Internet History

Chapter by, Ivan Lobato, Matthieu Thibaudeau, Blake Zimmerling

            Since it’s early entries and discovery into our world, the Internet has been an amazing, extravagant, and helpful tool to many people and it is constantly changing day by day, advancing more in our technology society. The Internet not only has helped, but it has revolutionized the invention of the computer and other communication devices like no other.

            In the 1950’s computers were enormous devices that filled entire rooms and had a fraction of the power and processing ability you can find in a modern PC. Many of them only read magnetic tape or punch cards, so there was no way to network them altogether. The first origins of the Internet are sought out to be written by J.C.R Licklider of MIT in 1962. His envisions were of a “globally interconnected set of computers through which everyone could quickly access data and programs from any site. He called this phenomenon “Galactic Network”. The concept that he had is very much alike to the Internet now. A couple years later ARPA, also known as Advanced Research Projects Agency, created by president Dwight D. Eisenhower at the time, decided to change that and try and connect four computers together, while running four different operating systems. The network became known as ARPANET. ARPANET established many of the behavior or protocols that the Internet has. With this, the Internet acts and behaves the way it does now due to ARPANET.

            In 1973 many people began to become more interested in ARPANET’S theory or the way they connected the computers to the PRENET, also known as the packet radio network. This network helped improve the connection between computers. Instead of using data across phone lines, like ARPANET originally did, they began using radio waves, which successfully made the connection stronger and better. A couple years later another group named the SATNET or Satellite Network, joined the other networks and they created a connection that multiple networks worked together so they called it inter-networking, thus creating the name Internet.

What is a DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Server or System which is considered the standard technology for maintaining and managing Web site names as well as other Internet domains. The DNS is a protocol in a specific set of standards for computers to exchange data on the Internet as well as many private networks.

It takes the user friendly domain name and turns it into an Internet Protocol (IP) address or a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) like, which is then used as a sort of Identification Number for computers surfing on the internet. Whether your going to access a web site or send an e-mail to your friend, boss, etc. The computer always uses a DNS server to retrieve the domain name you are trying to get access with, the actual term for this process is called the DNS name resolution, basically it means that the DNS server resolves the domain's name into an Internet Protocol. If you wanted, you could bypass a DNS look up by simply entering the websites IP address directly into your browser, given that you know it before hand. However, it is much more simple to remember website names rather than a set of numbers like (note that this is not a real IP address). You can also think of it as being a computer's GPS for the Internet as well. Computers, along with other networking devices use an IP address to send and receive requests, sort of like dialing a phone number to reach whom you wish to speak with. The DNS allows it so you don't have to constantly remember your own IP addresses but rather when you connect to a domain name server, it holds a massive database that can map domain names to their respective IP addresses.

So what would happen to the Internet if DNS servers no longer functioned? The internet would actually shut down very quickly due to the fact that without a large database containing hundreds upon hundreds of IP address to convert to domain names, websites would no longer load with just typing the address “” and would instead have to memorize each and every IP address to function properly.

RoadRunner, ComCast, and AoL all have what in common? They are all Internet service providers (ISPs) among other things, but why is this important? Well besides it being the source of how you would connect to the world wide web, it also allows your computer to choose a DNS server to use when you connect to a home network. Your modem or router assigns a network address while also sending out important configuration information that includes a small list of select DNS servers the computer may or should use when converting DNS names to IP address'.

There are currently 13 major DNS servers in the entire world, known as Root Servers, because DNS servers communicate amongst each other using private networking protocols, the DNS servers are placed in a hierarchy “society”. Ironically these are named A,B,C,...all the way to M. Ten of the servers reside in the United States, one in Japan, another in London, UK and the last in Stockholm, Sweden. Being at the top of the food chain these servers handle the complete databases of Internet domain names and their IP address counterparts. Down the hierarchy the DNS servers maintain only certain aspects and pieces of overall databases specifically assigned to them. The lowest level of DNS servers are mostly owned by businesses or ISPs.

Works Cited

(2012, October 7). How Domain Name Servers Work. Acquired from

Bradley Mitchell (2012, October 7). What is a DNS Server. Acquired from

Pictures (2012, October 7). DNS Hierarchy. Acquired from

Pictures from IBM (2012, October 7). Understanding DNS queries. Acquired from


Oct 9, 2012, 10:17 PM
Oct 9, 2012, 9:15 PM