America created an agency known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), and one of the early projects of ARPA was the ARPANET. ARPANET was the world's first packet switching network.
There was one computer each at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. At 10:30 PM on October 29, 1969, a message was sent from the computer at UCLA to the one at Stanford. With that message, the Internet was born. From those two connected computers, the Internet would come to be.
The Internet's growth was incredibly slow. In 1970, the number of computers on this new network had only grown from 4 to 13, and by 1971, the number had increased to 23.
By 1977, the number of computers connected to the network finally reached 100.
By 1984, there were finally over a thousand computers connected!
By 1987, 10,000 computers were connected, and computers were just starting to make it into people’s homes.
By 1992, just four years later after the 10,000 mark, over a million computers were online!
In 1996, another four years, 10 million computers were now connected to the Internet. The growth got very rapid, indeed!
Today, over 1.7 billion users have access to the internet, despite the slow computer growth in the earlier stages. In the late 80s and early 90s, the cost of computers dropped, and as more people "logged on", there was more value for other people to log on. That is why it seems as if the growth of the Internet exploded overnight, and here we are today!
Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library.
The World Wide Web was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee during a year long period from 1989 to 1990. The web is an application built on top of the internet. A person accesses the web by using a browser. The browser displays documents on the web.
The operating system known as Linux was developed by Linus Torvald in 1991. It was open source, and he created it as a non commercial replacement. Open source is the idea that software code is made freely available to anybody who wants to use it.
In 1991, there was only one website. A year later, the number had increased to 4.
From 1992 to 1993, the number of websites exploded from 4 to 623!
SourceForge, Inc, currently known as Geeknet, Inc. is a company that owns several computer tech-related websites. It was founded in 1993.
From 1993 to 1994, the website count skyrocketed from 623 to 10,022!
Craigslist features free online classified advertisements. Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list of friends, before becoming a web-based service in 1996.
By 1996, there were 603,367 websites available.
By 1997, the internet was bursting with websites at a whopping 1,681,868.
Mainly known for their popular search engine, Google Inc. is a multinational public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation, and hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products. The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 4, 1998.
Google runs over one million servers in data centers around the world and processes over one billion search requests every day. Google has certainly shaped the Internet--the many services they offer has made a huge impact in the virtual world, notably their search engine: it is one of the most visited sites nowadays. People rely on this to gather knowledge, whether common or not, and "Google" is now becoming a verb.
The web was easy to use, but people still needed a way to connect to the internet. Some state that America Online was the best way to access the internet during the 90s, but others will say that it was a ‘dumbed down’ version of the internet. Either way, America Online (AOL) made a very huge impact on internet growth during mid 1990s.
AOL had much to offer, such as games, chat programs, and the first MMORPG. They originally charged users for every hour they spent on the internet, but this was replaced with an unlimited monthly fee in 1996. It took only 3 years for AOL to reach 10 million subscribers and by 2001 AOL had an estimated 30 million subscribers. AOL really brought a lot of attention to the internet!
By 2000, there were 25,675,581 websites up and going. The growth increased rapidly in the late 90s!
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative encyclopedia project, with 15 million articles that have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. It was launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger and is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.
Created in February 2005, YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google.
Grooveshark allows users to search for, stream, and upload music free of charge that can be played immediately or added to a playlist. Grooveshark streams 50 to 60 million songs per month, to more than 400,000 users.
Hulu is a website offering streaming video of TV shows and movies to the users in the United States.
The Hulu venture was announced in March 2007 with AOL, MSN, Facebook, and Yahoo! planned as "initial distribution partners." In late August 2007, the website went live, with an announcement only and no content. Hulu began the private beta testing by invitation in October, and launched for public access in the United States on March 12, 2008.
As of December 2009, Project Gutenberg claimed over 30,000 items in its collection. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. It has really made a significant impact to the growth of the internet over the many years!
Today, there are over 230 million web sites. Despite the growth slowing down in recent years, it is still continuing.