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Who invented the internet?

Updated: Apr 10

As might be expected of a technology this vast and ever-changing, it is impossible to attribute the internet's invention to a single person. The internet is the result of the work of dozens of pioneering scientists, programmers, and engineers who each invented new features and technologies that eventually merged to form the modern "information superhighway."


Long before the technology to build the internet was available, many scientists predicted the existence of global networks of information. Nikola Tesla experimented with the concept of a "world wireless system" in the early 1900s, and visionary thinkers such as Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush envisioned mechanized, searchable book and media storage systems in the 1930s and 1940s.


However, the first practical internet schematics did not appear until the early 1960s, when J.C.R. Licklider of MIT popularized the concept of a "Intergalactic Network" of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists invented the concept of "packet switching," a method for efficiently transmitting electronic data that would eventually become one of the internet's primary building blocks.


The Internet's first functional prototype was created in the late 1960s with the establishment of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. ARPANET was originally funded by the United States Department of Defense and used packet switching to connect multiple computers to a single network.

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