History of Internet Development

Historicalfacts.net: History of Internet Development - Internet is perhaps one of the most prestigious indispensable tools of modern times where people simply cannot imagine a life without it, or even the world without it. It makes planet earth go round and helps to move it forward. It is one of the primary essence of technological evolution. Every era has had its own indispensable tool - for us in these modern times, it is none other than the world-wide web. Having such humble beginnings in the university campuses of American institutes in the 1960s, internet would soon become a global phenomenon, a concept and a medium on its own.

History of Internet Development

Universities now teach the origins of internet and how it has shaped mankind in the last 60 years. It has its own nuances and the little nuts and bolts that need to be known and be aware of if one aspires to become a professional web designer. It is indeed a field of study and involves continuous scrutiny and observation if one needs to understand how this global phenomenon really became global in technical sense and how it governs almost everything we see around us.

A brief understanding of the origins and evolution of internet will be discussed and how it has grown to become one of the foremost tools for almost everything that surround people. In short, a brief, interesting history of the internet, and its evolution. Internet, or in more technical words, the world-wide-web , is a medium through which the world connects and communicates. Yes, it is primarily just a mode of connection and communication, similar (or in some sense, even exactly the same) to mediums and inventions that have shaped our world for the last five millennia.
History of Internet Development
History of Internet Development

As the world became larger and bigger, so did its communication needs and the mode through which it communicated. No longer was it possible to simply communicate everything on the telephone that once revolutionised the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now, the need of the hour was to develop something even more revolutionary as letters became more complex and academia wanted quick and efficient mode of communication. The revolutionary character of the internet lies in its true nature and purpose. It is, as already said above, just a mode of communication, but the scale and the method through which it communicates has what made it revolutionary, forever changing human life.

So much so, that the internet has become an ideology in itself and governments across the globe decide on the aspects they need to use on, whether it be finance or monetary policies, law enforcementor even anti-terrorism and general governance. Internet is a phenomenon that even rulers depend on. Thus, in light of such circumstances, it becomes important that people understand what internet really is and how it has evolved to become such a widely understood as well as a misunderstood concept.

As starters, we first describe internet’s beginnings starting from the 1950s when computing itself wasa rarely heard concept and most ‘computers’ existed only in laboratories and government research. After becoming widely popular in the academic and political circles, internet started becoming popular in military affairs and several western military organisations started adopting it. Internet was never really known as ‘internet’ as it's known now, but through special denotations. Lastly, internet started becoming more accessible to the general public as computing itself was made available for the local masses and people in general.

Starting from 1980s, a new technology was being allowed to the public under certain licenses and regulations. Although during this time, internet was still out of reach for most because of its unimaginable price tag, starting from the 1990s, the revolution in internet technology an availability took place that left a legacy we see now today. The beginnings as simple and straight forward it may seem, internet actually has one of the most complex launches with its history of evolution being filled with technological advancements and inventions not easy for the layman to comprehend too quickly. What started out as a draft paper to connect several computers in a workplace only got bigger and bigger, so much so that the whole world-wide-web can now be imagined as a single workstation with millions and billions of computers loosely connected to each other.

In fact, we might as well raise an uncanny analogy here when the internet was just being invented. Many of us might actually be aware of several animated cartoons that showed futuristic infrastructure. Cartoons like The Flintstones or even Richie Rich that originated during the 1960s. Several episodes of these popular TV programs showed people connecting to each other, talking and observing on a display screen and chatting with another character. Might have seemed very out of place but several technocrats and inventors of those times predicted that there actually will come a time when people will connect directly through electronic devices and do lots of stuff with them.

One of these individuals was the late Dr. J. C. R. Licklider. The very first beginnings of our modern internet can be traced back to the 1960s when he was the head of computer research program at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Several research papers by notable scientists and technicians suggested new technologies in computing and interconnectivity. These ideas were primarily based on existing inventions like the telephone and the much earlier telegram services, which was the ‘electronic’ mail service of the 19th century.

Since a lot of stuff was going on in the world of science just after the great war ended, the community that filled it wanted innovative methods by which they could connect and communicate instantly as and when required. In light of this, one of the first known internet services was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), designed and implemented in 1962 upon the recommendations suggested by J. C. R. Licklider himself, in his paper ‘On-Line Man-Computer Communication’, published in the same year. Dr. Licklider also published several books on the same topic. Licklider was the first head of the computer research program at DARPA that started in the October of 1962. The innovative concept and the pace through which DARPA functioned as one of the first known networks resulted in his program receiving much acclamation and popularity and perhaps laid the foundation stone for the next four decades where the internet would become the latest wonder of technology.

Dr Licklider had several colleagues and fellow technicians and innovators working alongside him. DARPA was primarily meant to connect all its staff through a network but Licklider took one step forward by developing it further. One of these individuals who filled up the DARPA staff was Leonard Kleinrock of MIT and he published his first paper on packet switching in July of 1961. This was another major step forward for the evolution of the internet and perhaps one of the first known documents to explain packet networking, which is still the primary mode of internet transmission today.

Kleinrock would also go on publishing books on networking related topics, one of them becoming a popular read among researchers and inventors and released in 1964. This packet switching concept would soon become an applied reality in the DARPA program. Packet connectivity was indeed a very innovative addition to networking but it still needed time and implementation to actually work. Kleinrock convinced Lawrence Roberts, another member of the DARPA program to think on switching to packet connectivity rather than the traditional circuitry if long range networking was to exist. Roberts agreed to the concept. Another need of the hour was the requirement of ‘talking’ between two computers, borrowed from the concept that made telephones work.

For this, in 1965, Roberts connected two computers, the TX-32 and the Q-32 in California with a single telephone line and made history by developing the first ever dial-up connected wide area network. The experiment became a success and Roberts was able to ‘talk’ between these computers. However, the realization that two computers could connect to each other and work in coordination was in direct conflict with the circuit method owing to circuits’ inability to process millions of data in a matter of seconds. The traditional circuit method was thus totally incapable of allowing two or more computers to fully connect to each other and it also stood as a total hindrance towards further development of networking and DARPA in general.

On the other hand, packets allowed for swift movement of data and made it possible for computers to smoothly transmit communication without much loss and noise. Packet switching was also more desirable considering that circuits were more prone to industrial hazards like overheating and high maintenance and needed regular replacement of electronic components like cables and boards for it function fully. Kleinrock’s suggestion to switch to packets was really the need of the hour and the next big step towards networking.

After DARPA’s founder, Dr Licklider, the next big member of the MIT program was Lawrence Roberts himself. He would become the pioneer of the The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the second stepping stone on the history of internet, and perhaps one of the biggest stepping stones, given its wide implementation and several technological advancements added to it starting from late 1960s till the middle of 1980s. In fact, the predecessor of our modern day world-wide-web was ARPANET itself. In late 1966, Roberts went to develop DARPA further by making it ‘wider’ and providing it more speed for the members to connect with more swift and less lag.
History of Internet Development
Dr Licklider (image by alluremedia.com.au)

In 1967, he published his paper describing the idea behind ARPANET and how it would be implemented. DARPA was now becoming ARPANET. The latter would also incorporate for the first time and for its full potential,the packet switching concept that was the primary need of the hour for successful and efficient networking. It also so happened that during a conference that Roberts was attending, where networking was the hot topic, several other researchers from notable universities of UK also presented their versions of networking.

Donald Davies and Roger Scantlebury of the NPL also presented their papers on packet connectivity. That networking was solely being invented by Americans was not true at all. One of the members of the NPL communicated Roberts about the packet connectivity concept that was developed in 1964 independently by the British military. It appeared as a coincident, but the work at MIT, at NPL and the RAND group, which was a group headed by Paul Baran and his colleagues pretty much coincided in the same time frame.

Roberts was inspired by others too researching on this ground-breaking concept andborrowed a few of their ideas that were presented by them during the conference. He would go back and since full fledged networking was being developed only at select American universities, much of the credit during this evolving timeline went to campuses of MIT and later on, the University of California.

Roberts tested these ‘packets’ by increasing the speed of ARPANET from a mere 2. 4 kbps to 50 kbps. This small step was successful prompting Roberts of the importance of packet connectivity and further developing it (which would lead to such components like the TCP/IP, first invented in 1980s and still the primary mode of identification through which computers are assigned IP numbers). Since ARPANET was going through several developments and refinements, new individuals and technicians started replacing the existing and the old. Members like Bob Kahn, Frank Heart and Newman would soon start developing ARPANET in coordination with Roberts.

At MIT, a new component of the ARPANET was being designed and this was the Interface Message Processor. The IMP was first coined by Frank Heart and Newman and this was now being incorporated in the overall structure of the ARPANET. Roberts was now working with a lot of small groups and independent people on further developing the technical core of ARPANET. Bob Kahn helped him with designing ARPANET’s new architectural design and economic efficiency while existing members like Kleinrock took control over developing the measurement system that according to him would support the packet concept he devised earlier.

In 1969, Kleinrock’s campus at UCLA was first selected as the Network Measurement Centre, to be functioned as a node through which Roberts would connec this computer at MIT and that of Kleinrock’s system at UCLA. In September of 1969, the finalisation of ARPANET came into play when this node in the UCLA campus was made operational and a second node at the Stanford Research Institute . Elizabeth Feinler and team made it possible for the second node and funded its establishment. The first ever host computer was thus connected at the UCLA campus. Several other such institutes followed.

A month later after connecting SRI with Kleinrock’s system, the first host-to-host message was transmitted. Several other such nodes were added to the ARPANET network, the third being the campus of UC Santa Barbara and University of Utah. Professors and researchers in these last two campuses also added their own small contribution that would matter big in the coming decades. Glen Culler and Burton Fried of the UCSB researched methods on displaying mathematical functions by adding display storages to their systems while Robert Taylor at the Utah campus investigated methods of refreshing the net on 3-D representations.

At the start of 1970, there were thus four major universities and their campuses connected over the ARPANET. The groundwork was complete and the rocket was now ready to launch from its site. With the four campuses successfully connected without any errors, it was now fully possible for ARPANET’s founders to transmit simple email messages and notifications. 1970 onwards, several systems and computers outside these four campuses were added in the ARPANET coverage. Work proceeded further to make ARPANET a fully functional host-to-host connecting system.

In 1970, the Network Working Group working under the guidance of S. Crocker developed the first ever protocol that would allow computers to fully communicate and allow individuals to develop software over ARPANET. This protocol was called the Network Control Protocol and could be considered as the first complete host-to-host protocol. The project came into full play in 1972 when Lawrence Roberts held a major networking conference at the International Computer Communication Conference . There, he and his team would showcase the first ever email message and was also the first ever public demonstration of the networking concept and the potential it held.

Roberts simply sent a simple message through email that was received by one of his team member, resulting in an instant applause. The first ever email application included read, forward and send functions and was an instant success. What would follow in the coming decades starting from 1972, would be the first era when internet really evolved from ARPANET to the prototype of the world-wide-web we know it now.

History of Internet Development - The Birth of Internet

The next big player and pioneer of the ARPANET technology was Bob Kahn himself. Lawrence Roberts and others remained in the team for much of the 1970s but it was Kahn who was now designing and developing further the ARPANET technology that gave way to full fledged wide area networks as we know them today. In 1972, after the successful conference was held and for the first time, the public saw how email worked, Kahn taking with him his knowledge and idea for further developing the packet system, started to refurbish the whole technology at its core with new protocols being designed by him and for the first time, algorithms inserted in the networking pipeline for ‘automatic networking’ technology.
History of Internet Development
Bob Kahn

Since ARPANET was primarily designed for a select few individuals to connect, most of them belonging to the academia of select universities of America, Kahn now decided to take this a level further by reinforcing the existing technology that could allow more individuals to connect at the same time without any error or disturbance to the overall flow of packets and thus the network. But ARPANET still had its own limitations when it came to connecting wide area networks. One of these limitations was the existence of packet loss and uncontrolled noise that resulted in slow connectivity and even no connectivity at all at some instances.

So the next big job was to ask the question on how to redesign or develop the existing protocols and hardware technologies that would allow for a smoother experience and connect people with more ease and less complications. Kahn thus set himself to work again. Recall that Kahn was also the pioneer of the packet switch system that forever replaced the circuit system in the early days of the DARPA. Kahn was now again convinced that it is only the packet receiving and transmitting mechanisms that required some major overhauls for the internet to become simpler and smoother and without the requirement for major hardware requirements. One of these key areas was to develop what is known as Open Architecture Networking.

Recall that ARPANET and its predecessor were designed with open contribution and development in mind. Since these were experimental developments, technicians and engineers designing his technology required contribution not just from their teams but anyone who could contribute his/her part in it. Open Architecture Networking is still one of the core areas of 21st century networking. If technicality were to be ignored, it would be very sufficing to say that internet with its database of millions and billions of websites are designed in a customised manner and there are no rules and set codes to define how things over the internet need to be developed, except of course security measures and standards that everybody has to rely upon and maintain.

Kahn in 1972 already had open-architecture networking in mind and he was probably one of the first to introduce it to the ARPANET. The key to this architecture was maintaining an open end-to-end protocol and developing a packet radio program. The packet radio program was in existence during the final days of DARPA and Kahn only developed and advocated it further. This system required new protocols that could allow packets to transmit easily and smoothly between two computers and allow users to have a smooth internet experience. Back then, this was also initially called ‘internetting’ because of the concept that the network was like a spider’s net, with each node connected to a host computer for transmission.

As the radio program developed, new protocols were designed as well that were to function with the refurbished radio systems. The Network Control protocol which was earlier used by all the members and all the four nodes of ARPANET, was incapable of smooth transmission of these packets and had no algorithms to deal with the noise and disturbance caused in its packet flow. After several tests and experiments, it was concluded that the NCP needed to be designed further to allow for more computers than just the ARPANET members for the internet to actually start existing. Also recall that ARPANET was not the internet as we know today, but only the beginning of it, a part of it, since the evolution of internet after ARPANET involves altogether new technologies and advancements unrelated to the former technology.

Since the purpose of networking was itself evolving to include a vast community of academia and technicians, the technology upon which ARPANET functioned was found to be incapable for further ‘expansion’. Technically, ARPANET required additions to the protocol system (through which it communicated among its users), in addition to requiring additional hardware and systems for the new protocols to work efficiently. Why the NCP was unable to transmit vast numbers of packets over wide areas and long ranges was quite clear. The ARPANET was designed with a single purpose in mind, and it was designed very robustly to satisfy that purpose. However, as needs of it grew and as networking’s purpose also evolved, so did ARPANET’s demands for an overhaul. The NCP was never really designed to handle a vast number of packet transmission. And since every node was connected, the NCP’s job was clear and simple.

However, as the concept of networking grew outside the corridors of ARPANET, its protocols that controlled the transmission and reception of digital packets started to see terminal limitations that posed a hindrance to the overall growth of ARPANET itself. Kahn observed that when a computer tried connecting to ARPANET that was outside the pre-registered node, the NCP failed to provide packet transmission and the whole system collapsed for the connecting computer. In this manner, the ARPANET could only be functioned for the registered members that were running ARPANET’s protocol.

This was too rigid for everyone to adopt and thus required some major changes. NCP also lacked the capability to handle packet errors, that is, anytime during a minor packet loss, the NCP would collapse altogether and immediately and the connection to the host computer would come to a forever halt. The NCP thus had no end-to-end error control mechanism. To sum up the requirements that were needed to actually introduce the internet to the world, then could be done so in the following manner: Redesigning the protocol system that could handle a larger network of computers and allow for packet control and efficiency.

Devising new hardware and algorithms that would allow these computers to connect with the host computer. Making communication with the host computer not only feasible but efficient and simple. New techniques for host-to-host flow control and requirements for network pipelines that would allow multiple packets to transmit to and from the host simultaneously and at the same time reducing any chances of major packet flow errors in this ‘multiple lane’ pipeline. New technologies like gateways and hardware that would allow to provide an identification to a connecting computer. These would later become things like the routers and IP addresses that everyone uses by default.

Introducing new protocols and replacing existing ones that could govern these newly thought about ideas and implement it in a manner that would allow the least control over global networking while still keeping computers connected at the very best possible. Last but the not the least, the capability for networking with several other operating systems since at least during the 1980s, several operating systems were already coming up. Thus, Kahn was facing major challenges for developing ARPANET further to include several other computers used by scientists and innovators who wanted quick access to communication with the academia community.

Because of the nature of the challenges as well, Kahn also accepted them as part of developing networking further since ARPANET was definitely not the end of the story of internet as some might have once thought. Kahn thus proposed a totally new protocol that was tobe designed from scratch and this he would call it the Transfer Control Protocol or Internet Protocol that would altogether change how internet services communicated with each other and worked.

However, Kahn had no immediate knowledge in interfacing and protocol design. He was aware of how NCP worked but designing a new protocol and incorporating it in ARPANET demanded an all new technique that required additional knowledge and skill. Accepting this, Kahn set out to call technicians from leading universities to design new protocols that would allow for efficient communications regardless of the operating system a user is operating in. That is, this certain protocol had to be operating system efficient as well.

In 1973, he thus teamed up with Vint Cerf of Stanford to initiate and think on the newly arrived topic of TCP/IP. Vint had immense knowledge of interfacing in several operating systems and skills to develop new protocols. This knowledge teamed up with Kahn’s know-how on implementation and architectural design resulted in a very productive solution. The TCP/IP was finally at place and was ready to start functioning with several computers. The initial protocol allowed for some 256 connections and worked at 32-bit transfer rate.

The TCP/IP was unveiled at another conference where Cerf was also invited. The International Network Working Group was set up at aconference a Sussex University in 1973 and Cerf was invited to head this group with his all new protocol that would power up ARPANET further. Upon meeting up with several key players and innovators in the field of networking design and implementation, the following points emerged as to how TCP/IP would work and replace the existing NCP of the ARPANET: TCP/IP would allow for packet control at the host computer through acknowledgements and packet flow control.

This internet protocol would function through a series of long streams of bytes. TCP/IP would remain open when deciding upon the parameters that would allow the protocol windowing, which was required to control the flow of these packets. TCP/IP would function through a 32-bit assigned IP address of which the first 8 bits designated the network while the remaining 24 bits signified the host computer’s network. These features had a major motivation behind them. The creators and ARPANET and of course TCP/IP wanted much more than just sharing small sized emails and simple voice transfers. Kahn and Cerf intended to design the new protocol forvarious new topics that networking could handle. These included techniques to share files, folders, accessing the time sharing resources on the ARPANET and further in time, even bigger tasks like sharing printers and devices.

The very first release of this new protocol was put to test and it did not include the IP section to it. Thus, in its initial beginning, it was only TCP that worked. Kahn and team put the TCP to test and observed different behaviours and algorithms by which two connected computers now shared packets. It should be noted however, that this was only the initial release of TCP and it was tested out through a virtual circuit. This initial release was good for file transfers and sharing between two computers but certain road blocks still lay open. There was certain amount of packet loss observed and was concluded that a certain amount of packet loss correction be left out for the computer to deal with.

This led the team to develop its integrated section - the IP address. This address was to remain as an "identification number" for the computer to be connected to the host. This led to a final reorganisation of the TCP to include the IP address and thus became TCP/IP. The protocol was innovative and revolutionary in handling packets from the host to the node computer. It also incorporated the IP address now that the problem of certain packet loss by TCP was now also solved. The problem of packet radio system seemed to have finally rested. An alternative for those machines that were either not compatible with TCP or did not want to use the TCP was the UDP, designed and implemented by Kahn and team and was not very different from the original TCP in that UDP was more preferable for ‘physical’ packet check instead of checksums that were being provided and implemented by TCP/IP.

The introduction of the new packet handling protocol totally changed the game of networking. Several challenges that lay prior to TCP/IP were now resolved and perhaps the only thing left for networking was its efficient commercialisation and further designing and modification that could suit the requirements of not just 256 connections but probably thousands or even more than thats conceived by the developers of networking. As simple as it might have seemed, this was no easy job either. The new protocol that was introduced still functioned for ARPANET’s registered members, and since those had increased over the years since the network’s inception, TCP/IP functioned robustly well.

However, how were the designers planning on introducing and finally releasing this technology for general purpose This was still a question that had its answer only during the 1980's when several technological changes further led the idea of networking to become an even more ‘loosely connected’ array of computers, all sharing certain characters and the contents stored in those computers. The main idea behind networking that was proposed in the 1960's was now becoming a reality, after consistent effort laid down by its founders.

Finally, in late 1970's, the real face of networking started to emerge as more and more users started using it for sending emails, small attachments, files and folders, send voice communication similar to memos and an idea borrowed from telephony but implemented in digital format. Thus, the idea of open architecture networking was now truly making itself emerged to the rest of the world. However, the story never ended there again. The newly introduced TCP/IP was operable for a number of operating systems and machines of those times but how was it to cope up with time and increasing number of computing machines both at the workplace and home.

With the start of the new decade, a plethora of operating systems and business enterprises emerged. Firms like Microsoft and Apple, among others were now increasingly competing against themselves to capture computer market share. Each one of those empires needed networking as one of their core areas of operations and the designers of ARPANET had to face a new challenge - to make TCP/IP even simpler and more flexible for it to exist for the several coming decades to come.

Contracts were handed to Stanford, BBN and UCL California. Headed by Cerf himself, their task now was different from their purely technical background and work experience. The task now was whether TCP/IP required major changes to its design or was it satisfactory enough for several machines to operate upon it. Several experimentations provided the conclusion that the ‘final’ release of TCP/IP was still too complex and big for domestic machines, other than the workstations for which it was specifically designed for. Cerf and his team thus set out again to simplify the infrastructure of TCP/IP for upcoming major machines to become compatible with it. Changes were introduced and were tested out on machines like the IBM PC and Xerox Alto.

New changes were successful and both computers were able to operate with TCP/IP with 100% results. The only task left, and which required much time was how will the new and universally flexible TCP/IP test the passage of time. This was a question that required patience and gradual developments to the protocol’s implementation and algorithm as computing itself was evolving rapidly. Transition to world wide web in its final years of ARPANET, the designers, both old and new were very excited and proud on how their simple inception of connecting just a handful of computers was now becoming a global reality. As if the whole concept had changed altogether and become an integrated part of human life in just a matter of years and months.

In its early years of transition to a globalised network, the transition phase could be divided into two stages  technical transition and implementation by networking agencies, scientific forums and academic community side-by-side domestic computers and finally, the full scale commercialisation of internet that had to have rules and regulations for its proper functioning and smooth experience.

The technical side of TCP/IP’s prior bugs and hindrances were now fully resolved. Computing itself was evolving on an unimaginable scale and these machines were not just now limited to university campuses and academia personnel. Computing in general was undergoing a total change in its purpose of existence and its overall objective to serve the general public without any global restriction. The 1980's saw the very first computer giants emerged. Microsoft and Apple were one of those and still exist today as the dominant computer hardware and software catering enterprises. Microsoft, under the guidance and leadership of Bill Gates were fast becoming a commercial empire of its own, and with the failure of Apple to capture subsequent market share owing to its failure of its revolutionary Macintosh computer, was now also making decisions to making networking a default, in-built operation in all of its machines.
History of Internet Development
Bill Gates (image by fortune.com)

The emergence of TCP/IP simply changed the wave of networking. The newly designed protocol was so innovative that federal agencies and organisations were recommending its implementation in all of its machines and computers. The once secretive and limited protocol that was used only by a select individuals and academic professors had gained global popularity and computer producers were consulting, holding meetings and conferences with the original designers of ARPANET and its revolutionary protocol on how to implement networking as the default option in all of its operating systems.

UNIX was now a very widely used operating system now and its developers came up with quick solutions. TCP/IP was now included as the default networking protocol to connect to anywhere it wanted; the rest of the world simply followed. Microsoft released its very first GUI interface and later on, the Windows operating system that included all aspects of networking right from networking software pre-installed on every Windows machines. Apple never lagged behind and incorporated the default version of TCP/IP to its Macintosh system. Thus, in a span of just five years, starting from 1985 till early 1990s, networking became an inbuilt feature of all operating systems and machines that were fully operating.

Thanks to the efforts laid by its founding fathers, TCP/IP, teamed up with the ever evolving infrastructure of ARPANET, gave way to our modern day world wide web. Several commercialisation activities and networking firms started to appear during the mid 1990s, when the DOS and newly introduced Windows operating system was the dominant norm. Firms like Cisco, Asus, Intel and AMD were one of the first computer hardware start-ups. These were setup to cater to all of the professional and domestic computer community and thus came forward with several hardware innovations and inventions that were to include nearly every feature in just one motherboard rather setting up several chipsets to make one computer.

Intel and AMD were the first ones to set up their processorunits, and these were to process TCP/IP calls on a default basis. The rest of the evolution of the internet was now more of like making networking a universal truth. Till the late 1990s, LANs had become a common thing and no longer did ‘small networks’ exist. Network was now undergoing physical change rather than in its technical infrastructure or design modification (although those are things that continuously keep expanding and evolving, even to this day). Several new technologies like satellite transmission and fibre cables were defining networks on new levels. Users for the first time witnessed increase in speeds upto ten times with the introduction of satellite imagery and communication with fibre cables providing speeds into megabytes per second rather than the traditional kilobytes per second.

Dial-ups that used to be the norm in the 1990s were fast getting replaced by satellite connections and hi-speed fibre connections. At the start of the new millennium, internet had become a necessity. The world revolved with the help of the internet. What started as a small, rudimentary network of a handful of computers at an American institute now was a global phenomenon, a medium through which the whole world connected and communicated. Anybody who would never use it would simply get disconnected from it. Internet has thus been the most innovative and ground breaking medium of communication in the history of mankind.

It replaced telephony and telegram that were the primary modes of communication for most of the decades even during the time when internet was nascent. It is thus one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. You must have understood the importance of internet and the impact it has had on normal lives of normal human beings and how it has grown to be the thing we see today. And this is not the end of the story. Internet still evolves and will keep evolving just like technology has been for the past five millennia when humans first started designing handcrafted machines and simple tools. Like the nut-cracking stone that first required sharpening and which ultimately led to its evolved variants in the coming millennia, internet evolved just like every other tool has done for the past thousands of years.

New technologies and techniques are being added every day beforeour very eyes as internet becomes even bigger and more organised. Techniques like HTML, CSS and Flash are just some of the most commonly taught subjects at technical institutes and software design. Internet is the result of complex computing and the technological evolution we’ve reached so far. It is unlike telephony or telegram simply because those never required computing or even a computer to operate. With that in mind, internet will forever keep evolving and will never halt ceasing if computing itself has to remain relevant. With every new addition to the world of internet, new challenges are recognised and new results are dug out.

We now have technologies that were once thought to be purely imaginary and even plain philosophical by many. A lot of these ‘prophecies’ turned out to be true in the following decades. In fact, modern day networking has resulted in a whole new concept of nomadic computingwhere an individual simply does not require a physical connection to a router to connect to the internet; rather that happens with technologies like Wi-Fi or even Bluetooth.

In the end however, as internet still keep on evolving, the question will remain as to how people will manage this gigantic invention that has changed everything around them, rather than how it would evolve further.

History of Internet Development