In 1969, a research body in the USA known as Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) set a computer network that connected four universities and was given the name ARPA net. This network is viewed as a forerunner of today’s internet. The aim of the internet was to allow sharing of data and information between computers. The main benefit was that there was fast communication between researchers through electronic mail.
ARPA’s goal was to allow multiple users to send and receive information at the same time. The network used a special data transmission technique known as packet switching which was later adopted for the internet. A computer would send a packet that contained data, destination address information, error detection control information and packet sequencing information.
By 1973, e-mail was the most common service on the internet. It was not until 1979 that the first media company connected to the internet. By 1981, many people had seen the importance of computer networking and the internet. ARPA net formed the backbone on which many organizations started connecting to, hence expanding it. The American military also become a big user of the internet because they would communicate and tap resources available on the net. Next, the American government decided to access the internet for commercial purposes.
By 1987, the internet boasted of 1000 host computers. However, its access was largely limited to the US and some nations in Europe. As the importance of the internet grew, business spent billions of dollars to improve it in order to offer better services to their clients. By 1994, 3 million computers were connected to the internet. Today, the internet has grown and covered the whole world.