Like electricity, the internet too wasn’t invented by a single person. It is the cumulative result of the concepts and ideas of many different people and organizations, and has come a long way from what it was at the time of its conception.
The idea of an internet was first thought of by the US Department of Defense in 1957 when the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) needed to share their research and technology. Initially this was done by joining their networks using phones.
In 1966, Larry Roberts of MIT designed the ARPANET, which consisted of computers linked over long distances. In 1969, ARPANET opened its networks to other universities and UCLA and Standard were among the first to be a part of their network nodes. By 1973, it extended its network over a large number of universities in the US and had also established a node in London, UK.
During the 1970s the internet underwent several major changes. The very concept of internet was revolutionized by the introduction of packet switching technology, which allowed for faster transmission of data at a considerably lower cost. In addition to that, the development of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) changed the way data was being transmitted over the internet. This decade also saw the birth of USENET and the UNIX operating system, and in 1976, the Queen of England sent the first e-mail.
In 1982, the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) was developed, and is marked as one of the most significant milestones in the history of the internet. Symbolics.com was the first domain name to be registered in the year 1985, and the first virus was reported in 1988.
In the year 1990, Tim Berners Lee, a scientist at CERN, gave birth to the concept of hypertext, i.e., a method by which documents could be linked to each other over networks. This led to the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW).
In the 90s, applications called browsers were developed to help surf the Web in a convenient way. And with that the internet was born.