History Of The Internet Timeline

In 2011 the Internet has become an integral part of everyone's lives. Although every business in America uses the Internet everyday most people still don't know how this technological wonder came to be. The timeline below outlines the creation of the Internet and many of the important milestones leading up to where we are today.

Early Evolution Of The Internet

The Internet first evolved by connecting several independent wide-area networks together. One of the most influential was ARPANET, which was funded by the department of defense. The first implementation of ARPANET was designed by a company called BBN. The protocols that were first used varied widely as the computers in the 1950s were rather new, and technologies, such as packet switching, were still largely theoretical. Packet switching was the critical development that lead to the rise of the Internet as we know it today.

Important Dates In Internet History

  • 1960 - The invention of packet switching (PDF) technology.
  • 1969 - The first message is sent over ARPANET on October 9th.
  • 1971 - E-mail is introduced, and quickly suggested to be a waste of network resources.
  • 1973 - Norway and England become the first international networks connected.
  • 1979 - Usenet Established.
  • 1982 - TCP/IP is made the protocol for ARPANET
  • 1983 - ARPANET splits from MILNET.
  • 1983 - The first name server is put into use, and users no longer need to know exact network paths.
  • 1985 - Domain name servers, now totaling 1000 or more domains, eliminate the need to use IP addresses, allowing for domain names to be used as a nickname for a network.
  • 1986 - The Internet 'backbone'(PDF) (the servers which guide internet traffic) are upgraded to handle 56kbs data.
  • 1989 - With over 100,000 hosts, the Internet Backbone is upgraded to T1, able to handle up to 1.5 Mbps.
  • 1990 - The first search engine, Archie, is released enabling people using the FTP protocol to index files. In essence Archie is also the first file sharing service.
  • 1991 - Gopher protocol for file sharing is established.
  • 1992 - Tim Berners-Lee Invents Hypertext, as well as the world's first Web Browser.
  • 1993 - The highly graphical Mosaic Web Browser debuts. Mosaic plays a critical role in making the World Wide Web Accessible, and interesting, and is largely credited with making the Internet interesting to consumers.
  • 1993 - InterNIC is established to manage registration of domain names, and the White House gets its own Web Site drawing massive media attention.
  • 1994 - The first search engine for the World Wide Web, Yahoo, is established.
  • 1995 - Numerous commercial High Speed Internet Providers are established making the Internet widely, and easily, accessible to non-government, and non-corporate users.
  • 1995 - Netscape introduces JavaScript, initially called LiveScript. JavaScript, not to be confused with the JAVA programming language, is an object-oriented language that is interpreted by a web browser as the page loads (rather than by a web server, or by being compiled prior to the loading of the page).
  • 1996 - JAVA, a Sun Microsystems programming language, initially intended as an operating system for home appliances, enables complex web sites that interact in real time between the user and the server.
  • 1996 - Microsoft, in their Internet Explorer browser, provides a new element, the iFrame, making it accessible via JavaScript. This creates AJAX (PDF), while only recently widely adopted AJAX powers the majority of Web 2.0 applications.
  • 1996 - eBay is started, initially as a place for consumers to market items to each other. One of the first sales was that of a broken laser pointer.
  • 1996 - WebTV is created as a way to browse the Internet on consumer televisions.
  • 1996 - With so much consumer traffic, educational institutions establish internet2 is established solely to provide higher speed transmissions between educational institutions.
  • 1997 - AltaVista debuts BabelFish, which forms the gamut of the technology behind Google Translate today.
  • 1998 - Google is founded hoping to improve the quality of search results.
  • 1998 - PayPal is formed for consumer to consumer payments. A natural fit for eBay it quickly becomes the payment method of choice for eBay customers.
  • 1998 - Apple introduces the iMac as the world's first Internet centric computer.
  • 1999 - Napster popularizes internet file sharing, especially of music, and popularizes the mp3 file format (which originally was the audio format of MPEG 2 video content). Several File Sharing Services, like Aimster, emerged trying to legally perform the same function.
  • 2001 - Kaaza (PDF), a popular file sharing service, is first introduced.
  • 2001 - Drawing on the popularity of the mp3 file format Apple introduces the iPod, designed initially only as an mp3 player, but also integrated with Apple's internet music store iTunes.
  • 2002 - The creators of Kazaa develop Skype, initially called Sky Peer-To-Peer, as a means for using the internet to make phone calls.
  • 2002 - Dropping its cumbersome and infrequently used payment services, eBay acquires PayPal making it the official way to pay for eBay purchases.
  • 2005 - Skype is acquired by eBay who hopes to use peer-to-peer calls to aid in support of its consumer-to-consumer auctions.
  • 2006 - The concept of cloud computing becomes increasingly popular, and numerous services try to implement cloud computing networks, and infrastructure.
  • 2007 - Apple introduces the iPhone, which words with its cloud-like service MobileMe. The iPhone, to a far more sincere extent than iMac and iPod, becomes the most Internet centric mobile phone, quickly saturating data usage on AT&T's network.
  • 2008 - NASA tests an internet-like deep space network.
  • 2008 - With IP Addresses rapidly becoming scarce IP6 is developed to increase the number of available IP addresses.
  • 2009 - Presidential Candidate Ron Paul pioneers Internet driven 'money bombs' drawing in millions in donations made in very small amounts.
  • 2010 - The film "The Social Network" is released chronicling not only the history of Internet file sharing but also the rise of social networking sites.
  • 2011 - Cyrllic Domains names (written in the non-Latin Cyrillic character set) become operational, and Russia adopts the .?? as an alternative to .ru
  • 2011 - Microsoft Acquires Skype

In Conclusion

The Internet has evolved considerably. It cannot be understated that no one planned to create anything like what is now known as the Internet. Most of those who've contributed to the history and evolution of the Internet readily concede they had no idea the significance at the time.

It is difficult to predict what might change for the Internet next, especially given the impending change to IP6 and the rapidly changing array of devices with access to the Internet. What is certain however is that the place for the Internet in history is not any less great than that reserved for radio, the telephone, or space exploration, and the Internet promises to affect human life for centuries to come.