How Has the Internet Evolved?

The internet has a far longer history than most people realize. The earliest form of a connected network of computers was conceived during the “cold war” era in the 1960s when America was concerned about the effect of a Soviet missile attack on their communication systems. A “galactic network” of interlinked computers was proposed, which would allow long-distance communications to continue, even if conventional telephone lines were disabled as the result of a missile strike.

Whilst the cold war did not escalate into a global conflict, the idea for a connected system of computers continued to be developed. In 1991, the world wide web was created, which allowed anyone with an online connection to retrieve information. This was the true beginning of the internet that we are familiar with today as consumers. In this article, three of the main developments that have taken place online in the last decade will be described.These improvements have helped to create the internet that people are familiar with today.

Increase in APIs

API stands for application programming interface. For the non-tech savvy, APIs can be described as programs that allow multiple applications to communicate together and function effectively. Millions of web pages will use some form of plug-in or application to offer the visitor improved functionality and features.

For example, getting a weather forecast that is highly specific to your location will involve an API determining your location based on your IP address. This then allows location-specific information to be displayed. It is estimated that approximately 80% of all internet traffic is driven by APIs, making them one of the most important parts of the modern internet infrastructure. Today, many online companies will harness the power of an API management platform to control multiple APIs seamlessly and effectively. Put simply, without APIs, the internet as it is experienced today would not exist.

Improved Bandwidth

Early incarnations of the internet offered the user a far less sophisticated online experience. Pages took far longer to load, and the graphics and features of early websites were far less advanced than what is available today in 2023.One of the key drivers of the modern internet is the fact that consumer bandwidth has increased dramatically.

Bandwidth is a key determinant of how much information can be sent or received when online. Early internet connections relied on “dial-up” internet access that used conventional telephone lines. The bandwidth of these systems was low,which meant that it took significant amounts of time to download larger files or assets. Today, millions of homes enjoy fast internet access with fibre optic connections. This has enabled websites to offer higher quality experiences to users, as larger quantities of information can be stored and retrieved from webpages at speed.

On-Demand Entertainment

In the last decade, on-demand entertainment has grown into an industry that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. As internet speeds and technology have improved, the capability to stream information at speed and volume has increased. This allows consumers to stream movies in 4k resolution, listen to music, or play games online in high definition with minimal lag.

The online entertainment sector is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and billions of people worldwide enjoy some form of online, on-demand entertainment daily.

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