Internet – the history of the World Wide Web

It is thanks to the internet that you can read this blog right now. And the internet has revolutionized both our way of working and our way of life. We, at Soluno, who work with telephony for companies that are cloud-based, depend on the internet in our work.

Sometimes it’s easy to take this fantastic invention for granted. We dived in to the history of the internet and found a lot of exciting facts about the history of the internet.


  • The earliest version of the internet was invented in the 60’s.
  • The Internet was initially called ARPANET.
  • The first email was sent to Ray Tomlinson.
  • The first message sent over the internet was “LO”.
  • The first thing that was sold via the internet was a CD from the artist Sting.

The Internet was invented in the 1960s

The first versions of the internet appeared in the 1960s. It is usually said that the internet was created in the US as a response to Soviet success with Sputnik ,1 as it would help the US withstand a potential nuclear attack. Therefore, this was initially a project funded by the US Department of Defense.

It was as early as in 1962 that J.C.R Licklider came up with the idea of creating a network of computers that could talk to each other. Something he, at that time, called the Intergalactic Network.

The first message was “LO”

On October 29, 1962, the first message was sent from one computer to another. This was done through the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The computers were located at two of America’s most prominent universities, one at UCLA and the other at Stanford.

The message from UCLA was short and concise: LOGIN. Unfortunately, this was not short enough, the network crashed and Stanford only received the first two letters “LO”.

ARPANET was expanded

By the end of 1969, 4 computers had been connected to the ARPANET network. 1971-72, the University of Hawaii was added when the ALOHAnet was added to ARPANET. Then came networks from London and Norway.

The first email did Ray Tomlinson send to himself

In 1971, a man named Ray Tomlinson also worked on a way to send messages between different users of ARPANET. This came to be the world’s first electronic email program. The program was designed to send information from one user to another, but on the same computer. So the very first email that was ever sent was from Ray, to himself.

The program was renamed Electronic mail (Email) and it was already then that “@” was used to keep the recipient’s name and domain apart.

IP and www

Vinton Cerf invented a way for computers to communicate with each other around the world through a virtual space. The first version was called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) which was followed by the later version, Internet Protocol (IP).

Tim Berners-Lee is the man who then invented the World Wide Web. Now, it was no longer just for researchers using the internet, but instead it became a network for the large mass to share information on.

The first browser

Today, Google and Safari are two popular browsers, but in 1992 it was Erwise that was used. Erwise was the first browser to have a graphical interface. Previous versions existed, Nexus and Line Mode browser, but without the graphical interface. In 1993 Mosaic came, and this became the browser that made it popular to surf the internet. Mosaic then influenced many subsequent browsers such as Netscape. Netscape gained great popularity and was the browser that accounted for 95% of surfing in 1995.

Brower internet

Internet via dial-up

In the early 1990s, companies such as AOL and Compuserve began to supply the Internet via dial-up, the Internet that came via a telephone line. We are many who remember arguing with family members as they picked up th phone while the internet was on. In the beginning, you couldn’t call and use the internet at the same time.

dial-up internet

The first thing purchased through the internet

Today we use the internet to buy everything, clothes, electronics and food. But in fact, as early as 1984, a 74-year-old British woman, Jane Snowball, used the internet to order home goods for her store. However, the goods were delivered by hand and Jane paid with cash. So that is was perhaps not a genuine internet transaction.

It was in 1994 that transactions began, where encrypted purchases with credit cards were used. It is often said that Pizza Hut accounted for the first real Internet transaction when they began selling pizzas via the internet in late August 1994. But the fact is that a New Hampshire man, named Dan Kohn, was in charge of the very first web sale. It was through his website NetMarket that he, on August 11, 1994, sold a CD of Sting.

internet first transaction

A lot has happened since then, both when it comes to speeds and how we use the internet. And with the entry of smartphones, we can have the internet, and thus almost all the world’s knowledge, directly in our pockets. That we then choose to use this by watching cat videos and playing games, it’s a whole other five. Now that Wi-Fi 6 has been released and 5G trains into our everyday lives, we will also be able to experience significantly higher speeds, wherever we are.

Want to read more about the internet and what it is today? Then you can click the button below.

By Elin Gunnarsson
Content Manager
In a time of "it must happen now" it is of the utmost importance to have the right communication solutions.

One response to “Internet – the history of the World Wide Web

  1. It’s cool that you point out how revolutionary the invention of the internet was. I’d like to learn more about the web’s history, so I’m thinking about finding an educational site that teaches about how the internet was invented. I’m going to search for a good web site about the history of the internet.

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