The History  of the Internet


The whole Story started in 1957 <= 1956 SU launched Sputnik. And nobody in America has done  anything against it<= they were not able to do something.

Why did Sputnik influenced so the computer science ?

 It was Sputnik because it gave America a hint of what the future would bring. =>The Internet in the way we know it now is somehow a "child of the cold war".

America wanted to be able to make a counterstrike even after a nuclear Attack from SU. =>So they needed a "network" to communicate with, even if next to whole America was destroyed (if the center of the American communication would have been destroyed the rest was still able to communicate).

  1. ARPA

So the first Project called Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was started in the year 1957 by the Dod(Department of Defense). This Agency was founded to cooperate with the University’s and the Industry to make sure an technical advantage for the SU. The project was so important that even unrealistic and in a way silly ideas have been followed . So the project wasn’t limited only to communication;  they also investigated for new rocked technologies ..

Interaction with computers of that time was limited to punched cards or magnetic devices. An other problem was that every computer family was incompatible to any other system. Computers were primary used as giant calculating machines - but I really thing you should know the rest of this part of the problems. The conditions created by were perfect for an experimental network, this network connected all members that took part in the research - they were connected to PI Principal Investigators (prim. University’s and the Industry). They had an meeting which took part every year and 1967 were the first network plan was presented: Computers should connect per phone line an central computer (we'd now call it server) and this computer should manage the communication between the other computers. One of the main characteristics of this system was, that every computer hat to use the same line every time. So if one node was disabled the whole system broke down. This idea was not sense full in a case of an war, because if the central computer was destroyed (and he would be the primary aim) the whole system collapsed. So they had to develop different ideas...

  1. The Rand-Reports:

Beginning of 60's: Paul from RAND (Research and Development) Corporation had an offer from US Air force to look for the possibilities for the better defense and control of Airways. At 1964 he presented a work called "On Distributed Communications Networks" and in it he developed a packets orientated network (information reduced to small packets).

All elements in network send and retrieve the same kind of information.

They all are equal, no center --> even in a nuclear war the “living” parts could still communicate (e.G. per Satellite).

Information spitted in small parts, every has a number (were from + where to). Routed with the hot potato principle (send as fast as you can through the next free connection) "and the node is not wearing gloves" [Baran, 1964].

The way was unimportant, only reaching the destination counts. The missing parts were send again every time because that makes sure, that the message arrive its destination.

The first Protocol: 1967 Spec. for Interface Message Processor (IMP): all hosts should be connected to this host and change information with other computers by this way.


But, as a result, at first network was created in GB. It was the "packet switched network".

 In USA: first 4 later 16 research units should be connected and it was the  ARPA Network. First plans in Oct 1967 first network in GB 1968: at the National Physics Laboratory.



                                                                                    Cerf&Kahn(developers of TCP)+Clinton…

First 4 Hosts in USA: 1. September 1969 (birthday of the internet). University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), Stanford research Institute (SRI) and University of Utah (UTAH).

Computers from 3 different producers with 4 different OS. For every new System & OS:àa new Protocol had to be written: so till 1971 15 Nods with 23 Computers were in the network. Important: the year of TELNET and FTP=> where developed.

1971 presented to public International Computer Communications Conference in Washington Hilton Hotel, with a great success. The International Networking Working Group, INWG, was founded -> it became a job to enlarge the network. 1973 University College of London in GB and Royal Radar Establishment in Norway connected to ARPANET -- total number of nods: 35


  1. TCP and the Rest

The problem: old networks nodes, that wanted to be connected with ARPANET used  a different protocols: for example , there was NCP, but it had  not enough information for addressing all necessary computers in large networks. So a new protocol has been invented the TCP Transmission Control Protocol. An other problem with the old protocol was, that the host couldn’t finish his job in case the searched host wasn’t available. First presented in September 1973. It’s job was to ensure a sure connection and the addressing of the packets. Later on it was spitted in two Protocols the TCP and the IP (first for connection second for addressing). In 1976 the DoD started to experiment with his Protocol and soon decided to use it for ARPANET. It was January of 1983 as the first machine that used this protocol was connected to the ARPANET and from this day on the ARPANET no longer exists .It was from now on better known as the INTERNET.

In 1977 there was an other important protocol for the Internet the so called Unix-to-Unix-Copy (UUCP). It enables an telephone connection between Unix based Computers.


  1. Military

In order to be able to communicate with the troops in oversea the military established two network systems, the Packet Radio Network (PRNET) and the Atlantic Packet Satellite Network (SATNET) {funk and satellite} . There was a gigantic test to proof the ARPANET and the TCP. A Bus was driving on a freeway and was sending a message over the PRNET into the ARPANET, from there it was send through the SATNET to London and back into the ARPANET to the University of California. It took 94.000 miles and passed 3 networks, but not a single packed was lost.




To enable other students to connect to use this systems a student from the University of North Carolina, Steve Bellovin, developed 1979 a program using the UUCP protocol to exchange messages between Unix Computers (a store and forward program. It was able to store messages on a server an send it from there out and store it on the net computer and send it along…) But also scientists wanted to connect the computernetwork, because till now only associated University’s were connected to the “internet” (ARPANET). So the NSF (National Science Foundation) supported a project that aimed to connect all University’s together: the CSNET (Computer Science Network). To make the connection as easy as possible they choused TCP/IP. TCP/IP was good and save enough to become the standard protocol for the military. From 1981 upon the CSNNET was used.

There was an other Network founded in 1981, the BITNET (it was initialized by IBM). This net didn’t establish a real-time connection. It was used for emails services and mailing lists. In 1987 both networks were combined to CREN (Corporation for Research and Education Networking).

In 1983 some European countries Nederland, Sweden, Denmark und GB were connected by the European Unix Network (EUnet). The Network also used the UUCP, so a connection between USENET and ARPANET was possible. This was the fist time you can use word INTERNET in the sense we use it today, because it connected the continents. In 1983 the entire NCP became TCP/IP. In this year the military started their own network, the MILNET which connected all Military hosts.

Fid net: With Fid Net Microsoft users where able to connect to the internet (was like USENET).

7.Further development

The development of the Networks:



1983        University of Wisconsin developed the Domain Name Server (you didn’t have to know the IP any longer)

1984        National Science Foundation created backbone (5 supercomputers) everybody could connect to it, so the NSFNET grew very fast.


Merits, MCI, IBM were allowed to update the internet MCI developed T1 lines with 1,5Mbps (25times faster than 56bps). IBM produced the better router and Merit administrated the Network.

1985        NSF used T1 lines.

1986        entire Network was finished


After this the amount of information began to increase. Faster connection:

Every 8 months à the speed  of data transfer was doubled. So,

A deep update was necessary.

Comp. Merit founded a company ANS, Advanced Network Systems that wasn’t profit orientated à developed T3 lines (45 Mbps) finished till 1991. In between the net grew extraordinary, it existed of 4500 different networks, all connected to the NSFNET (à 170 in 1986). Number of packets: 162 Mln.(1986) to 12,2 Mld.


1989 commercial email and mailing list companies were connected to NSFNET.

Only till 1990 ARPANET still existed

1990-1991: Was written the fist programs to find something in the net