Internet History Timeline

1957

Sputnik

The USSR launches Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite.

Sputnik

Image via Wikipedia

1958

ARPA

The US Government sets up the Advanced Research Projects Agency in response to Sputnik launch. ARPA soon develops a successful satellite and starts working on computer networking and communications technology.

ARPA logo

Image via False Dilemma

1958

Modem

Bell Laboratories invents the modem which converts digital signals into analogue signals and back. Computers can now communicate over telephone lines.

BELL Labs Dataphone

Image via computerhistory.org

1962

Intergalactic Network

J.C.R. Licklider writes about his idea for an 'Intergalactic Network' of computers. He becomes head of computer research at ARPA.

JCR Licklider

Image via Valbonne Consulting

1963

ASCII

ASCII is a system for representing alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers) in binary code (0s and 1s). It becomes the standard and now computers from different manufacturers can communicate with each other.

ASCII Code

Image via sticksandstones

1964

Paul Baran invents packet switching

Packet switching is a technology for breaking messages into small chunks and routing them over a distributed network. Messages can reach their destination intact even when part of the network is damaged.

ASCII Code

Image via RT

1969

ARPANET

The earliest internet, ARPANET, links together the networks of four US universities.

Map of the Original Arpanet

Image via California State University

1971

Email

Ray Tomlinson invents email. The @ symbol is used to separate the name from the domain.

Ray Tomlinson with the @ symbol

Image via www.thisismyouse.co.uk

1971

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg begins. It's a volunteer effort to digitise books that are out of copyright and provide them free to the public. The collection now has over 50,000 e-books.

Project Gutenberg

Image via sticksandstones

1974

TCP/IP

"Fathers of the internet" Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn invent TCP/IP and coin the word internet. TCP/IP are the internet's core communication protocols.

Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn, inventors of TCP/IP

Image via Princeton University

1979

Usenet

The Usenet Bulletin Board System (BBS) is introduced. Modern internet forums are based on the original BBS idea.

Usenet Interface

Image via Rap Genius

1982

First Emoticon

Smiley emoticon is used in a message posted to the computer science discussion board at Carnegie Mellon University.

Smiley Emoticon

Image via Carnegie Mellon University

1983

Domain Name System

The Domain Name System (DNS) is invented and makes IP addresses more human friendly. For example, wikipedia.org is easier than 208.80.154.224.

1988

IRC

Internet Relay Chat, the forerunner to modern instant messaging apps, is introduced.

Early IRC Interface

Image via snipview

1988

First Internet Attack

Cornell University student Robert Morris releases the Morris Worm. The virus infects thousands of computers within hours. The source code is held at the Computer History Museum on its original floppy disk.

Floppy Disk containing Morris Worm source code.

Image via This Day in Tech History

1989

Internet comes to Australia

Australia's Academic and Research Network is connected to the international internet.

Australia Academic and Research Network Logo

Image via www.thisismyouse.co.uk

1989

HTTP

British computer scientist Tim Berners Lee finalises HTTP - the key technology enabling the transfer of hypertext web pages.

HTTP Logo

Image via Wikimedia

1991

The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is introduced to the public, and the first ever webpage is published. The Web is made up of hypertext (HTML) documents connected to each other via hyperlinks, creating a vast information space.

First ever website

Image via Ars Technica

1993

Mosaic

The Mosaic web browser is released. It is the first browser with a graphical user interface (GUI) making the web much easier to access.

The Mosaic browser graphical user interface

Image via Advisory Group on Computer Graphics

1994

First Web Purchase

A Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza is ordered over the internet. The original site is still live!

Pepperoni Pizza

Image via Huffington Post

1994

First Banner Ad

The first banner ad, for US company AT&T, appears on the web.

First banner ad on web

Image via Mashable

1995

Amazon

Amazon is launched as 'The World's Biggest Bookstore'.

Amazon Home Page 1995

Image via Business Insider

1995

eBay

Auction site eBay is launched. The first item sold is a broken laser pointer for $14.83.

Image via Google

1995

Sydney Morning Herald Online

Sydney Morning Herald launches its online edition. The image shows the home page as it appeared on January 1, 1997.

1996 version of the SMH online

Image via Marketing Mag

1996

Nokia 9000

The Nokia 9000 Communicator is released. It's the first mobile phone with internet connectivity.

Nokia 9000 internet phone

Image via Medium

1996

Hotmail

Hotmail is launched, the first web based email service. The name comes from HTML - HoTMaiL.

Hotmail page in 1997

Image via cNet

1997

Internet Banking

24 hour internet banking becomes available in Australia through Commonwealth Bank's NetBank.

Commonwealth Bank Netbanking interface in 1997

Image via Commonwealth Bank

1998

Google

Search engine Google.com is launched.

Google's original page

Image via Business Insider

1999

PayPal

Online payment system PayPal is launched, making internet transactions easier and more secure.

Image via Logok Museum of Logo

1999

Napster

The peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing application allows people to swap personal music collections online. Most of the content is copyright and Napster is shut down in 2001.

Image via copybrighter.com

1999

Australia gets Broadband

ADSL broadband internet is made available via Telstra and download speeds increase.

Image via Logopedia

2001

Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales launches Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

Wikipedia early page

Image via Six Revisions

2003

iTunes

Apple's online music store opens.

Original iTunes interface

Image via Engadget

2003

Skype

Skype starts offering free video calls over the internet using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.

Skype early interface

Image via The Museum of Public Relations

2004

Facebook

Facebook is developed by Harvard college student Mark Zuckerberg as a social networking application for university students.

The Facebook original interface

Image via Wikipedia

2004

Firefox

Mozilla Foundation releases the Firefox browser. The browser's open source code is publicly available.

Firefox Logo

Image via Wikipedia

2004

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is launched. It's currently the world's most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) with over 100 million player accounts.

Early WoW gaming interface

Image via Culture & Communication

2005

YouTube Launches

Me at the Zoo is YouTube's first video, uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim.

2006

Twitter

Social networking platform Twitter is launched. Users read and post 140-character messages called 'tweets'.

Twitter Logo

Image via Wikipedia

2007

iPhone

Apple releases the first iPhone. The AppStore opens in 2008.

Original iPhone

Image via The Telegraph UK

2007

Street View

Google uses roving vehicles fitted with cameras to gather street level images from around the world. They are stitched together into panoramas and become a feature of Google Maps.

via Google Maps

2009

Bitcoin

Digital currency Bitcoin is invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. It can be used to purchase goods and services online in place of credit card.

1 = A$473.39

Bitcoin currency symbol

Image via bitcoin.org

2010

Instagram

Photo-sharing service Instagram is launched. It currently has over 400 million users.

Bitcoin currency symbol

Image via Wix

2011

National Broadband Network

NBN Co. begins laying fibre-optic cable across Australia. Half a million customers already have access to high speed broadband.

NBN Logo

Image via Australian Financial Review

2012

Uber

The car ride-sharing service Uber is launched in Australia. Uber's smartphone app connects drivers with passengers.

Uber Logo

Image via Uber

2012

Airbnb

Airbnb is launched in Australia. The web-based accommodation sharing service puts home owners and travellers in direct contact.

Airbnb Logo

Image via airbnb