A Walk-Through Evolution of the Internet in 50 Years
Remembering the origin of the Internet,created as a research network for the United States Military,called Arpanet, in 1969. Over these 50 years, the Internet has changed way more than its name. Not only has the number of computers connected to the Internet grown but its user base also increased to 1.5 billion from just a handful of computer scientists initially.
Internet’s reach has expanded beyond the U.S. to almost every corner of the world. However, there is also a dark side to its popularity. It has grown from a friendly research network to a hotbed of criminal activities, such as identity theft and fraud.
Exponential Growth in the Number of Internet Hosts
Over the years, we have seen exponential growth in the number of computers connected to the Internet, starting from just four computers in the research labs at the university. As per the record, over 440 million computers worldwide are directly connected to the Internet, which excludes a million others having Internet access via one or more private addressing schemes.
Internet Users Have Grown 1 Billion
According to the data, the usage of the Internet has exploded ever since they started tracking back in 1995.While these estimates are variable according to the number of users from 1 billion to 1.5 billion, they agree that the Internet has room for growth with the increasing population worldwide. As per the data, over 4 billion people worldwide don’t have Internet connectivity as of today.
Internet has Become a Global Phenomenon
Over the past 50 years, the Internet has undergone significant changes from being a U.S.-dominated source of communication to a global network that is rapidly growing in Asia and Europe.
Exponential Growth in Domain Name Sales
Back in 1984, the Domain Name System (DNS) for the Internet was created to make complex IP addresses easy to remember as names of users’ choice. These names were so created that they must end with extensions like .com, .edu, .mil, .org, .gov, and certain country codes,such as .de for Germany, in for India, etc.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, back in 1998, privatized the registration of domain names and other operations by creating the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (i.e. an acronym for ICANN). While .com remains are quite popular since then, the overall sales of domain names have risen nearly 10-fold.
Internet Usage Has Grown With the Invention of the Web
We witnessed the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) back in 1990.Invented by Tim Berners-Lee,WWW is a method that uses hypertext format for publishing useful information on the Internet.
After a computer science student, Marc Andreessen, created the first web browser, Mosaic, in 1993, the Web began to take off.The number of websites and web pages has exploded on the Internet. Today, you can find information on almost anything on the Internet.
The Traffic Has Kept Trucking Over the Years
Industry experts quibble about the traffic on the Internet, including how fast it’s increasing every year. While they may not be sure about the actual annual growth in Internet traffic, one sure is that it has exploded since 1974. The daily Internet traffic surpassed 3 million packets back then.
Initially, the units to measure Internet traffic volume were terabytes and petabytes, which in the future will become exabytes (10 to the 18th power of bytes), considering the increasing monthly traffic. Well, that’s going to be a huge volume of data packets, no matter what you call it.
Internet Has Helped Us Make Money
Capitalizing on the opportunity to cater to an increasingly large customer base, businesses started securing their online presence in the mid-1990s, and the number has grown ever since – total sales and percentage of retail sales.
As it is impossible to measure worldwide e-commerce statistics, the U.S. Commerce Department has kept an eye on the U.S. e-commerce sales fromQ4 of the year 1999.
Security Threats Have Risen With Overall Internet Use
The Internet has been under attack several times over the years. Among these attacks, the Morris Worm was the first, which disabled about 10% (about 60,000) of the Internet’s host computers back in 1988.
Today, Internet users are attacked by hundreds of more sinister attacks every single day. The number of such attacks became so commonplace that the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) literally stopped counting keeping a track of the security incident back in 2004.
Spams Have Grown to Become Scams
Back in the year 2003, the number of spam messages sent over the Internet every single day was as high as 15 billion. This also means that a large (about 45%) share of the emails exchanged daily included unsolicited pitches for penny stocks, drugs, etc.
The figure may seem quaint in today’s day and age, compared to around 200 billion spam messages sent every day, which represents about 97% of the emails. Over last 5 years, the definition of spam has changed from annoying to malicious, including spam-driven various phishing scams online.
Latest on the Internet
Experts suggested that the Internet would continue to grow at a phenomenal rate, despite the economic statuses of different countries.The only thing we have seen over the years is the Internet becoming more social and mobile. Since 2012, the number of people using the Internet on mobiles has surpassed the number of people using it on computers worldwide.
More and more people have been downloading music, videos, and software online than using the Internet for web browsing and sending emails. YouTube and other premium OTT content services have become significantly popular, almost replacing cable TV channels.
Since its advent, the Internet has grown at a phenomenal pace. With smartphones becoming more affordable these days, people have easier access to the Internet like never before. From ordering food online to booking a round trip to your favorite destination, you can do everything with a few taps on your smartphone screen.