The Internet as we know it today was not made up of high-speed broadband, smartphones or the Cloud.
In fact, the original network was called ARPANET and was a single homogenous network of packet switches called IMPs (Interface Message Processors) connected by dedicated telephone circuits. The mainframe computers, called hosts, were connected to the packet switches. So the basic network was a set of specialized computers, IMPs, that facilitated the exchange of packets between the host computers.
The Internet introduced us to the concept of a network of heterogenous packet switched networks interconnected by specialized computers called gateways. The hosts on each network knew they were part of the Internet and knew how to send and receive Internet packets. The gateways knew they were part of the Internet and they routed Internet packets from gateway to gateway across multiple networks until they arrived at the destination network at which point they were relayed to the destination host on the destination network.
From connecting minds across continents to introducing eCommerce, the Internet has become something most of us now rely on every day for pretty much everything. Yet despite all of that, few of us know its history. This infographic by SSL2BUY sheds light onto it.
Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.