Who really invented the Internet?

Intro: We take it for granted and we can’t imagine the small world we live in without the Internet. But who should we thank for it since its origin is still a point of dispute?

Was it The Pentagon?

The US Government thought of a similar network since 1940 and developed the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.

ARPANET adopted the packet switching technology in the early 1970s and this led to the development of protocols for multiple networks to communicate.

This meant that separate networks could be joined into a network of networks. ARPANET served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks.

The standard evolved into the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), the two protocols of the Internet protocol suite.

Was it a private company?

Xerox used its computer networks to share copiers, because that was the company’s business. Steve Jobs visited Xerox in 1979 to borrow some ideas and he saw something bigger.  Allegedly he said about Xerox: “They just had no idea what they had” .

But just because Xerox used the today Ethernet, doesn’t mean it also invented “the” Internet as connecting computers together isn’t the same thing as a worldwide computer network.


Was it international team work?

According to Vinton Gray Cerf – one of “the fathers of the Internet”, the Internet did start with ARPANET and the federal government directly funded the creation of the Internet as we know it today, adding that “XEROX did link homogeneous Ethernets together but the method did not scale particularly well”.

It seems that it was the work of researchers around the world from dozens of organizations that created the Internet.

The first ARPANET link was established between the University of California, UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute at 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969.

The connection was done using a telephone line and one of the researchers told the story of that day:

We typed the L and we asked on the phone,

“Do you see the L?”
“Yes, we see the L,” came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, “Do you see the O.”
“Yes, we see the O.”
Then, when they typed the G letter, the system crashed …

Yet a revolution had begun.

Implementation started in 1975 at Stanford and University College London. A number of institutions including MIT, SRI, and  UCLA developed the work further.

In the early 1980s the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded national super computing centers at several universities in the United States  providing inter connectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET project.

Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the very late 1980s.

But the breakthrough was done through research at CERN in Switzerland, by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. In 1989  the World Wide Web was born, linking hypertext documents into an information system which was accessible from any node on the network. Tim Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth and is regarded as the inventor of Web, and the uploader of the first image to the internet: of a joke.

Modern Internet

The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s, marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet.

As technology advanced and commercial opportunities fueled reciprocal growth,  the volume of Internet traffic experienced growth best exemplified by Moore’s law, doubling every 18 months.


At first, the entire World Wide Web was kept on a single computer . No wonder it had a “Do not power off” note on it…

Garfield the cartoon cat once offered a free email service at Gmail.com. Google had to buy the Gmail domain from Garfield which provided, at that time, “e-mail with cattitude”.



The first email that was ever sent was by Ray Tomlinson. Understandable, to himself.

The first spam email was sent in 1978 over ARPNET by a guy selling computers.

The first registered domain was symbolics.com.

Physicist Russel Seitz measured the weight of multiple billions of electrons which make up the data that we send back and forth every day. If the Internet were weighed, it would weigh about 2 ounces (50 grams).

YouTube’s copyright-checking software scans over 100 years of video every day.

The first mobile phone that had Internet connectivity was the  Nokia 9000 Communicator

The first YouTube video was uploaded April 23, 2005. It’s called “Me at the zoo,” and features Jawed Karim, one of the founders.

The first-ever webcam was used to watch a pot of coffee.

Commercial activity online used to be explicitly banned, until 1992. Amazon.com that remains the leader of e-commerce with net sales of 280.5bn USD in 2019.

One in six marriages today occur because the couple met online.

One million babies have been born from people who met on Match.com.

On average, Google processes over 40K search queries each second. This translates into more than 5 billion searches each day.

A single Google query uses 1,000 computers in 0.2 seconds to retrieve an answer.

China holds the record for connected users, 854 millions, followed by India and the United States.

500 million tweets are sent ever day.

The most expensive keyword for Google AdWords is “insurance.”

In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today’s list of New Seven Wonders.

Today, 11 september 2020, The Internet is 11506 days old.

“Despacito” by Luis Fonsi is the most viewed video, with 6.9 billion views as of September 2020

This is what Google looked like in 2004:

This is what Facebook looked like in 2004:

Malware and internet bots account for two-thirds of internet activity.

ATMs, which date all the way back to 1974, are considered the first major Internet of Things objects

Over 23 billion devices are connected to the Internet – that’s an average of 3 devices per person.

If the internet were measured in horsepower, it takes 50 million horsepower to run the internet today.

Taiwan has the fastest Internet in the world ,85.02 MB/S followed by Singapore

It’s amazing how little we knew about something we use for more than 10 hours a day.

The Internet is huge and it is growing every second, tons of information being added daily, so stay focused and keep an eye on  Wizemy for more Knowledge Bits.

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