history of the internet

history of the internet

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In 1964, the RAND proposal was put forward. Written by Paul Baran, this proposal stated the principles of a new network which was to be built for maximum strength and flexibility. This new network would have no central authority. The principles of this network were that all the nodes would be equal in status and each could send and receive messages.
All the messages would be sent in packets, each with its own address. These packets would be sent at one node and would arrive at another one. This may seem rather obvious, but what was new was that the way the packets went through the net was not important. That means that if one node was destroyed, the rest of the nodes would still be able to communicate. This is of course was inefficient and rather slow, but extremely reliable. The Internet still uses this method nowadays, and there has been only one collective crash so far.
The Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) wanted to install an advanced network based on the principles in the US. The network was called ARPANET and consisted of four high speed computers (nodes). In 1969, the first node was installed in UCLA. By 1971 there were 23 nodes on ARPANET.
In 1972 the first e-mail program was created by Ray Tomlinson of BBN. He chose the @ symbol to link the username to the address. Telnet protocol allowed logging on to a distant computer. It was published as Request for Comments (RFC). These were means of sharing developmental work throughout the network community. Instead of using the ARPANET for long distance computing, the scientists used it for communicating with each other. Each user had his/her own e-mail address.
In 1973, “Development began on the protocol later to be called TCP/IP, it was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA. This new protocol was to allow diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other (Kristula 1974-1983).” During its development was when the term Internet was first used. TCP/IP was adopted by the Department of Defense in 1980 replacing the old NCP and became universal in 1983. Also in 1983 ARPANET split into ARPANET and the military segment, MILNET. MILNET became integrated with the Defense Data Network created the previous year. Thanks to TCP/IP and its decentralized structure, ARPANET grew and grew during the early eighties.

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Another development in 1983 was the creation of the Domain Name System (DNS) by the University of Wisconsin. “DNS allowed packets to be directed to a domain name, which would be translated by the server database into the corresponding IP number (Kristula 1974-1983).” By 1984 DNS was introduced and the number of hosts broke 1000.
In 1986, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the development of a cross country 56 Kbps backbone network. The NSF wanted to make supercomputers useable for research projects, so they decided to link five super-computing centers. After its completion, traffic increased dramatically and needed to be upgraded. In 1987 NSF signed a contract with Merit Networks to increase the performance of the network.
By 1990, ARPANET ceased to exist, but its users scarcely noticed because ARPANET's functions were continued. The disbandment of ARPANET by the DOD was due to the fact that Merit, IBM and MCI formed a not for profit corporation called Advanced Network & Services (ANS) that did research in high speed networking and who was responsible for the T3 line concept (Kristula 1984-1990). The NSF adopted ANS’s new T3 line and caused the original ARPANET lines to be taken out of service. This later led to the development of a new network by the NSF called the National Research and Education Network (NREN). Its purpose was for conducting high speed networking research, not for commercial use. By this time there over 500,000 hosts.
In 1992 the Internet Society is formed. “Since then Internet Society has served as the international organization for global coordination and cooperation on the Internet, promoting and maintaining a broad spectrum of activities focused on the Internet's development, availability, and associated technologies (isoc.org).” Also in 1992 WWW was released by CREN and the number of hosts broke 1,000,000. One year later, the first browser, Mosaic, was released. Mosaic was a GUI that allowed easy browsing of the WWW.
The growth rate of Internet was increasing sharply and it still continues to grow everyday.
It is a valuable source of information for anyone and on any topic, and also a new, exciting way of communicating with people thousands of miles away. Without the internet there would be no platform for the enormous amount of e-commerce that takes place on a daily basis. With the all the technological advancements, the use of the internet is limitless.


United States. Internet Society. “A Brief History of the
Internet and Related Networks” 18 Nov. 2001
http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/cerf.shtml


Kristula, Dave. The History of the Internet. Aug 2001.
http://www.davesite.com/webstation/net-history.shtml


Howe, Walt. A brief History of the Internet. April 2002.
     http://www.walthowe.com/navanet/history.html
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