Happy Birthday, Internet!
On October 29, 1969, ARPANET was born, which later became popularly known as the Internet. Scientists at UCLA and Stanford linked two computers together via a network. Originally operated through the Department of Defense, the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) intended to do “high risk, high gain” research into many areas including computer-to-computer connections via network protocols. Remote network connections were possible prior to this, but were tremendously inefficient and unreliable.
At that time, there were no dedicated network lines. Instead packets of information were sent over phone lines by means of a modem. In 1969, transmission rate was only 50 Kbps. Also keep in mind that computers were only operated by the government, major universities, and a few companies. Most computers filled rooms, through the first $18,000 “desktop” computer had been made about 4 years prior.
So in 1969, this was the Internet:
And here is the Internet in 2006, North America only: