majority was just people with ideas and not much else. They thought they could make some quick and easy cash. However, when the big companies with already strong brand names started launching their own sites a lot of peoples hope was shattered. They simply lacked the ability to compete with these businesses. The bubble burst in March 2000 and by 2001 the deflation was at full speed. Many lost all of their capital without ever having made any profit.

A report done by JupiterResearch shows that 1.1 billion people currently are taking advantage of regular access to the Internet. The same report anticipates that the number of people with online access will increase with 38 percent between 2006 and 2011. One can only say that the future of the web is looking bright.
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