It was designed to carry sensitive
and critical data over a computer network
that was supposed to be able to remain
intact in the event of nuclear attack.
The project was called ARPANET, for Advanced
Research Projects Agency Network. The ARPANET was based on a
packet-switching network. Any given unit of data could be
divided into packets, and these packets could be sent computer
to computer, to be reassembled by the receiver.
Along the way, these packets of data were routed through various
computers along the network, requiring that each computer be
able to communicate with all the others.
The network was designed to provide simultaneous links among all
the computers on the network.
Depending on whether a given computer site on the
ARPANET was busy, or perhaps taken out by a bomb, the same route
might not be available for all the data packets. This was okay,
because it was not necessary for all of the packets to take the
As long as the packets carried the information to
the destination computer where it could be reassembled, any
computer on the network was as
good as the next. ARPANET also created certain basic network
communications and control protocols known as Transmission
Internet Protocol, or the ever
famous TCP/IP. It simply refers to the set of rules by which
computers linked to the Internet use to operate and handle the
data received over a network.
The ARPANET became ever more popular and
interconnected, and its user base grew by leaps and bounds.
Eventually, commercial computer sites began hooking into the
network as well as educational, scientific and governmental
sites that had more tradition on the network.
As the network grew, the military moved its portion of ARPANET
to another entity, and thus the Internet was left to take shape.
In 1989, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear
Research (CERN) created a worldwide network of supercomputers to
smooth the progress of access to data for doctors, physicists,
and other scientists and technocrats. The CERN network quickly
grew into the massive Internet area called the
The web is what most people today call the
Internet, although there is in fact much more to it.
With page-oriented documents and links to graphics, sounds, and
videos, today the
Internet is truly a multimedia experience.
About The Author
Here, Ron E. Porter writes about the history of Internet that
started with a small network called ARPANET and grew to WWW what
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