Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » Did You Know » Internet »

The Birth of the Internet

While computers were not a new concept in the 1950s, there were relatively few computers in existence and the field of computer science was still in its infancy. Most of the advances in technology at the time - cryptography, radar, battlefield communications - were due to military operations during World War II, and it was, in fact, government activities that led to the development of the Internet.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, man's first foray into outer space, and the U.S. government under President Eisenhower subsequently launched an aggressive military campaign to compete with and surpass the Soviet activities. From the launch of Sputnik and the U.S.S.R. testing its first intercontinental ballistic missile, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was born. ARPA was the U.S. government's research agency for all space and strategic missile research. In 1958, NASA was formed, and the activities of ARPA moved away from aeronautics and focused mainly on computer science and information processing. One of ARPA's goals was to connect mainframe computers at different universities around the country so that they would be able to communicate using a common language and a common protocol. Thus the ARPAnet -- the world's first multiple-site computer network -- was created in 1969.

The original ARPAnet eventually grew into the Internet. The Internet was based on the concept that there would be multiple independent networks that began with the ARPAnet as the pioneering packet-switching network but would soon include packet satellite networks and ground-based packet radio networks.

For further information on the origin of the Internet, see:

A Brief History of the Internet
A Brief Timeline of the Internet







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »

Cloud Computing Market Leaders, 2015

If not for AWS, Microsoft would dominate the cloud. The race to capture market share will grow ever more fierce in the years ahead. Here's a look... Read More »

OpenStack Brings Liberty to the Cloud

Massive changes set to come to the cloud as Big Tent model lands in widely deployed cloud platform used by Walmart, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner... Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »