In 1973, engineers began to look at ways to connect ARPANET to the packet radio network (PRNET). A packet radio network connects computers through radio transmitters and receivers. Instead of sending data across phone lines, the computers use radio waves. It took three years, but in 1976 engineers successfully connected the two networks [source: SRI].
Technicians joined the Satellite Network (SATNET) to the other two networks in 1977. They called the connection between multiple networks inter-networking, or the Internet for short. Other early computer networks soon joined. They included USENET, BITNET, CSNET and NSFNET.
In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee developed a system designed to simplify navigation on the Internet. In time, this system became known as the World Wide Web. It didn't take long for some people to mistakenly identify the Internet and the Web as the same thing. The Internet is a global interconnection of computer networks; the World Wide Web is a way to navigate this massive network. In sailing terms, it's like comparing an ocean to a ship.
Most early Internet users were government and military employees, graduate students and computer scientists. Using the World Wide Web, the Internet became much more accessible. Colleges and universities began to connect to the Internet, and businesses soon followed. By 1994, Internet commerce had become a reality.
Today, the Internet is more complex than ever. It connects computers, satellites, mobile devices and other gadgets together in a massive network millions of times more intricate than the original ARPANET. And to think, we owe it all to a silver beeping ball that once orbited miles above the Earth's surface.
To learn more about Sputnik, ARPANET and related topics, follow the links below.
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More Great Links
- "A Technical History of the ARPANET." THINK project, The University of Texas at Austin. http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/chris/nph/ARPANET/ScottR/arpanet/timeline.htm
- "Birth of the Internet." Smithsonian. http://Smithsonian.yahoo.com/arpanet2.html
- "Computer Pioneer Robert Kahn with Ed Feigenbaum." Computer History Museum video. January 9, 2007. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3uTKs9XZyk
- "Getting the net off the ground." BBC News. March 4, 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/4317521.stm
- "Internet History." Computer History Museum. http://www.computerhistory.org/internet_history/
- "Internet History: From ARPANET to Broadband." Congressional Digest. February, 2007. pgs 35 - 37, 64.
- "Internet Pioneers." http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/index.html
- "Internet." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. http://search.eb.com/eb/article-218350
- "The Arpanet: Forerunner of Today's Internet." BBN Technologies. http://www.bbn.com/about/timeline/Arpanet
- "The Internet: A Short History of Getting Connected." Federal Communications Commission. June 8, 2004.
- "The Launch of NSFNET." NSF. http://www.nsf.gov/about/history/nsf0050/internet/launch.htm
- "Timeline of SRI International Innovations: 1970s." SRI International. http://www.sri.com/about/timeline/timeline3.html
- "Transcript: Vice President Al Gore on CNN's 'Late Edition'." CNN. March 9, 1999. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09/president.2000/transcript.gore/
- Diamond, Edwin and Bates, Stephen. "The Ancient History of the Internet." American Heritage Magazine. October, 1995. pp. 34+
- Griffiths, Richard T. "The History of the Internet." Leiden University. http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/ivh/frame_theorie.html
- Hauben, Michael. "History of ARPANET." http://www.dei.isep.ipp.pt/~acc/docs/arpa.html
- Hauben, Ronda. "From the ARPANET to the Internet." June 23, 1998. http://www.columbia.edu/~rh120/other/tcpdigest_paper.txt
- Kirstein, Peter. "The ARPANET." http://www.nic.funet.fi/index/FUNET/history/internet/en/arpanet.html
- Kleinrock, Leonard. "The Birth of the Internet." August 27, 1996. http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~lk/LK/Inet/birth.html
- LivingInternet. http://www.livinginternet.com
- O'Neill, Judy. "Oral History Interview with Vinton Cerf." Smithsonian Institution. April 24, 1990. http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/comphist/vc1.html
- Port, Otis. "He Made the Net Work." Business Week. September 27, 2004. Issue 3901. Page 20.
- Smith, Jeremy N. "The Making of the Internet." World Trade Magazine. June, 2007.