History of the Internet

The history of the Internet began when the military was searching for a way to send information back and forth in a protected manner. ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) was formed in 1957 by the United States Department of Defense to help develop military technology and science. In 1969, ARPAnet began with a network of four computers, located at UCLA, the Stanford Research Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah, and expanded to a network of fifteen computers by 1971, with email coming into the picture in the same year.

Charles M. Herzfeld, former director of ARPA, is in opposition to the version of the history of the Internet that ARPAnet was designed for military necessity. He claims that, "... the ARPAnet came out of our frustration that there were only a limited number of large, powerful research computers in the country, and that many research investigators who should have access to them were geographically separated from them."

Despite this difference in views of the history of the Internet, the dates of advancements cannot be disputed. Telnet, a service for accessing a computer remotely, was invented in 1972, and FTP (file transfer protocol), a way to exchange files over the Internet, was invented in 1973.

The Internet continued to grow over the years, and in 1983, the military started MILnet, for their use only, out of need for a safe network. The number of hosts on the Internet hit 1000 in 1984, and in 1987, was over 10,000. What would the history of the Internet be without the first big Internet worm? With popularity, brings problems, as the first large-scale worm was released in 1988.

In 1991, the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, and began to grow at phenomenal rates. In 1990, ARPAnet was shut down, replaced by NSFnet (National Science Foundation Network), which is the basis of today's Internet. Dial-up Internet came into being between 1995 and 1997.