About the Internet

A Short History of the Internet

From the early days of ARPANET to today’s mobile technologies, the Internet has come a long way. Here we share some of the different histories of the Internet from different people and organizations.

What Internet pioneers had to say

A Brief History of the Internet

Written by those who made it history, including Barry M. Leiner, Vinton G. Cerf, David D. Clark, Robert E. Kahn, Leonard Kleinrock, Daniel C. Lynch, Jon Postel, Lawrence G. Roberts, Stephen Wolff.

A Brief History of the Internet & Related Networks

Narrative of the Internet and Related Networks by Vint Cerf.

A Short History of Internet Protocols at CERN

By Ben Segal

Interesting Historical Background to Internet Governance Issues by One of the Internet Pioneers

Address by John Klensin to the opening of the IGF, Rio de Janeiro, 2007

History of the IETF/The Internet Society relationship

By Vint Cerf, July 1995.

Announcing the Internet Society

by Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Lyman Chapin, 1992

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web, known today simply as the Web, emerged as one of the major services to run on top of the Internet.

The World Wide Web: Past, Present and Future

By Tim Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and a principal research scientist at the Laboratory for Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Little History of the World Wide Web

From W3C, this document dates from 1995 and has not been updated. The history is of course still valid though not up to date. Some links may not work. This is a monthly history list from 1980 to October 1995.

Overviews & Collections

Articles and sites offering some historical perspectives.

Imagining the Internet: A History and Forecast

A diverse collection of resources by Elon University and Pew Internet Project including concise historical information, current Internet governance discussions, and predictions about the future of the Internet.

A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies

By Alex Simonelis

Who is Who in the Internet World (WiWiW.org)

A perpetual archive devoted to Internet pioneers worldwide.

A Brief History of the Internet

By Walt Howe, Manager of the Delphi Navigating the Net and Publishing on the Web Forums (Last updated October 24 1998).

History of Internet and WWW: The Roads and Crossroads of Internet History

An overview of the philosophy and history of the Internet, by Gregory R. Gromov.

Internet History and Growth (PPT: 1MB)

Presentation in 2002 by William Slater III – Chicago Chapter of the Internet Society

Net History

A site dedicated to Internet history links, including Internet, email, web and other related history sources.

History of the Internet

This is an in-depth, researched article about the Internet with accurate and updated data.

Internet for Historians, History of the Internet

(Outline in English) History of the net, designed for non-experts, which also hopes to give some of the concepts necessary to understand how the Net works. Also includes a history of the Web and electronic mail.

The Living Internet

Examines the history of the Internet, Web, Email, Usenet, and more, using an unique step-by-step approach.

Short History of the Internet

First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in February 1993, this was written by author Bruce Sterling.

Regional Histories

History of the Internet in Africa

Although still a “young” technology, the Internet has had a profound impact on the world in the few decades that it has been around. One of the most interesting chapters of this short history has been its development in Africa.

Timeline & History of the Internet in Asia and the Pacific, 1992-2017
IUKNOF Internet History Project

The early days of the Internet in the United Kingdom. As a modest first step, individuals who played key roles in the creation and growth of the Internet in the UK are being invited to give presentations at UKNOF meetings.

Origins and Nature of the Internet in Australia

By Roger Clarke

History and Overview of CSNET (PDF: 156KB)

by Peter J. Denning, with Anthony Hearn and C. William Kern. Published in ACM SIGCOMM 83. This paper reviews the history, the goals, the organisation and the components of CSNET (the Computer Science Research Network). CSNET bridged between the original (closed) ARPANET and the NSFNET (open) by spreading the TCP/IP and nameserver technology, and by negotiating new policies with ARPA and NSF for commercial traffic on the net.


Hobbes’ Internet Timeline

An Internet timeline highlighting some of the key events and technologies which helped shape the Internet as we know it today.


A snapshot of worldwide connectivity every six months from November 1993 to May 1997.

History of the Internet Society

An interactive timeline of the Internet Society’s history from its founding to the present day.

Keith Lynch’s Timeline of net related terms, concepts, stories, and people

A timeline from June 1975 to February 1998 showing when terms, concepts, stories, and people were first mentioned.

The History of IANA

A timeline of the history of IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, from its birth in 1972 to the end of 2016.

Other Sources

The Tao of IETF – A Novice’s Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force

A guide to the history, culture, and philosophy of the IETF.

PBS’s Nerds 2.0.1

A follow-up to the original

ConneXions: The Interoperability Report

ConneXions was a monthly publication which ran from 1987-1996 focusing on computer interoperability, particularly the development of networking protocols. The scanned copies of ConneXion form a valuable archive of technical articles and discussions from a pivotal time in the Internet’s history.

Internet History Mail List

An archived mailing list for questions about Internet history

Note: The Internet Society provides this list for information purposes only. We do not monitor, review, or edit the content of any of the external sites listed above. If you have a site you would like listed here, please contact us.