The Evolution of the Internet and How We Got Here

Internet slowly but surely became an integral part of our lives, and it is a type of invention that changed how we communicate, interact, and learn. But it wasn’t always like this. Before social networks, entertainment and shopping platforms we were not that obsessed with going online. Here we will go back to the mid 20th century and see how it all began, and also see how the world wide web gradually evolved.  

DARPA

Back in 1958  Neil McElroy or Secretary of Defense launched ARPA which stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency, which eventually became Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA. The creation of this agency is what led to the creation of the World Wide Web. DARPA was initially created out of fear from the Soviet Union as they launched Sputnik 1, and thus an attack from out of space became a major concern.   

This national defense network needed phone lines and wires in order to exist and function which as we all know was not the idea. Since these lines and wires could be damaged and they needed something that could help them stay connected even in the event of a nuclear attack. So they decided to connect computers and created a network called ARPAnet. Thanks to Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, who were military contractors an initial model of routing devices was developed and it was called IPM which stands for interface message processor.

IPM

IPM was an invention that brought data transmission to a whole new level. The very first network area that was connected to the workstation was Stanford University. Back in 1983 ARPAnet accepted transmission control protocol and isolated military network. In 1985 National Science Foundation Network was launched and university computers from all over the US were connected to it. Some time down the line The NSFNET and five supercomputing centers became linked, and as a result, researchers were connected to a regional network that they could use.   

Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Another major breakthrough happened in 1989 when CERN’s researcher Tim Berners-Lee created hypertext transfer protocol, also known as Http. This enabled other computers to visit different internet sites as it standardizes how computers and servers communicate. It is the reason why Tim is often seen as the creator or father of WWW (World Wide Web). 

Web Browsers

Believe it or not, there is an even older browser than a prehistoric but iconic Internet Explorer. Back in 1993, one of the first browsers was created and it was called Mosaic, and when you think about it, this is really an ideal name for something like that. This web browser was highly praised as it was able to show images along with the text and was actually a solid basis for the browsers we use today. 

The final piece of the puzzle

In 1995 everything changed as network access points were created that actually allowed the internet to be used for profit. Once this commercial side was unleashed everything aligned and the pathway to where we now become clear. With a growing user base, the marketing efforts were geared towards the online audience, and everyone started to think about how to create an enticing virtual presence. What was once an obscure tech primarily used by the military has become a way of life for many, and over 3 billion people are using the internet today. It is really a massive leap when you take into consideration that it only took 60 years to get here.