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Internet History Timeline: 1965 - 1984

The Internet, as we know it today, is much different than when it was first developing. The early history of the creation of the Internet is full of exciting advances in government and university technology. Below is a brief timeline of some of the major events in the first 20 years of Internet development. These key events helped to shape the Internet of today.

The First Twenty Years of the Internet

1965: The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) sponsors a study on "cooperative network of time-sharing computers." A TX-2 at MIT Lincoln Lab directly linked to a AN/FSQ-32 at System Development Corporation in California using a dedicated 1200bps phone line.

1969: ARPA created ARPANET by connecting 4 hosts at UCLA, UCSB, SRI, and the University of Utah. The four hosts were connected using their developed Network Control Program (NCP). ARPA was responsible "for the direction or performance of such advanced projects in the field of research and development as the Secretary of Defense shall, from time to time, designate by individual project or by category,” according to the Department of Defense.

1972: ARPA changes to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense that was established as a separate defense agency under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

1976: Packet switching nodes and internetwork gateways appear. Packet switching refers to protocols in which messages are broken up into small packets and each packet is transmitted individually across the net, and may even follow different routes to the destination. When the packets reach their web destination they are reassembled into the original message.

1976: UUCP was developed at AT&T. UUCP has aided the ability to facilitate the exchange of electronic mail.

1979: A link using UUCP technology between the University of North Carolina and Duke University causes the birth of Usenet. Usenet is defined by Dictionary.com as “a messaging system that uses a computer network, especially the Internet, to transfer messages organized in thematic groups.”

1980: The first TCP/IP implementations appear. TCP/IP is made up of a few components. According to Yale University, “IP is responsible for moving packet of data from node to node. IP forwards each packet based on a four byte destination address (the IP number). The Internet authorities assign ranges of numbers to different organizations. The organizations assign groups of their numbers to departments. IP operates on gateway machines that move data from department to organization to region and then around the world.” Also TCP “is responsible for verifying the correct delivery of data from client to server. Data can be lost in the intermediate network. TCP adds support to detect errors or lost data and to trigger retransmission until the data is correctly and completely received.”

1980: By this time there are about 213 hosts making up the Internet, versus the original 4 in 1969.

1983: DARPA requires the use of TCP/IP and MILNET, the Defense Informations Systems Agency splits from ARPANET.

1983: In just a few years the number of hosts on the Internet more than doubles to 562.

1984: In October, Domain Name System (DNS) is introduced and the number of hosts has reached over 1,000. According to Webopedia, “an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address.”

Coming soon: 1985 - 2004

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