Imagine talking about the latest elections with someone three thousand miles away without receiving a large phone bill; or sending a letter to a friend or relative and having it arrive one second later. How would it feel to know that any source of information is at your fingertips at the press of a button? All of these are possible and more with a system of networks all connected and sending information at light speed from place to place known as the Internet. The Internet was a trendy word in the Nineties, yet it has a background that spans all the way back to the Sixties. Since the Internet's conception, it has grown to be one of the most important developments in the world, connecting millions of people worldwide. This paper will discuss the Internet's history, its many uses, its future implications, and its impact on society.
The Internet has had a long and interesting history. It began in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I. This event triggered US President Dwight Eisenhower to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency to regain the technological lead in the arms race. During the 1960s, the ARPA formed a network which grew and evolved into the Internet. The U.S. defense department hired ARPA, and they first connected computers at Stanford Research Institute in California, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the University of Utah (Microsoft Encarta 98). This original network, which was the very first computer network, was called ARPANET (ARPA NETwork). The developers built ARPANET with a goal of creating a network that was damage-proof, therefore being an effective communication method for military use in the event of a nuclear war (Leiner, Barry. http://www.isoc.org ).
As ARPANET grew in the 1970s, with more and more universities and institutions connecting to it, users found it necessary to establish standards for the way that data was transmitted over the network.