One thing that we all look for whenever we step out of the cocoons of our perfectly wired lives is the Internet (which is popularly called the ‘net connection’). It’s like the lifeline that connects us to the world. There is no dearth of devices that provide Internet services in the digital age. From smartphone and Wi-Fi devices to LAN and Broadband services, all are adept at providing us high-speed Internet services at a marginally low cost.
But have you ever wondered who invented the Internet?
Who developed a system so powerful that it can transport you to places within seconds (ok, maybe not literally)? Who developed a system so capable that it helps people sitting on the opposite sides of the planet seem as if they sitting right across the table?
Unlike the common assumption, the Internet is not the brainchild of a single person. It’s the product of the hard work of dozens of scientists and programmers who created the global network of computers that are interconnected with each other.
The ingredients for this ‘digital super highway’ were developed long before the concept itself. During the early 20th century, scientists were working towards creating smaller and more efficient computers (FYI: computers back then used to be so big that they would fit inside a room). However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the scientists started working on the idea of creating a network of interconnected computers. Shortly after, the scientists developed a concept called ‘packet switching’, which is a method used for transmitting electronic data.
However, the first major breakthrough in creating the Internet came in late the 1960s with the creation of ARPANET, which was funded by the US Department of Defense, and used ‘packet switching’ to allow multiple computers to communicate with each other.
Another major breakthrough came in the 1970s when Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf developed Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), which set guidelines for data transmission on a network of interconnected computers. ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, which ultimately became the ‘network of networks’ or the Internet as we know it today.
Extra Byte: Many of you might get confused between the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW or W3). While the Internet is the set of interconnected computer, W3 is the space where documents and other resources are identified by their Uniform Resource Locators or URLs.