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The History Of The Internet

... Internet History Timeline ...

By Dave Kristula, March 1997 / Update: August 2001 / Expansion: 2009
[ 1957-1973 | 1974-1983 | 1984-1990 | 1991-1995 | 1996-Present ]

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Most Internet traffic is carried by backbones of independent ISPs, including MCI, AT&T, Sprint, UUnet, BBN planet, ANS, and more.

The Internet Society, the group that controls the INTERNET, researches new TCP/IP technology that will be able to have more than the approximately 4.3 billion addresses currently available. The problem that has arisen is that it is not known how both the old and the new addressing systems will be able to work at the same time during a transition period.

Internet2 is established.

(Backbone data below was valid in 1996, please seek other references for current backbone and host data as it is constantly expanded.)

Backbones: 145Mbps (ATM) NSFNET (now private), private interconnected backbones consisting mainly of 56Kbps, 1.544Mbps, 45Mpbs,and 155Mpbs lines, plus satellite and radio connections - Hosts: over 15,000,000, and growing rapidly
Commercial development of the world wide web exploded over the course of these four years. Learn about the Coarsegold Era Dataset - the millions of web sites developed by non-professionals during these years.
The Present and The Future

A new technology recommendation called IPv6 is suggested to replace the current IPv4 technology. IPv4 allows for fewer than 4.3 billion directly connected Internet devices, problematic because the world population (as of 2009) is well over 6.5 billion (theoretically, if ever human had a computer and mobile phone, we'd need 13 billion addresses, which is something IPv6 can easily accomplish).

In 1999, a wireless technology called 802.11b, more commonly referred to as Wi-Fi, is standardized. Over the years that follow, this technology begins appearing as a built-in feature of portable computers and many handheld devices.

In 2005, the One Laptop Per Child project begins. In an attempt to provide low cost, education-designed laptops to children around the world for a low cost (US$100 per unit) this project helps spark the netbook industry. Netbooks are small portable computers with extended battery life and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Multi-touch technology begins to appear in handheld devices, tablet computers, and netbooks. This technology supplements traditional touch-screen technology by allowing advanced gesturing (several fingers moving on a screen instead of just one). Multi-touch technology is seen as a possible alternative to traditional keyboard and mouse (touchpad) systems.

Read Bill Buxton's Overview and History of Multi-Touch Systems entitled Multi-Touch Systems that I Have Known and Loved

In December 2009, the first multi-touch website is reported.

(I've started compiling information on multitouch technology for those interested in this fascinating technology.)

In December 2010, 4G Wireless Networks are launched in the United States, allowing for high-speed connections to devices such as cell phones, tablet computers, netbooks, and laptops.

In 2011, technology companies are working with educators and independent developers to provide for immersive experiences, applying the best learning techniques with technology to improve the education system. You can learn more about this movement here.

As of January 2012,, the site you're on right now, has been visited by over 30 million people. I started this site in high school in 1996 with no experience. It doesn't take a college degree to learn web design. Check out my new free course,

Starting a web site is a lot of fun! Already know what you want to call your web site? See if the name is available to get started. Type the name, then click the ending. Some popular choices are .info and .us. Don't stick to just .com!


(Author's Note: The content of this guide was compiled in 1997. Obviously much has happened since this time. Please seek other resources for newer advancements.)

25th Anniversary of ARPANET
ARPANET and Beyond
How the Internet Came to Be
Hobbes' Internet Timeline v1.3a
Revolution in the U.S. Information Infrastructure
Wikipedia: IPv4 address exhaustion

[ 1957-1973 | 1974-1983 | 1984-1990 | 1991-1995 | 1996-Present ]
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