Using the Internet seems pretty easy. We go to a web address and up comes a page. Or we go to our favorite social site and see pictures of our friends, families, and pets. But it takes a lot of complex software and hardware to make the Internet seem so simple. The design of the technologies that make today’s Internet work started in the 1960s, and there were over 20 years of research into how to build internetworking technologies before the first “Internet” was built in the late 1980s by academics in a project called NSFNet. Since then, the research and development into improving network technologies has continued as networks have become far larger and faster and globally distributed with billions of computers.
In order to better understand how today’s Internet works, we will take a look at how humans and computers have communicated using technology over the years.