The evolution of the Internet has been dramatic. In the 1970s, the US Department of Defense funded the ARPANET, which was used by scientists, academics, and government officials. However, the US Department of Defense withdrew funding in 1992. Then in 1985, the NSFNET, a 56 kilobit per second university network, became operational. In 1989, it was upgraded to T1 bandwidth. Today, it is one of the most widely used technologies in the world.
The early development of Internet technology has been based on the single-network model. The evolution of computer networks has led to new concepts and changes in the underlying technology. In 1973, Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC invented Ethernet, a technology that connects computers and networks. In addition to workstations and PCs, the development of LANS led to the widespread use of Ethernet technology. While ARPANET represented the earliest example of the Internet, this technology has since expanded into a multitude of networks.
The development of Internet technology has been driven by a variety of funding sources. The early development was largely funded by DARPA and NSFNet, but by 1985, commercial funding was a major factor. In the same year, Kahn and Leiner left DARPA to focus on other projects, and the IAB assumed the leadership role. The growth of the Internet community led to the need to reform the coordination mechanisms. To this end, the ICCB was disbanded and Task Forces were created to focus on specific areas of technology. The Task Forces were then merged and the Internet Activities Board was created from the chairs of these groups.
The internet has evolved a great deal over the last two decades. In the 1990s, Delphi became the first national commercial online service. In May 1995, the government lifted restrictions on commercial use of the Internet. This allowed Windows 98 to hit the market. Today, internet technology is made up of two parts: client computers that connect to the Internet through an ISP and a server that connects directly to the network. This server holds web pages, sites, and applications. DNS (domain name) translates domain names into IP addresses, while HTTP/HTTPS secures all communication between computers.
Another major development in the field of internet technology is the evolution of RFCs. These specifications were initially open to the public and provided a way for entrepreneurs to use them. The evolution of the Internet is largely a result of the use of email, and email has influenced all aspects of the Internet, from technical standards to Internet engineering. Early RFCs were developed by a single location, but thanks to email, the pattern changed. Today, RFCs are written jointly by several individuals with a shared vision.
TCP/IP was developed during the 1970s. Between 1973 and 1982, the TCP/IP protocol suite was implemented on various operating systems. The US military took interest in the emerging technology, and in January 1983, ARPANET became the world’s first TCP/IP wide area network. The next decade saw the development of TCP/IP protocols. A team led by Cerf at Stanford developed several implementations of the protocol. Today, there are thousands of networks worldwide that use TCP/IP to transfer data.