The birth of the Internet

The need of using a computer network for exchanging information was the reason the Internet was born. In the late 60’s, the American army was seeking a system that would ensure communication between army units in case the telephone network would collapse. University and military institutions have begun research in order to implement a communication network that would be resistant to disasters. So the idea of the “Net” was born.

The “Net” provides seamless flow of information even if some of its nodes cease to operate. In a “Net” topology, there are alternative routes through which data can pass to reach the recipient. This is the logic that was decided to be implement in 1972 by the working groups addressing the issue, known as InterNetworking Working Groups. The next crucial step was to develop a protocol that would be «smart» enough to understand what routes should be followed in a communication between sender and recipient. The truth is that it took several years to develop the TCP / IP. In August 1983, the Internet – known as Arpanet – consisted of 562 registered computers that could exchange electronic mail between them.

The early years of the Internet did not have anything to do with the current form, regarding the offered services and the way it operates. The Internet user of that era had to type pages of commands on a terminal in order to execute a basic task that is currently done in a few seconds. Things changed dramatically in 1989 when a group of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, decided to experiment with the creation of a protocol which would support the transfer of graphics and text (or otherwise hyper-text), using the infrastructure of the Internet. In cooperation with the NCSA, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, they created the first browser. The beginning of the’90s finally finds the Internet to possess its own transfer protocol, the www, which everyone could use with exceptional ease. Here begins the revolution of the Internet.

One determining factor which will always govern the evolution of the Internet is the connection speed of users. During the first few years of the Internet, the telephone network could barely support a decent connection. But the applications that run on the network were not as «loaded» as today. With the passage of time, speeds grew also. The 128Kbits/sec ISDN was the successor to the classic 56kbits/sec modem. ADSL is currently taking off with speeds up to 24Mbits or higher. What does this mean? The speeds are growing. If in the old days the best we could watch on the Internet was a short video of the exotic Bermuda, today we can see the same video in higher quality and with more duration. It is far from unlikely that in the near future all the information coming in our home will be through the Internet. Internet TV with the choice of thousands of channels, or Internet radio stations that broadcast only on the Internet from a remote village in the world will no longer be in the realm of fantasy. What will determine the future Internet development is the connection speed, which as it grows faster, the offered services will expand and replace old methods and habits.

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