Internet History

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Internet History

History of The Internet
The Internet is a worldwide connection of
thousands of computer
networks. All of them speak the same
language, TCP/IP, the standard
protocol. The Internet allows people with
access to these networks to share
information and knowledge. Resources
available on the Internet are chat
groups, e-mail, newsgroups, file transfers,
and the World Wide Web. The
Internet has no centralized authority and
it is uncensored. The Internet
belongs to everyone and to no one.

The Internet is structured in a hierarchy.

At the top, each country
has at least one public backbone network.

Backbone networks are made of
high speed lines that connect to other
backbones. There are thousands of
service providers and networks that connect
home or college users to the
backbone networks. Today, there are more
than fifty-thousand networks in
more than one-hundred countries worldwide.

However, it all started with one

In the early 1960’s the Cold War was
escalating and the United States
Government was faced with a problem. How
could the country communicate
after a nuclear war? The Pentagon’s
Advanced Research Projects Agency,
ARPA, had a solution. They would create a
non-centralized network that
linked from city to city, and base to base.

The network was designed to
function when parts of it were destroyed.

The network could not have a
center because it would be a primary target
for enemies. In 1969, ARPANET
was created, named after its original
Pentagon sponsor. There were four
supercomputer stations, called nodes, on
this high speed network.

ARPANET grew during the 1970’s as more and
more supercomputer stations
were added. The users of ARPANET had
changed the high speed network to an
electronic post office. Scientists and
researchers used ARPANET to
collaborate on projects and to trade notes.

Eventually, people used ARPANET
for leisure activities such as chatting.

Soon after, the mailing list was
developed. Mailing lists were discussion
groups of people who would send
their messages via e-mail to a group
address, and also receive messages.

This could be done twenty-four hours a day.

Interestingly, the first
group’s topic was called Science Fiction

As ARPANET became larger, a more
sophisticated and standard protocol
was needed. The protocol would have to link
users from other small networks
to ARPANET, the main network. The standard
protocol invented in 1977 was
called TCP/IP. Because of TCP/IP,
connecting to ARPANET by any other
network was made possible. In 1983, the
military portion of ARPANET broke
off and formed MILNET. The same year,
TCP/IP was made a standard and it was
being used by everyone. It linked all parts
of the branching complex
networks, which soon came to be called the

In 1985, the National Science Foundation
(NSF) began a program to
establish Internet access centered on its
six powerful supercomputer
stations across the United States. They
created a backbone called NSFNET to
connect college campuses via regional
networks to its supercomputer
centers. ARPANET officially expired in
1989. Most of the networks were
gained by NSFNET. The others became parts
of smaller networks. The Defense
Communications Agency shut down ARPANET
because its functions had been
taken over by NSFNET. Amazingly, when
ARPANET was turned off in June of
1990, no one except the network staff

In the early 1990’s the Internet
experienced explosive growth. It was
estimated that the number of computers
connected to the Internet was
doubling every year. It was also estimated
that at this rapid rate of
growth, everyone would have an e-mail
address by the year 2020. The main
cause of this growth was the creation of
the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web was created at CERN, a
physics laboratory in
Geneva, Switzerland. The Web’s development
was based on the transmission of
web pages over the Internet, called Hyper
Text Transmission Protocol or
HTTP. It is an interactive system for the
dissemination and retrieval of
information through web pages. The pages
may consist of text, pictures,
sound, music, voice, animations, and video.

Web pages can link to other web
pages by hypertext links. When there is
hypertext on a page, the user can
simply click on the link and be taken to
the new page. Previously, the
Internet was black and white, text, and
files. The web added color. Web
pages can provide entertainment,
information, or commercial advertisement.

The World Wide Web is the fastest growing
Internet resource. In conclusion,
the Internet has dramatically changed from
its original purpose. It was
formed by the United States government for
exclusive use of government
officials and the military to communicate
after a nuclear war. Today, the
Internet is used globally for a variety of
purposes. People can send their
friends an electronic “hello.” They can
download a recipe for a new type of
lasagna. They can argue about politics
on-line, and even shop and bank
electronically in their homes. The number
of people signing on-line is
still increasing and the end it not in
sight. As we approach the 21st
century, we are experiencing a great
transformation due to the Internet and
the World Wide Web. We are breaking through
the restrictions of the printed
page and the boundaries of nations and