The internet has drastically evolved over the decades, to a point where it is hard to imagine life without it. But a common misconception about the history of the internet is the era in which it was formed. People often connect the internet with Sir Tim Berners-Lee as he introduced the ‘modern internet’ in 1991, however, this is not when it all began.
Whether using the internet to connect with every corner of the world, looking to build a website or laughing at pets doing the wrong thing on YouTube, the internet has changed the way the world works. So, take a walk through the history of the internet, as we discover the key milestones established to form this global phenomenon used every second of every day.
Internet Milestones through the decades
The history of the internet dates back to the 1960s when the platform was officially launched by Leonard Kleinrock, the creator of Arpanet. The Arpanet was to be used by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the U.S. Army. This network was originally used to connect computers at Stanford and UCLA, and over the years the Arpanet grew to connect to more sites.
With an established network, the web began to grow. In 1971 emails were established by Ray Tomlinson. He even chose the “@” character to separate the hosting name from the email username.
Within this decade, more developments came such as establishing the first portable computer and the beginnings of Microsoft and Apple.We also witnessed the growth of the Internet and computers, which resulted in the technology being readily available to more than just the U.S. Army.
By the end of the decade in 1979, there were over half a million computers in use within the U.S.
The Domain Name System (DNS) was the biggest Internet milestone in the 1980s. Created by Paul Mockapetris, Jon Postel and Craig Partridge, the DNS was used to manage the growing number of users on the Internet. At this point in time, only 7 DNSs were introduced – edu, com, gov, mil, net, org and int.
In reviewing the history of the internet, the 1980s saw the email system grow to allow for the connection between nations around the world. This was made possible by Dave Farber who built an inexpensive network using dial-up phone lines, which connected to the Arpanet and the first commercial network, Telenet.
The 1990s was the beginning of the modern Internet and is most possibly the biggest milestone in the history of the internet.
The Arpanet was decommissioned in 1990. This resulted in the hypertext markup language and uniform resource locator, otherwise known as HTML and URL, being developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues. This development led to the creation of the World Wide Web on the Internet.
Officially made public for anyone to access in 1991, the internet saw the creation of software programmes and search engines that are still used to this day, such as Java, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Google and much more. This also came with the first Internet virus discovered in 1999.
2000s & 2010s
Throughout the history of the internet, the decades 2000 – 2010 saw the total number of internet users grow exponentially. In the year 2000, the internet had only 361 million users, growing to 1,967 million in 2010 and in July of 2019 there were over 4.33 billion people recorded using the internet.
The 2000s saw the rise of .com domains, the proliferation of Wi-Fi, and most importantly, the first-ever cat video in 2005!
The history of the internet has outlined the evolution of the internet and highlighted how the platform has shaped the modern world and how it will continue to do so. One of the biggest predictions of how the Internet will change over the next 15 years is that by 2030 the Internet will be available in Mars! According to Forbes, orbiting satellites around Mars will be able to transmit Internet data which will take up to 24 minutes to get back to earth.
Looking at the history of the internet and how far the world wide web has come over the decades is truly amazing. That’s why our team at Foundry Digital take pride in building a beautiful face for our clients on the world wide web. We build bespoke websites that represent who our clients are as a business, whilst also meeting the functional requirements for a smooth and enjoyable user experience. Contact a member of our team to discuss how we can build the perfect website for you.