History Of The Internet Timeline

Milestones in the Development of the Internet

History Of The Internet TimelineIn 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

Although this video was made in 2009, it provides a nice Internet timeline that covers all of the major technology milestones from 1957 forward:


What Has The Internet Done For Communication?

The Internet has done a lot for communication. E-mail and chat are now routinely used in professional companies for exchanging information quickly in real time. IP telephony carries voice data around the world very affordable through technologies like Skype. Video conferencing technologies, like VoIP, are available either on a computer or also on phones like iPhone, which features forward facing cameras for this purpose.


Internet Protocol Suite

The Internet protocol suite, also called TCP/IP controls traffic between computers and servers attached to the Internet. All other Internet related protocols have to transmit over TCP/IP. TCP means Transfer Control Protocol, and is the packet switching protocol used by the Internet Protocol Suite, the other protocol, Internet Protocol, is based on the original ARPANET protocol for exchanging information over the Internet.


The Structure Of The Internet

The Internet consists of computers and servers attached to it, and a series of interlinked servers which guide traffic along it. Worldwide there are several 'internet backbones' that are high speed networks that help to route data nearer to it's intended location.

These networks also have name servers that share with one another domain names associated with a specific address (IP) on the network. Every time these change name servers send each other information to synchronize this list.


Government Involvement In Maintaining The Internet

The Internet began as a largely military endeavor. For some time ARPANET remained a military project, though higher education had a lot of access to it. Even after ARPANET became less tied to the military the US government maintained much control over the Internet.

As recently as 2010, ICANN, the organization that maintains domain name registration rules was largely US controlled. Very recently ICANN has been given more autonomy, and it is widely discussed whether the organization should be managed by an international organization not tied to a specific government.


The Social Impact Of The Internet

The Internet has changed the social scene in a lot of ways. Initially many who used the Internet were seen as computer geeks, but as more content has appeared online few still hold that stereotype. Social networking sites like MySpace, have allowed bands to connect to their fans, and sites like Facebook, and twitter have connected friends and celebrities at home and internationally. The massive success of the film 'The Social Network' has shown that today the Internet has earned its 'cool factor'.

Of note is the recent Internet response to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the United States Military. Within minutes of the announcement there were twitter tweets, and Facebook posts weighing in on the killing, as well as whether it was factual or not.


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.

In addition to this Internet timeline, our website provides articles on many Internet-related topics, such as computer privacy, ways to increase modem speed, and Internet statistics.

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