Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Discussion: Internet History


Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 – May 2016 (Source: Netcraft)



Nothing in this world exists on its own. Understanding the relationship between technologies, people, cultures, the arts, etc. will make you a smarter person. Understanding the relationship between today and yesterday will help you understand the present and predict the future. This is the most important reason to study the history of anything. With this in mind, let's take a look at the history of the Internet.

  • The Internet is a group of networked computers sharing a common protocol
  • Major uses of the Internet include the world wide web, email and usenet
  • English is the most common language used on the Internet (53%)
  • Many people believe the Internet was invented in 1969 when four universities networked their computers as part of ARPANET
  • The first email message was sent over ARPANET in 1971
  • By 1976, UIUC had built a network of 950 computers called PLATO which featured "a variety of novel tools for online communication, including Personal Notes (e-mail), Talkomatic (chat rooms), Term-Talk (instant messaging), monitor mode (remote screen sharing) and emoticons."
  • The world wide web took off when Mosaic, the first graphical web browser was released in 1993 by NCSA at UIUC
  • Mosaic evolved into Netscape, which was the dominant browser until 1997, when Microsoft's Internet Explorer became the dominant browser
  • The "dot-com crash" of 2002 barely slowed the growth of websites
  • The subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–09 also had very little effect on the growth of websites
  • So, where is all this going?

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Last updated: 8/22/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young