25 Facts about the Internet

1. Origins

The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks.


The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was one of the world’s first operational packet switching networks, the first network to implement TCP/IP, and the progenitor of what was to become the global Internet.

3. First Nodes

The first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET were interconnected between Leonard Kleinrock’s Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Douglas Engelbart’s NLS system at SRI International (SRI) in Menlo Park, California, on 29 October 1969.


The Computer Science Network (CSNET) was a computer network that began operation in 1981 in the United States. Its purpose was to extend networking benefits, for computer science departments at academic and research institutions that could not be directly connected to ARPANET, due to funding or authorization limitations. It played a significant role in spreading awareness of, and access to, national networking and was a major milestone on the path to development of the global Internet.


Following the deployment of the Computer Science Network (CSNET), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) aimed to create an academic research network facilitating access by researchers to the supercomputing centers funded by NSF in the United States. In 1985, under the leadership of Dennis Jennings, the NSF established the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET). The NSFNET initiated operations in 1986 using TCP/IP. Its six backbone sites were interconnected with leased 56-kbit/s links.

6. Internet

Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990. The Internet was fully commercialized in the U.S. by 1995 when NSFNET was decommissioned, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic.


In 1982, the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized and the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected TCP/IP networks, called the Internet, was introduced. The Internet protocol suite is the networking model and a group of communications protocols used for the Internet and similar networks. It is commonly known as TCP/IP, because its most important protocols, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), were the first networking protocols defined in this standard.

8. TCP

TCP provides reliable, ordered and error-checked delivery of a stream of octets between programs running on computers connected to a local area network, intranet or the public Internet.

An octet is a unit of digital information in computing and telecommunications that consists of eight bits. The term is often used when the term byte might be ambiguous, as historically there was no standard definition for the size of the byte.

9. UDP

Applications that do not require the reliability of a TCP connection may instead use the connectionless User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which emphasizes low-overhead operation and reduced latency rather than error checking and delivery validation.

10. IP

IP, as the primary protocol in the Internet layer of the Internet protocol suite, has the task of delivering packets from the source host to the destination host solely based on the IP addresses in the packet headers. For this purpose, IP defines packet structures that encapsulate the data to be delivered. It also defines addressing methods that are used to label the datagram with source and destination information.

11. IPv4

An IPv4 address consist of four octets, usually shown individually as a series of decimal values ranging from 0 to 255, each separated by a full stop (dot). Using octets with all eight bits set, the representation of the highest numbered IPv4 address is Every device on the Internet is assigned an IP address for identification and location definition. IPv4 provides approximately 4.3 billion addresses.

12. IPv6

IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4, which still carries more than 96% of Internet traffic worldwide as of May 2014. With the ever-increasing number of new devices being connected to the Internet, the need arose for more addresses than the IPv4 address space has available. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, allowing 2128, or approximately 3.4×1038 addresses, or more than 7.9×1028 times as many as IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses.

13. DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. An often-used analogy to explain the Domain Name System is that it serves as the phone book for the Internet by translating human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, the domain name www.toplst.com translates to the addresses (IPv4)

14. Services

The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing and telephony.

15. FTP

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. The first FTP client applications were command-line applications developed before operating systems had graphical user interfaces, and are still shipped with most Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems.

16. Email

Electronic mail, most commonly referred to as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Historically, the term electronic mail was used generically for any electronic document transmission. For example, several writers in the early 1970s used the term to describe fax document transmission. Network-based email was initially exchanged on the ARPANET in extensions to the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), but is now carried by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), first published as Internet standard 10 (RFC 821) in 1982.

17. Email Box

An email box (also email mailbox, e-mailbox) is the destination to which electronic mail messages are delivered. It is the equivalent of a letter box in the postal system.

18. Email Address

An email address identifies an email box to which email messages are delivered. An email address such as [email protected] is made up of a local part, an @ symbol, and then a domain part.

19. WWW

The World Wide Web (abbreviated as WWW or W3, commonly known as the web) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. On March 12, 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist and former CERN employee, wrote a proposal for what would eventually become the World Wide Web. With help from Robert Cailliau, he published a more formal proposal (on 12 November 1990) to build a “Hypertext project” called “WorldWideWeb” as a “web” of “hypertext documents” to be viewed by “browsers” using a client–server architecture. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built all the tools necessary for a working Web: the first web browser (which was a web editor as well); the first web server; and the first web pages, which described the project itself.

20. Terms

The terms “Internet” and “World Wide Web” are often used in everyday speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. On the other hand, the web is one of the services that runs on the Internet. It is a collection of text documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs, usually accessed by web browsers from web servers. In short, the web can be thought of as an application “running” on the Internet.

21. Browser

A web browser or browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. The first web browser was invented in 1990 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It was called WorldWideWeb and was later renamed Nexus. In 1993, browser software was further innovated by Marc Andreessen with the release of Mosaic, “the world’s first popular browser”, which made the World Wide Web system easy to use and more accessible to the average person. Andreessen, soon started his own company, named Netscape, and released the Mosaic-influenced Netscape Navigator in 1994, which quickly became the world’s most popular browser, accounting for 90% of all web use at its peak.

22. URL

A Uniform Resource Locator, abbreviated as URL (also known as web address, particularly when used with HTTP), is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to a resource. In most web browsers, the URL of a web page is displayed on top inside an address bar. An example of a typical URL would be “//www.toplst.com/25-facts-about-the-internet/”.

23. HTTP

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web.

24. HTML

HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the standard markup language used to create web pages. HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets. The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visible or audible web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page.

25. World Information Society Day

World Information Society Day was proclaimed to be on 17 May by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, following the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis. The day had previously been known as World Telecommunication Day to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union in 17 May 1865. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the Internet and new technologies.