History of the Internet
The United States Department of Defense (DOD) created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1958. They were later persuaded by physicists to fund research for developing a computer network that would connect scientists and engineers across the country. They began developing the network, ARPANET, in 1969.
ARPANET’s first big innovation was packet switching. Packet switching is the process of computers sending messages, or packets, along a set of wires. Every packet had an address label and would be sent from computer to computer until it reached its destination. To make packet switching more efficient, the Transmission Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) was established. The TCP/IP became the standard way of formatting packets and assigning addresses. This connected networks to each other and created the Internet.
Since the majority of APRANET’s packets were emails, it made sending them tedious. Some email programs required an address list of every computer it passed through from sender to receiver. Because of this, engineers came up with the Domain Name System (DNS), commonly known as “.com” or “.org.” The DNS became responsible for getting packets to their destination and still is today.
The first Internet Service Provider (ISP) was created in 1989. It connected people to local networks and the Internet. In 1990, ARPANET was replaced with the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet). It wasn’t until Congress passed a law allowing commercial traffic on NSFNet that the number of ISPs began to rise. In 1995, NSFNet shut down and transferred all responsibilities to ISPs.
Because phone lines were in place from when ARPANET was connected, Dial-Up connection used them to connect to other computers on the network. The computer placed a phone call through a modem which used digital signals in computers and analog signals in landline phones. Dial-Up connection was very slow. Transmitting information required high frequency, and phone lines weren’t designed to do that.
Finding information on the Internet began to speed up shortly after. This is because of the invention of the World Wide Web. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau created a way to navigate the Internet easily with hypertext. The web links a search to other related web pages, which are also known as early web browsers.