A Brief History of the Internet

Internet History begins in the 1960's, but the Internet as we know it today did not develop until the mid 1990's. From there its growth has been phenomenal and shows no sign of stopping.

1960's - First organized under the leadership of the US Dept. of Defense.

1970's - The first interconnection of computers is made, the ARPANET. It is setup so researchers can more easily exchange data. E-mail programs are developed and quickly become very popular. First international connections are made to England and Norway. The first USENET newsgroups are established.

1980's - The protocol of the Internet, TCP/IP, is developed and for the first time the network becomes known as the Internet. Usage begins to move away from strictly research applications as more and more computer systems are connected. There are about 200 hosts connected by 1980.

1990 - The ARPANET is decommissioned and there are now over 300,000 host computers connected to the Internet.

1991 - The National Science Foundation's NSFNET which formed the backbone of the Internet lifts the restriction on commercial use. The World Wide Web portion of the Internet is born in Switzerland. "Gopher", the first point-and-click, Internet browser is released.

1993 - The first graphics-based Web browser, Mosaic, becomes available.

1995 - The NSFNET leaves the Internet to commercial supporters, and the Web becomes the largest source of Internet activity. Sun Microsystems releases Java.

1996 - Almost 10 million computer hosts are connected, 40 million users are online, and $1 billion in commerce is transacted on the Internet.

1999 Internet usage is at 100 million users and doubling every 100 days. Research companies continue to revise their estimates of Internet commerce upwards.


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