The research on dividing information into packets (or simply groups of information) and switching/transferring them from computer to computer first began in the early 1960's when ARPA funded a research project that created a packet “switching” network known as the ARPANET. ARPA also funded research projects that produced two satellite networks. In the 1970's, ARPA was faced with a problem: Each of its networks had advantages for some situations, but each network was incompatible with the other existing networks. ARPA focused research on methods to interconnect networks, and the Internet was first envisioned and later created to be an interconnection of networks that used TCP/IP protocols.
In the early 1980's, a group of computer scientists formed the “Computer Science NETwork”, which used TCP/IP protocols. Also, other government agencies extended the role of TCP/IP by applying it to their networks (namely MFENet, HEPNET, and NSFNET).
In the 1980's, as large commercial companies began to use TCP/IP to build private internets, ARPA investigated transmission of multimedia—audio, video, and graphics—across the Internet. Other groups investigated hypertext and created tools such as Gopher that allowed users to browse menus, which are lists of possible options. In 1989 many of these technologies were combined to create the World Wide Web.
Initially designed to aid communication among physicists who worked in widely separated locations, the Web became immensely popular and eventually replaced other tools. Also during the late 1980s, the U.S. government began to lift restrictions on who could use the Internet, and commercialization of the Internet began.
In the early 1990's, with users no longer restricted to the scientific or military communities, the Internet quickly expanded to include universities, companies of all sizes, libraries, public and private schools, local and state governments, individuals, and families.
DARPA: The U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
MFENET: The Department of Energy’s Magnetic Fusion Energy Network
HEPNET: The High Energy Physics NETwork
NSFNET: The National Science Foundation NETwork
Us | Getting Started | Change Languages | Site Map