Over the last two decades, the Internet has grown at a quick pace, and many of us are now always connected owing to the arrival of Wi-Fi, 3G, fiber optic, and, G.fast. But how did it all begin, and who was responsible for the creation of the Internet?
What Is the Internet?
Most of us use the Internet every day, whether it’s for social networking, online shopping, or streaming our favorite TV shows — but what exactly is it?
In layman’s terms, the Internet is a network communication system that allows information (whether text, pictures, sound, or video) to be transported from one point to another. The Internet is primarily powered by a technique known as packet switching.
Data is broken down into small bits at the source and then restored at the destination through packet switching. Computer networks can reliably and swiftly transport data across the Internet by breaking vast amounts of information down into small ‘packets.’ Any packets that are lost along the way can be retransmitted without downloading the entire file again.
How Did the Internet Originate?
The Internet was not invented; rather, it was established by combining several forms of computer communication technologies produced by various scientific organizations. Over time, several internets began to link, eventually establishing the Internet we know today.
ARPANET and TCP/IP
Scientists were seeking new methods to make computers handle more information at quicker rates back in the early days of computer technology.
This quest for speed and efficiency drove scientists to establish ARPANET, a computer communication system developed by the US Department of Defense for government research. The first data transmission between Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, UCLA, and the University of Utah demonstrated a four-way linked network.
This four-way link was the world’s first Internet connection in the 1970s. In the years that followed, scientists in many other nations established their networks, but communication across the numerous networks was difficult since each link used its language to give and receive data.
In 1982, Vinton Cerf, a manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), joined Bob Kahn’s research team and worked on the earliest versions of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP) (IP). TCP/IP became the Internet’s global language, allowing all computers to send and route information to their intended destination.
The Emergence of the Internet and Email
Ray Tomlinson devised email in 1971 as a way to communicate via the ARPANET. However, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that email became more commonly utilized, becoming one of the driving factors behind the Internet’s expanding popularity.
Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, developed the Internet as we know it. He created the World Wide Web in 1991 to make it easier for CERN scientists to share research. Berners-Lee created the first web browser, server, and website; his concept was based on inserting links to other pages (hyperlinks) in the HTML of the webpage itself. His web address (URL) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) are still in use today.
For many years, the Internet was primarily utilized by government organizations and scientists, but commercial Internet began to be provided to domestic consumers in 1995.
Dial-up was the first commercially available form of the Internet. Dial-up Internet required a phone connection to function, therefore phone calls from a landline could not be made while the Internet was functioning.
In the early days, speed was a major concern. In 1998, the fastest internet speed on offer was a paltry 56 Kbps. Because of the slow connection speed, downloading even a small audio file would take hours, and streaming music or video was impossible.
Broadband and Wi-Fi
With the advent of broadband internet and Wi-Fi, domestic home users were now able to experience fast internet for the very first time.
Broadband began to replace dial-up in the early 2000s. By employing an ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) connection, broadband allows a significantly larger volume of data to be sent at a much quicker speed.
Broadband differs from dial-up in that it allows the functionality of both telephone and internet at the same time. Dial-up internet only allows either telephone or the internet to run at a single time.
Wireless Internet became commercially available to the general public in 1999, with the sale of the Apple Airport, which was quickly followed by the release of a Windows-focused Wi-Fi router in 2001. These devices rapidly became the standard, replacing Ethernet connections that needed to be physically inserted into a computer to function.
Cable broadband was launched after ADSL broadband, and it has the potential to provide higher Internet speeds by running via cable television lines rather than a phone line. Cable Internet speeds vary and are restricted by the bandwidth available on the cable wire.
The Internet’s speed and efficiency have stayed at the forefront of its growth, with superfast fiber broadband emerging as the next generation of communication.
Because fiber optic cables are used instead of copper wire, fiber optic broadband provides substantially quicker rates. Fiber optic cables are comprised of tiny glass strands that allow laser light to pass through them, increasing the speed at which data can be transferred and received. Check out these TV and Internet Bundles to enhance your internet user experience.