29th October is Internet Day, a time where we celebrate one of humankind's greatest creations that has had a massive impact on modernising society and is widely used 24/7, available throughout the globe, connecting people around the world - the internet. In this article we will be talking about the origins of the internet and how it has developed throughout the years.

So how did it start?

On October 29th 1969 (Same year as the moon landing), computer scientists at UCLA  (University of California, LA); Charley Kline and Bill Duval, supervised by Leonard Kleinrock sent the first long distance message using ARPANET.

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, also known as ARPANET was an experimental computer network, the precursor to the internet. This was a U.S. Defence Department funded project, as its purpose originally was to have computers linked to the Petagon-funded research facilities using messages. Funny fact, Kleinrock said he was the first person to do such an illegal act because he had requested his razor to be sent back from England. During the Cold War Era, the military had wanted a computer communication system that could work from anywhere and would not cease to work if the enemy destroyed a hub.

Returning back to Leonard Kleinrock and his team; when he sent the first message the internet was simply defined as a remote connection between two computers. They had four terminals set up at four universities; to start Charley Kline attempted  to send some login information to Bill Duvall who was at Stanford University. Leonard Kleinrock attempted to send the word "Login" using this system. He managed to send the "L" and "O" before the system crashed, making the letters "LO" the first bit of information to be sent a long distance over a computer network. Once the system had been fixed, he managed to send the whole word "Login". This was the foundation for the internet to be built upon.

The World Wide Web

It was not until 1989 where the internet as we know it was first created (or the World Wide Web, the correct term) by Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research). Tim Berners-Lee invented the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). These together formed the World Wide Web, it was officially announced on August 6th 1991.

You can still visit the first ever website created today!

Click here to visit the first ever website

In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95 and was the first operating system to include the software "Internet Explorer" - It was this that made the internet accessible to people around the world. Of course, this was a new invention, you would have people coming online but no one really knew its full potential. It was mostly used for chat rooms and creating basic sites, nothing "World Changing".

The Internet "Boom"

It was not until 1996 onward where the use of the internet increased substantially, the network went from having about 100,000 site to having well over 160 million sites. Mostly due to programs like Adobe Dreamweaver and the younger generation growing up with PCs making them more tech savvy. Even prominent businesses, like Amazon and Google showed how web based business platforms can earn considerable profits.

Even after the big internet boom had passed, there was no signs of the internet slowing down. It was the opposite however, the Web just kept growing (estimated to have around 5 million Terabytes of data on the internet). We are at the point now where people have their whole careers based of using the internet. For example, YouTube content creators. According to the Google Executive Chairman, everyone on earth will be on the internet by 2020 (statement was made in 2013).

There is some arguments regarding the internet and that is everyone's data (in one for of another) is on the network and it is very hard to remain off the network. The internet combined with almost everyone having mobile phones meaning there is eyes everywhere.

Regardless of what you think about the internet, it is undeniable that it has changed society for the better; you can always keep in touch with family and friends no matter where they are. We can watch any media at our leisure from multiple devices because of streaming. Video games have even increased in popularity due to the internet. Benefitting many businesses, through sites like Patreon.

Facts about the Internet

  • Did you know that around 3.2 billion people use the internet and 200 billion emails are sent on a daily basis?
  • China has treatment camps for internet addicts and 200 million of them are between the ages of 15 and 35.
  • Over 30,000 websites are hacked every day. Cyber criminals use software to help detect poorly secured websites.
  • Around 9 million adults in Britain have never used the internet.
  • A majority of emails sent are in fact spam (70%) which is a lot of wasted data.
  • Did you know the word spam was initially taken from a Monty Python sketch (not concerning the canned meat). When you get unwanted or annoying posts/emails online it is referred to as spam.
  • As of 29th October 2020 the internet is 11554 days old or 31.6 years.
  • Around 1.7 trillions worth of money is spent online.
  • Tim Berners-Lee was knighted for his work in creating the internet.
  • Japan and South Korea have some of the best internet in the world with bandwidth up to 24.14Mbs - in comparison Americans have about 8.4Mbs average speeds.
  • The internet is split into 3 different categories, most people see and have access to the surface web. The next layer is the Deep web, that contains most of the internet's information (about 90%) and it is not accessible to those on the surface web. The final layer is the Dark web, this part of the internet requires a special browser (like Tor) to ensure your anonymity. This part of the web is very shady and best avoided to ensure you won't get hacked or involved with illegal information.
  • There is a common confusion with the Deep web and the Dark web. They are not the same (see above), the Deep web is very secure and its technology has zero involvement with the dark web.
  • Finland is the first country to make internet access a legal right.

Be proud of celebrating the internet, you most likely use it every day so it is nice to appreciate such a feat for humankind.

Sources | Credit