Not usually a question on everyone’s lips but the Internet is a vast and sprawling network that has become a part of our everyday lives. There’s no hiding from it. However, a surprising number of people, from all age ranges, simply don’t know who, how or why this revolutionary invention came to light. Today, we set out to answer that question.
As you may imagine, the Internet wasn’t actually invented by one single person but rather a collective group of scientists and researchers. Before the actual invention of a working internet network, there had been decades of speculation that a system similar to today’s internet would exist. Many past inventors, including the famous Nikola Tesla, had played around with the ideas of a wireless data system all the back in the early 1900s. There were also several other concepts and internet-like ideas that floated around the decades.
However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s when things started to come together. Inside the heart of MIT, J.C.R Licklider brainstormed a popular idea that was known as the ‘Intergalactic Network of Computers.’ During this research period, the creation of packet switching, a very effective technique for successfully sending and receiving electronic packets of data, occurred, one of the most significant contributions that led to the development of the internet we know and love today.
Not long after, during the late 1960s, a working model of the internet was invented. It was known as ARPANET, short for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. To begin with, it was funded by the US Defence Department, used to connect several computers to one another to transfer data. This technology was innovative and was continuously researched throughout the years that passed.
It wasn’t until two scientists, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn had worked together to invent what was known as the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, more commonly known in today’s world as TCP/IP. This connected not only multiple computers to a network, but also multiple networks to one another.
On New Year’s Day in 1983, ARPANET adopted the TCP/IP technology into their systems to create a vast network of networks. It was this network that most commonly looked and operated like the internet we know today. This is now known as the foundation of the modern-day internet.
Furthermore, another scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, then took this model and transformed it in the early 1990s into a more recognizable form of internet that become known as the World Wide Web. Despite common misconceptions, as you can see, the Internet and the World Wide Web are two different concepts, but they work together to provide billions of people around the world with the service they love and need.