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What you don't know about the internet and the web

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

The Internet

The Internet, the interconnected network of computer networks that spans the globe, seems to be everywhere today. It has become part of our lives. You can’t watch television or listen to the radio without being urged to visit a website. Even newspapers and magazines have a place on the Internet.

Birth of the Internet

The Internet began as a network to connect computers at research facilities and universities. Messages in this network would travel to their destination by multiple routes, or paths. This configuration allowed the network to function even if parts of it were broken or destroyed. In such an event, the

message would be rerouted through a functioning portion of the network while traveling to its destination. This network was developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)—and the ARPAnet was born.

Four computers (located at UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah) were connected by the end of 1969.

Growth of the Internet

As time went on, other networks, such as the National Science Foundation’s NSFnet, were created and connected with the ARPAnet. Use of this interconnected network, or Internet, was originally limited to government, research, and educational purposes. The number of individuals accessing the Internet continues to grow each year. According to Internet World Stats (http://www.internetworldstats.com/emarketing.htm), the percentage of the

global population that used the Internet was 0.4% in 1995, 5.8% in 2000,

15.7% in 2005, 28.8% in 2010, 45% in 2015, and 49.6% in 2017. Visit

http://www.internetworldstats.com to explore more statistics about the usage and growth of the Internet.

The lifting of the restriction on commercial use of the Internet in 1991 set the stage for future electronic commerce: Businesses were now welcome on the Internet. However, the Internet was still text based and not easy to use. The next set of developments solved this issue.

Birth of the Web

While working at CERN, a research facility in Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee envisioned a means of communication for scientists by which they could easily “hyperlink” to another research paper or article and immediately view it. Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web to fulfill this need. In 1991,

Berners-Lee posted the code for the Web in a newsgroup and made it freely available. This version of the World Wide Web used Hypertext Transfer

Protocol (HTTP) to communicate between the client computer and the web server, used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to format the documents, and was text based.



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