How old is the internet

How old is the Internet? When was the internet invented?

The internet is 15080 days or 41 years 3 months 14 days old

The above-mentioned data is based on the birth of the modern internet (that we use today) which is officially considered to be on January 01, 1983, when the ARPANET shifted to the TCP/IP protocol.

However, ARPANET – the predecessor of the modern-day internet was born on October 29,1969 making it  54 years 5 months 17 days old.

The Internet. This is something that has become one of our daily essentials. From waking up to going back to sleep, the Internet always plays a significant role. However, you might wonder what exactly the Internet is. How old is the Internet? When was the internet invented? Ah… don’t worry; you are just in the right place. This article will answer all your queries.

What is the internet?

Although we have answered your question, “how old is the internet”, let us know about the internet in detail. What is it? What are its features?

To begin with, the Internet is a network of devices such as computers, mobiles, laptops, and so on, connected to each other. This network consists of the connection of devices from across the globe. 

Now, the question is, how are the devices connected? It’s very simple. Let us consider an example.

Suppose you want to connect two computers or devices. Now there are several ways to do so. You can either use cables or wireless methods such as Wi-Fi. Simple, isn’t it? 

Now let us focus on the bigger picture. What if, let’s say, you want to connect ten computers? Aye… that’s a bit complex because that’ll require several cables, plugs, and so on. But wait, there’s a simple method too.

We can use, routers (I’ll define what a router is below). So to connect say ten computers to a network, so that they can interact with each other, we connect all the computers to a router. In simple terms, the router transfers data (packets) to the devices connected to each other.

What is a router?

A router, in simple terms, is a small computer that sends data and traffic to a computer connected to it. It exchanges the data from the source node to the receiver node and vice-versa. 

Now coming back to the topic, this is how you can connect computers and form a network. 

Similarly, computers and devices are connected globally to each other following these methods. This forms a network. This network is what we call the Internet.

The Internet and World Wide Web ARE NOT the same things.

People often get confused. They often use the Internet and the World Wide Web interchangeably. However, they are not the same. We’ll see why.

What is the World Wide Web (WWW)?

In simple terms, the World Wide Web or the WWW or the W3, or the Web is a part of the Internet. The Internet serves as the backbone of the Web. 

Basically, the World Wide Web is a collection of websites and web pages. Web pages and websites contain a variety of things such as articles, information, video, photos, and so on. 

These websites and web pages are stored on servers. Take the example of this article. This is a web page. It is located on the Lots to Read website. The website is stored (we call that hosting in technical terms) on a server. 

Now the World Wide Web can be accessed by browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, and so on). 

Now, let’s sum up what the World Wide Web is:

  • Firstly, the World Wide Web is a collection of websites and web pages that contain articles, media, and so on. 
  • Secondly, it is based on the Internet. The web pages in the World Wide Web are connected by the Internet.
  • Lastly, the World Wide Web is a way of accessing websites and web pages. It uses the Internet to communicate and connect between the users and their requested web pages.

Did you want to know How old is the internet? Of course, you did. Just Kidding. We’ll come to that in a bit. But first, understand the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Difference between the Internet and World Wide Web

In simple terms, the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web is:

  • The Internet is the backbone, the base. The World Wide Web is based on the Internet.
  • The Internet is a global network of devices connected to each other. The World Wide Web is a collection of websites and web pages that use the Internet to communicate and connect.
  • The Internet consists of the World Wide Web, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), e-mail, and so on.

Hopefully, your confusion is cleared. Now let’s move on to your question, when was the internet invented?

When was the Internet invented?

The modern-day Internet was invented on January 1, 1983. However, the ARPANET was created on October 29, 1969. 

You must be wondering what precisely the ARPANET is. Right? Yeah. I got you. Don’t worry. Just read more.

What is ARPANET?

It can be said that the ARPANET is the forefather of the modern-day Internet. It stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. 

In simple terms, the ARPANET was a WAN (Wide Area Network). It was developed primarily for scientific purposes. It aimed to connect the university computers so that experimental data and resources could be shared and communicated by the connected universities. 

It began by connecting four nodes (universities). It connected computers at the Stanford Research Institute, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and The University of Utah.

October 29, 1969, at 10:30 pm. The ARPANET was born with the transfer of one simple message. The message was sent from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute (SRI). 

ARPANET Map

Charles Kline, a student programmer, sent the letters ‘l’ and ‘o’ of the word ‘login’ to SRI which was some 350 miles away from UCLA.

Although the system crashed immediately, it was the beginning of a legacy. 

Birth of the modern-day internet

On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET widened its network. It shifted to the TCP/IP protocol. This marked the birth of the modern-day Internet.

What is TCP/IP?

Getting boring, eh? I promise I’ll keep things as simple as I can. Now let me describe to you what TCP/IP is in the simplest possible way.

To begin with, every activity or job forms a set of rules or protocols. Right? So in plain terms, TCP/IP is a set of protocols through which data is sent over the Internet.

TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol. What this does is it sets certain protocols (rules) for the exchange of data and messages between the computers connected in a network.

Clear? Next, in this protocol, the data is taken and divided into packets (or parts in plain terms). Then, the packets are numbered and assembled in order.

After that, it initiates a connection with the recipient and maintains it until the packet transfer is complete. Once the connection is initiated, the packets are sent. In case, one or more packets fail to be sent; it resends them again.

So this was a simple description of TCP.

Next, let us learn what IP is.

What is IP?

Now, IP stands for Internet Protocol. Yes, that’s right. This is another protocol. However, unlike TCP, which takes care of the packet transfer part, IP takes care of the address part.

Confused? Don’t worry. Just read on.

Remember that TCP divides data into packets? Now they need to be given a number and an address right? Or how else would they be sent over the vast Internet to a specific recipient?

That’s what IP is for. IP information is attached to every packet. Every domain or device has a unique IP. When the packets are sent, they are directed to the specified IP. In this way, data is sent to the specific receiver, when necessary.

People also ask:

1) How old is the internet years?

The modern-day Internet (that follows the TCP/IP protocol) is 41 years 3 months 14 days old. The birth of the modern-day is officially considered on January 1, 1983 after the ARPANET shifted to the TCP/IP protocol.

2) How old is the Internet in days?

The modern-day internet is officially considered to be born on January 1, 1983, and hence today the internet is 15080 days old.

3) What year did Internet start?

The modern-day internet started on January 1, 1983. However its predecessor, the ARPANET was invented on October 29, 1969.

4) When did the Internet go public?

The internet became public on April 30, 1993, after the CERN issued a statement and put it into the public domain.

5) How old is the internet (for public use)?

The birth of the modern-day is officially considered on January 1, 1983, after the ARPANET shifted to the TCP/IP protocol and hence the modern-day Internet is 41 years 3 months 14 days old.

6) How old is the internet in 2021?

As of 31 December 2021, the internet was 38 years 11 months 30 days old.

7) How old is the internet in 2022?

As of 31 December 2022, the internet was 39 years 11 months 30 days old.

8) What is the age of internet meaning?

The age of internet describes the time frame since which the internet was made accessible to the public. Although the modern-day internet was born on January 1, 1983, it was made publicly available on April 30, 1993.

9) How old is Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer was launched on August 16, 1995, and it officially retired and reached the end of support on June 15, 2022 – after serving for 26 years, 9 months, and 30 days.

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Anupam Kundu
A professional blogger and an IT freak. The atypical combo of a Civil Service aspirant and a Tech enthusiast.