As you are reading these lines, either on your phone, tablet or computer, you're using one of the most essential tools available today – the internet. This amazing means of research, communication, shopping and numerous other operations is something that we take for granted these days, but once upon a time, many thought it was impossible to create such a global operating network. When did the internet start? How it changed our lives? Now you can find out the fascinating answers to these questions.
Start of the Internet
It was 1957 when the former Soviet Union launched its first man-made satellite to space – Sputnik, that got America shaking in its boots. The launch not only marked Russia's progress in space research but also that it was winning in the race between the two nations.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower wasn't having it, so he founded the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in 1958. The primary goal of the ARPA was to make computers more advanced, which wasn't surprising because computers took up whole rooms and were pretty weak.
Back in those days, there wasn't a way to make computers network with one another, and this is where the company Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (BBN) was approached. BBN was supposed to find a way to make computers communicate with one another, and the operation was underway with four computers that ran on four different operating systems that got the name ARPANET.
APARNET was the most important cornerstone in the invention of the internet, and without its protocols, the internet wouldn't be as it is today. After the APARANET connection was successful, engineers searched for ways to connect it to the packet radio network (PRNET) in 1973. The goal was to connect computers via radio receivers and transmitters, and in 1976 – the engineers succeeded in their mission.
That year, they connected two networks to one another using radio waves instead of phone lines. The next step in the start of the internet was to connect the Satellite Network (SATNET) to the remaining two networks, thus creating systems that were inter-networking, or in short - the Internet.
The birth of the internet was a breakthrough in technology, and in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee designed a way to make navigation on the internet easier. The system was called the World Wide Web, which is a whole different thing from the internet, something that people confuse till today.
Unlike today, the internet was initially used by military employees, the government, graduate students, and of course - computer scientists. Thanks to the World Wide Web, the internet became more available to the general public, a process that was completed in 1994.
How the Internet Changed the World
This is one of the easiest questions ever – the internet transformed the world beyond recognition. Nowadays the entire world is connected by complex networks that communicate with one another and allow us to do amazing things. The internet is a means of communications, a fountain of information, a shopping center, the biggest research library in the world, a people search engine, and in some cases – it even helped to bring down governments.
The start of the internet is fascinating, but the way it developed and keeps on growing is even more fascinating. What started out from another battle in the cold war ended up being one of the most influential tools at our disposal, and only time will tell where it takes us.