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The Internet evolved from a secret feasibility study conceived by the U.S. Dept. of Defense in 1969 to test methods of enabling computer networks to survive military attacks, by means of the dynamic rerouting of messages. As the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network), it began by connecting three networks in California with one in Utah-these communicated with one another by a set of rules called the Internet Protocol (IP). By 1972, when the ARPAnet was revealed to the public, it had grown to include about 50 universities and research organizations with defense contracts, and a year later the first international connections were established with networks in England and Norway. A decade later, the Internet Protocol was enhanced with a set of communication protocols, the Transmission Control Program/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), that supported both local and wide-area networks. Shortly thereafter, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the NSFnet to link five supercomputer centers, and this, coupled with TCP/IP, soon supplanted the ARPAnet as the backbone of the Internet. In 1995, however, the NSF decommissioned the NSFnet, and responsibility for the Internet was assumed by the private sector. Fueled by the increasing popularity of personal computers, e-mail, and the World Wide Web (which was introduced in 1991 and saw explosive growth beginning in 1993), the Internet became a significant factor in the stock market and commerce during the second half of the decade. By 2000 it was estimated that the number of adults using the Internet exceeded 100 million in the United States alone.
See B. P. Kehoe, Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide (4th ed. 1995); B. Pomeroy, ed., Beginnernet: A Beginner's Guide to the Internet and the World Wide Web (1997); L. E. Hughes, Internet E-Mail: Protocols, Standards, and Implementation (1998); J. S. Gonzalez, The 21st Century Internet (1998); D. P. Dern, Internet Business Handbook: The Insider's Internet Guide (1999).
Your Online Source For The Internet Get Connected Today!
This article is about the Internet, the extensive, worldwide computer network available to the public. An internet is a more general term informally used to describe any set of interconnected computer networks that are connected by internetworking.
The Internet, or simply the Net, is the publicly available worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and many other protocols. It is made up of thousands of smaller commercial, academic, domestic and government networks. It carries various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat and the interlinked web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web. Because this is by far the largest, most extensive internet (with a small i) in the world, it is simply called the Internet (with a capital I).
The Internet as mapped by The Opte Project on 15. January 2005
Creation of the Internet
Main article: History of the Internet
The story of the Internet begins in 1969 with the implementation of ARPANET by academic researchers under the sponsorship of the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Some early research which contributed to the ARPANET included work on decentralized networks, queueing theory, and packet switching. However, ARPANET itself did not interact easily with other computer networks that did not share its own native protocol. This problem inspired further research towards the development of a protocol that could be "layered" over many different types of networks.
On January 1, 1983, the core networking protocol of ARPANET was changed from NCP to TCP/IP, marking the start of the Internet as we know it today.
Another important step in the Internet's development was the National Science Foundation's (NSF) construction of a university network backbone, the NSFNet, in 1986. Important disparate networks that have successfully been accommodated within the Internet include Usenet and Bitnet.
The collective network gained a public face in the 1990s. In August 1991 Tim Berners-Lee publicized his new World Wide Web project, two years after he had begun creating HTML, HTTP and the first few web pages at CERN in Switzerland. A few academic and government institutions contributed pages but the public did not begin to see them yet. In 1993 the Mosaic web browser version 1.0 was released, and by late 1994 there was growing public interest in the previously academic/technical internet. By 1996 the word "Internet" was common public currency, but it referred almost entirely to the World Wide Web.
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