ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) goes online in December, connecting four major U.S. universities. Designed for research, education, and government organizations, it provides a communications network linking the country in the event that a military attack destroys conventional communications systems.
Electronic mail is introduced by Ray Tomlinson. He uses the @ to distinguish between the sender's name and network name in the email address.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is designed and in 1983 it becomes the standard for communicating between computers over the Internet. One of these protocols, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), allows users to log onto a remote computer, list the files on that computer, and download files from that computer.
Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter and running mate Walter Mondale use email to plan campaign events.
Queen Elizabeth sends her first email. She's the first state leader to do so.
The word 'Internet' was used for the first time.
Domain Name System ( DNS) ) is established, with network addresses identified by extensions such as .com, .org, and .edu.
Writer William Gibson coins the term “cyberspace.”
Quantum Computer Services, which later changes its name to America Online, debuts. It offers email, electronic bulletin boards, news, and other information.
A virus called the Internet Worm temporarily shuts down about 10% of the world's Internet servers.
The World (world.std.com) debuts as the first provider of dial-up Internet access for consumers.
Tim Berners-Lee of CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) develops a new technique for distributing information on the Internet. He calls it the World Wide Web. The Web is based on hypertext, which permits the user to connect from one document to another at different sites on the Internet via hyperlinks (specially programmed words, phrases, buttons, or graphics). Unlike other Internet protocols, such as FTP and email, the Web is accessible through a graphical user interface.
Gopher, which provides point-and-click navigation, is created at the University of Minnesota and named after the school mascot. Gopher becomes the most popular interface for several years.
Another indexing system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), is developed by Brewster Kahle of Thinking Machines Corp.
Mosaic is developed by Marc Andreeson at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). It becomes the dominant navigating system for the World Wide Web, which at this time accounts for merely 1% of all Internet traffic.
The White House launches its website, www.whitehouse.gov.
Mass marketing campaigns are launched via email, introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.
CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy start providing dial-up Internet access.
Sun Microsystems releases the Internet programming language called Java.
The Vatican launches its own website, www.vatican.va.
Approximately 45 million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) U.S. households own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online.
Hotmail was discovered.
On July 8, 1997, Internet traffic records are broken as the NASA website broadcasts images taken by Pathfinder on Mars. The broadcast generates 46 million hits in one day.
The term “weblog” is coined. It’s later shortened to “blog.”
Google opens its first office, in California.
College student Shawn Fanning invents Napster, a computer application that allows users to swap music over the Internet.
The number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million by the beginning of 1999. More than 50% are from the United States.
“E-commerce” becomes the new buzzword as Internet shopping rapidly spreads.
MySpace.com is launched.
Deviant computer programmers begin designing and circulating viruses with greater frequency. “Love Bug” and “Stages” are two examples of self-replicating viruses that send themselves to people listed in a computer user's email address book. The heavy volume of email messages being sent and received forces many infected companies to temporarily shut down their clogged networks.
Wikipedia was created.
About 9.8 billion electronic messages are sent daily.
It's estimated that Internet users illegally download about 2.6 billion music files each month.
Spam, unsolicited email, becomes a server-clogging menace. It accounts for about half of all emails.
Apple Computer introduces Apple iTunes Music Store, which allows people to download songs for 99 cents each.
Facebook was discovered....
Internet Worm, called MyDoom or Novarg, spreads through Internet servers. About 1 in 12 email messages are infected.
Youtube.com is launched
There are more than 92 million websites online.
Legal online music downloads triple to 6.7 million downloads per week.