A Brief History of the Internet

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The Internet was born out of a military research project funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the 1960s, whose goal was to devise a way of successfully transmitting information across large distances in the event of a nuclear attack. To do this it needed to "packet-switch" data via many computers from the host to the recipient. The protocols which define the rules for this information exchange were termed: Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and ensured that the information that was carried over the ARPA network could not be interrupted by an enemy attack.

Following the ARPA project, the Internet as it became known continued to grow. As it spread, so did the applications it could support. The Unix operating system developed in the late 60s became a platform for the net. Then along came microprocessors and data storage devices. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) was created in 1972, so too was Telnet which allowed remote users to log on and run programs from home. Gopher enabled information retrieval. In 1977 the email specification was laid down and start-up software companies such as Microsoft and Apple began to flourish.

Throughout the 80s, the Internet was still very much geared towards computer scientists, hackers and university researchers. Then in 1991 at CERN , the European physics laboratory based in Switzerland, a group of scientists led by Tim Berners-Lee developed a system that would bring the Internet to the masses. It was the World-Wide Web.


Publication Date: Friday 6th June, 2003
Author: Ukwdc View profile

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