Who Invented the Internet?

The internet is a fantastic resource, but have you ever wondered who invented the internet? 

Where and when did the internet originate?

Although it appears that the internet was founded yesterday, it is actually over a century old. Furthermore, individuals and organizations from all over the world contribute to it. However, the long history occurred in two waves. First, the theoretical notion of the internet and, second, the actual building of the internet.

Let’s begin with the theoretical notion of the internet. 

Nikola Tesla

The internet’s origins go back to the early 1900s when Nikola Tesla proposed a “global wireless system”. He claimed that if given enough power, the presence of such a system would enable him to send messages all over the world without the use of cables.

By the early 1900s, Tesla was hard at work attempting to find out how to harness enough energy to send communications across vast distances. However, Guglielmo Marconi made the first transatlantic radio communication in 1901. He sent the Morse-code signal for the letter “S” from England to Canada.

Tesla then aspired to do something larger. He attempted to persuade his patron, J.P. Morgan, the most influential man on Wall Street at the time, to fund his study on the “global telegraphy system.” The plan was to establish a centre capable of broadcasting communications at the speed of light all across the world. However, Morgan finally ceased sponsoring Tesla’s research because the concept sounded far-fetched. Despite these setbacks, Tesla struggled to make his concept a reality and pushed his idea of a global system until his death in 1943, but he never saw it realised. Tesla was the first to imagine such a radical mode of communication. 

What is the ARPANet?

ARPANET geographic map

The ARPANet project was responsible for the first major stages in the development of the Internet. The US Department of Defense (DoD) financed a study to develop technology that could maintain computer networks even when the computers linked to the network ran different operating systems.

Larry Roberts was the ARPANet project’s programme manager, and he was extensively involved in the system’s architecture. Mike Wingfield, an engineer, created the interface that allowed a computer to interact with an Internet Message Processor (IMP), a device that permitted multiple computers to communicate across the same network. The initial data was sent from a host at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) via an interface message processor switch on September 2, 1969. 

Finally, Charley Kline, a UCLA student, sent the first message transmitted over this precursor to the internet at 10:30 p.m. on October 29, 1969. Kline attempted to enter “login,” but the system only managed to send “lo” to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) several hundred miles distant before crashing. 

Despite what seemed like a failure, this was a global first in two ways. Firstly, it was the first message transmitted via the internet and secondly, it was the first server crash.

Story of the ARPANET

What were the drawbacks of the ARPANet?

To be useful for military and intelligence activities, the network needed to be able to interact with terminals hundreds of miles away in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, or any of the US military’s 800 facilities spread over more than 70 nations. The hardware of the APARNet was not capable of this. 

Furthermore, computer scientists had to devise a technique to make various computers understand one another using a set of rules known as protocols. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), were two of the most essential protocols created. These rule sets replaced an older set known as the Network Control Protocol and were eventually responsible for the ARPANet’s ability to link to other networks. Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf were the individuals in charge of developing these protocols.

Who invented packet switching and what is it?

What is packet switching?

Paul Baran, Donald Davies, and Leonard Kleinrock were three additional persons who helped shape how the Internet operates. These mathematicians invented packet switching, which is how computers transmit data over the Internet. Computers break data into packets rather than sending it as a single large file. Each packet associated with the same file will travel a distinct route through a network to reach its destination. Once there, the receiving computer reconstructs the file using the information included in each packet.

Four key principles governed the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). They are as follows:

  • Connection to the network: A gateway allows any network to connect to another network.
  • Distribution: There would be no centralised network management or control.
  • Error correction: Packets lost would be retransmitted.
  • Design with a black box: A network would not have to undergo any internal alterations in order to connect to other networks.

Which organization invented the “World Wide Web”?

While working at CERN in the early 1980s, Tim Berners-Lee experimented with hypertext and built a system for academics to use to connect together research materials. This system was the initial HTML version (Hypertext Markup Language). Later, in 1991, CERN launched the World Wide Web by combining HTML with a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) allocated to each content and a protocol to connect everything together. 

On August 6, 1991, Cern launched the WWW’s website, info.cern.ch, created by Berners-Lee. The following year, the first music and video files were shared via the internet the next year, and the phrase “surfing the internet” became common.

A brief history the World Wide Web

Who else contributed to making the internet what it is today?

Ray Tomlinson, who created e-mail, and Abhay Bhushan, who produced the first file transfer protocol standards, were other major contributions. 

Furthermore, Paul Mockapetris devised something critical to how we interact with the Internet in 1983: the Domain Name System. All Internet-connected devices have addresses that are a string of numbers. However, most people struggle to memorise long strings of numbers. Mockapetris devised a method for allowing users to enter word-based addresses that computers could cross-reference with a database of numerical numbers.

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