Who Invented The Internet? Internet History: 1990–1999 Timeline (Part 6)

Jules Sterling
Updated: January 13th, 2024
26 min read
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Who Invented The Internet? Internet History: 1990–1999 Timeline (Part 6)

Update: This article is part of a series. Check out the full series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

The True Era Of The World Wide Web

The 1990s were packed with advancement in the digital world, characterized by groundbreaking developments in internet technology. During this time period there was also the emergence of soon-to-be digital titans that have shaped the online world as we know it today including eBay, Amazon, PayPal, and Google.

1990

The Association for Progressive Communications or APC, was founded by Karen Banks and her associates. This nonprofit organization was a network of global experts whose goals were to create and maintain a free and transparent internet network. The whole of society was to benefit from this technology and not just big companies.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

In 1990 Dr. Stephen Kent started getting interested in open networks and their security. Until 1999 he would work on securing these networks and perfecting their protection methods for safer use.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

This year is also the start of internet development in Latin America. From 1990 to 1999 Ida Holz led a group of computer scientists and experts on the path to developing various computer networks across Latin America.

Source: Lacnic

The Academic Internet Network of Sri Lanka was deployed. The network LEARN was created and managed by Gihan Dias.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

Linux was created by Linus Torvalds. The concept of Open Source Software is brought into the mainstream and from there on, it exists as a part of the free internet idea.

Source: Linfo

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is founded by John Perry Barlow and his associates. The goal of this organization is to provide legal support to technologies and individuals in case of legal abuse related to the new technologies that are being developed.

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

1990 is the year when the world saw the first ever version of Photoshop. It was a revolutionary photo editing software the likes of which nobody had ever seen before. John and Thomas Knoll are the two brothers behind Photoshop. Thirty years later, Photoshop is still the most popular photo editor.

Source: PopularMechanics.com

People
Karen Banks – date of birth unknown. This British networking pioneer worked at ISP GreenNet where she ran the GnFido gateway. She also founded the APC and the WNSP (Women’s Networking Support Program). This organization was the first to provide web access to United Nations delegates.
Source: Wikipedia
Stephen Kent – born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1951. This computer scientist is best known for his work on network security. Kent worked at BBN Technologies, where he was the first Chief Scientist to work on developing Security Technologies. He developed many internet security standards.
Source: Wikipedia
Ida Holz – born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1935. She was a computer researcher, scientist, engineer, and professor. She was one of the internet pioneers in Latin America and helped create the internet in her country in the early 90s. Subsequently, she helped connect the whole continent through various projects.
Source: Ida Holz
Gihan Dias – date of birth unknown. A computer scientist and engineer working at the University of Moratuwa. A pioneer of the internet in Sri Lanka. He helped develop and manage the Lanka Education and Research Network.
Source: Wikipedia
Linus Torvalds – born in Helsinki, Finland in 1969. One of the most influential software engineers who developed Linux operating systems. This is also the kernel for Chrome OS and Android. He also created Git and Subsurface. Torvalds is one of the biggest protagonists of open source internet and software.
Source: Wikipedia
John Perry Barlow – born in Cora, Wyoming in 1947. Even though he didn’t have any technical knowledge about computers or the internet, he was instrumental to its development. He was a libertarian and worked at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Barlow founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He died in 2018.
Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Knoll – born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1960. This software engineer is best known for creating Photoshop. He started the development of various image processing techniques in 1988. He showed these core routines to his brother and together they worked on developing Photoshop for Adobe Systems.
Source: Wikipedia
John Knoll – born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1962. Knoll was the chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic company and a visual effects supervisor. Apart from creating Photoshop together with his brother, Thomas, he also worked on the special effects for the original Star Wars trilogy.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
APC – The Association for Progressive Communication was founded in 1990. This network of organizations was created to give internet access, applications, and communication infrastructure to people who work in developing sustainability, green initiative, human rights, etc. APC members were also involved in developing the internet for their countries.
Source: Wikipedia
Linux – Linux includes various operating systems similar to Unix. It’s an open source Linux kernel family, developed by Linus Torvalds and it comes with supporting system software, libraries, and the Linux kernel. Linux is often used for network servers, hosts, and other technical uses. 
Source: Wikipedia
Open Source – open source software is a computer program that can be used for free, license, change, study, and copy. The code of this software is shared openly so that other programmers and developers can change it in any way. Linux was the first major open source software.
Source: Wikipedia
Photoshop – Photoshop was developed by Thomas and John Knoll. It was then sold by the brothers to the Adobe Systems company, which released it in 1990. Adobe is a raster photo editor that evolved over time and became the standard in raster graphics editing and digital artwork overall.
Source: Wikipedia

World Wide Web going public

1991

The year that marks an important milestone in the history of the internet. The World Wide Web (WWW) went public. On August 6th, 1991, the world witnessed the launch of the first website. It was created by Tim Berners Lee, who was working at CERN at the time.

In a symbolic manner, the site was all about the WWW project and how it could change the world. Lee didn’t want to patent his work – he wanted to share this technology with the whole world.

Source: The Next Web

At the same time, internet technology was absorbed into EuropaNet, the backbone of European Internet. This network would subsequently use TCP/IP. This project was set in motion by Dai Davies.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

The development of the internet in the Netherlands had begun. Kees Neggers started his work on creating the first Internet Provider in Europe.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

Pretty Good Privacy software was created by Philip Zimmermann. This email encryption software suite was given to the public for free. Even though it was originally made for organizations and individuals working in human rights, PGP goes public and becomes the most popular email encryption tool.

Source: Springer Link

The Gore Bill was put in motion in 1991 by Al Gore. Also known as the High-Performance Computing and Communications Act, with the goal of creating and managing the National Research and Education Network as well high performance computing in general. The Gore Bill allocated a total of $600 million for this purpose and it also led to the creation of the Information Superhighway.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

People
Dai Davies – date of birth unknown. A British internet pioneer that upgraded the EuropaNet with internet technology. Apart from working on creating the pan-European research network, he was instrumental in helping develop new communication and data-transfer systems that improved the speed of data transmission.
Source: Internet Hall of Fame
Kees Neggers – born in Breda, Netherlands in 1947. His work on developing and connecting research and education networks internationally as well as in the Netherlands was instrumental to the development of European internet. Neggers was also the director of EARN in the Netherlands.
Source: Wikipedia
Philip Zimmermann – born in Camden, New Jersey in 1954. A known professor, cryptographer, and computer scientist. He is best known as the developer of Pretty Good Privacy software, which is the most popular email encryption system. He also worked on creating the Zfone and ZRTP encryption protocols.
Source: Wikipedia
Al Gore – born Washington, D.C. in 1948. He is a well-known politician who served as State Senator, Vice President of the US, and was a member of the House of Representatives. After reading the report by Leonard Kleinrock, one of the co-founders of ARPANET, Gore started writing his High Performance Computing Act that was passed in 1991, securing an allocation of $600 million for developing internet technologies.
Source: Wikipedia
Linus Torvalds – born in Helsinki, Finland in 1969. One of the most influential software engineers who developed Linux operating systems. This is also the kernel for Chrome OS and Android. He also created Git and Subsurface. Torvalds is one of the biggest protagonists of open source internet and software.
Source: Wikipedia
John Perry Barlow – born in Cora, Wyoming in 1947. Even though he didn’t have any technical knowledge about computers or the internet, he was instrumental to its development. He is a libertarian and worked at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Barlow founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He died in 2018.
Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Knoll – born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1960. This software engineer is best known for creating Photoshop. He started the development of various image processing techniques in 1988. He showed these core routines to his brother and together they worked on developing Photoshop for Adobe Systems.
Source: Wikipedia
John Knoll – born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1962. Knoll is the chief creative officer at Industrial Light & Magic company and a visual effects supervisor. Apart from creating Photoshop together with his brother Thomas he also worked on the special effects of the original Star Wars trilogy.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
First website launched – created by Tim Berners-Lee and launched on August 6th, 1991. This website contained information about the whole World Wide Web, what the web is, what are its potentials, and current uses. The site was hosted on a computer called NeXT at CERN.
Source: History
EuropaNet – the first network managed by a nonprofit company DANTE. It had access ports going from 64 kbit/s to 8 Mbit/s and it used the X.25 technology in the beginning. It was a multi-protocol backbone network that provided gateways and intercontinental connections.
Source: Wikipedia
Pretty Good Privacy – created in 1991 by Phill Zimmermann. PGP is an encryption program for data communication authentication and cryptographic privacy. It’s used for email security for encrypting information, decrypting information, signing in, and sharing files.
Source: Wikipedia
The Gore Bill – also known as “High Performance Computing Act of 1991.” The bill was presented by Al Gore and voted in by the 102nd United States Congress. This act secured funding for the National Research and Education Network, as well as the development of the National Information Infrastructure in the United States.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
1 Website – ever since Tim Berners Lee created the first ever website in 1991, we’ve seen a drastic growth of websites across the world. In less than 30 years, people have created a total of 2 billion sites. However, only around 400 million sites are actually active.
Source: Hostingtribunal
Internet users – during its beginnings only a select number of people used networks and the internet. Scientists and internet pioneers used these networks. But since WWW became public, the number of users around the world started growing exponentially. In 1995, only 0.4% of the world population used the internet (16 million). In 2020, a total of 62% of the world population uses the internet (4.8 billion).
Source: Internet World Stats

1992

The Internet Society was founded by Robert Khan and Vint Cerf. At the same time, the number of internet hosts grew to over one million.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

Tracy LaQuey’s “First Layman Guide to the Internet” was finally published. It quickly became a success and was translated into 8 different languages across the world.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame  

Ermanno Pietrosemoli started his project of providing technical education about the internet in many different countries in Africa and Latin America.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

The internet was introduced to Japan by Dr. Harusha Ishida. He explains all the potential of working online and brings UNIX computing closer to Japanese people.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

George Sadowsky started an educational initiative for training people from over 100 countries around the world on internet governance, management, operation, and technologies. By the end of this initiative more than 1,500 certified internet instructors would start sharing their knowledge about the internet in their countries. This initiative was instrumental for spreading the internet globally.

Source: Eyerys

People
Ermanno Pietrosemoli – date of birth unknown. Currently working as researcher at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. Ermann has been spreading the internet ever since it started. He helped deploy low cost technical solutions and wireless communication in countries like the USA, Venezuela, Peru, Morocco, Mexico, Italy, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and so on.
Source: IEEE.org
Haruhisa Ishida – born in Taiwan in 1936. Ishida studied at The University of Tokyo and ever since the start of the internet he knew how important the TCP/IP protocols were. He brought the internet to Japan, worked on internet security measures and protocols, and presented UNIX computing to Japan. Ishida died in 2009.
Source: Internet Hall of Fame
George Sadowsky – born in Novocherkassk, USSR in 1936. He is one of the most successful global internet promoters. He worked on providing the internet to developing countries by helping with legislation, making this technology more affordable, and helping establish a plan on how these countries could connect.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
Internet Society – Internet Society is a nonprofit organization. Ever since it was founded in 1992 its goal was to give more education and knowledge about internet policies, access, education, and technical standards. The official motto of ISOC is “The Internet is for Everyone.” The organization had offices in Geneva, Switzerland, and Reston, Virginia.
Source: Wikipedia
Layman’s Guide to the Internet – even though this book was first published in 1992, its last publication came out in 2013. This is how big this book was. It’s a guide that teaches people everything they need to know about computer technology and the internet while using these things at home.  
Source: Vector7
UNIX computing – UNIX technology involves a group of operating systems with multiple users who are multitasking. UNIX computing has origins in AT&T UNIX and this technology was developed by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson at Bell Labs.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
992,000 hosts – the number of internet hosts reached almost a million by the end of 1992. In 1993 it finally broke that number, marking an important milestone in internet history.
Source: Statista
10 Websites – the total number of websites in 1992 was 10 on a global level. However, the W3 technology became available to everyone in 1993, sparking the growth of the internet.
Source: Statista

1993

The Mosaic Browser was released by the NCSA. The Mosaic browser is created by Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen at the NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications). This was the first commercially successful web browser that popularized the World Wide Web and made it accessible to the public.

Source: Wikipedia

Nabil Bukhalid created a team of internet professionals who built the Domain Registry for Lebanon and brought internet to the country. The team from the American University of Beirut was instrumental in developing the internet in this country.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

John Cioffi develops the digital subscriber line technology (DSL). His Discrete Multitone version of DSL instantly became a success and it was adopted as a standard in the US. That’s why Cioffi was named the “Father of DSL.”

Source: ETHW

The first newspaper ever appears online – “The Tech.” These were campus newspapers at MIT and this was the first ever complete newspaper server that saved all the editions that came out.

Source: Wikipedia

People
Marc Andreessen – born in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1971. This known software engineer and entrepreneur is one of the developers of the Mosaic web browser. He also co-founded Netscape, the Andreessen Horowitz company, the Opsware company, Ning, and is also on the board of directors at Facebook. 
Source: Wikipedia
Eric Bina – born in Champaign, Illinois in 1964. Together with Marc Andreessen, he was one of the co-founders of Netscape and Mosaic, the first commercially used web browser. He also worked for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Source: Wikipedia
Nabil Bukhalid – date of birth unknown. An internet pioneer from Lebanon. He was instrumental in developing and managing the internet networks throughout Lebanon. He created the first Lebanese node as well as the Domain Registry of the country. He also worked as the registrar and administrator for the Lebanese registry.
Source: World Economic Forum
John Cioffi – born in Champaign, Illinois, in 1956. He is a known inventor and electrical engineer. Cioffi is the father of DSL as he created the first digital subscriber line. He made it applicable and practical. Cioffi also wrote a lot of publications on this technology and created various patents.
Source: Wikipedia
Technologies & companies
Mosaic browser – the first commercial web browser that was used by the public. It was essential for the popularization of the internet as it included graphics and text. It could support several internet protocols. It was created at the NCSA in 1993 and was the first graphical browser.
Source: Wikipedia
DSL technology – digital subscriber loop or digital subscriber line includes many different technologies designed to help transmit data via phone lines. The most commonly used DSL type for internet use is ADSL or asymmetric digital subscriber line. The consumer-level DSL bit rate usually goes from 256 Kbit/s to 100 Mbit/s.
Source: Wikipedia
The Tech first web newspaper – one of the first ever publishers online. The Tech started in 1993 on the World Wide Web and all the issues that were published online are available on the website.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
1,776,000 hosts
26,000 domain names
150 Websites

1994

Yahoo was started in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo, who were still PhD candidates in electrical engineering. The two started the company in a small trailer and they wanted to create a catalogue of all the interesting sites.

This small idea let them reach far with their company, as Microsoft offered a buyout worth $44.6 billion in 2008. At first, the company was called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, but it was quickly changed to Yahoo.

Source: Wikipedia

China started working on its own internet backbone. More specifically, Jianping Wu was the head of the project and the leading developer of CERNET. In just a short amount of time, CERNET became the largest Chinese network. At first, it was an academic network, but it was used for the internet in the future.

Source: Xinhuanet

At the same time, Qihen Hu brought the Chinese delegation to the National Science Foundation in the US to discuss connecting the two countries. As a result of these discussions, the first TCP/IP connection was established in China.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

The first ever “Request For Comments” publication was released by Erik Huizer. It presented the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), their Working Groups, and standard processes.

 Source: Internet Hall of Fame

Marc Andreessen ordered his company to come up with a way to secure all the sensitive data that was being transmitted online. The answer was security encryption called Secure Socket Layer or SSL. This security encryption is still an internet standard.

Source: Eyerys

The first Web camera was also developed the same year. It was named the “Connectix QuickCam”, with a price tag of around $99. Some of the first models could only capture images in grey, with a 320 x 240 resolution, and they could be used on Mac computers only.

Still, this didn’t stop inventive computer scientists from using this Webcam with CU-SeeMe conferencing software and the internet to begin video chatting online.

Source: PopularMechanics.com

Marc Andreessen also started the Netscape company that same year. The company instantly began working on a web browser of the same name. Many give credit to Netscape for starting the .com revolution with their easy-to-use browser.

Netscape also contributed a lot to the popularity of the internet, as many people didn’t understand what it was all about.

Source: PopularMechanics.com

People
David Filo – born in Wisconsin, United States in 1966. A known computer technology businessman that co-founded Yahoo. He created the Filo Server Program that dynamically displayed different web pages.
Source: Wikipedia
Jerry Yang – born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1968. He is a computer programmer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is the co-founder of AME Cloud Ventures, Yahoo, and was a major stakeholder of Alibaba. Yang was also the CEO of Yahoo until 2007.
Source: Wikipedia
Jianping Wu – born in Taiyuan, China in 1953. This professor and computer scientist was instrumental in developing the China Education and Research Network also known as CERNET. He served as the director and technical board member of CERNET and was also China Internet Association’s vice president.
Source: Wikipedia
Erik Huizer – date of birth unknown. A distinguished member of ICANN with contributions to the internet, digital technologies, media, and ICT. He was also the CTO of SURFnet and a Professor at Utrecht University. Huizer also wrote the first Request for Comments publication.
Source: Wikipedia
Marc Andreessen – born in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1971. This known software engineer and entrepreneur is one of the developers of Mosaic web browser. He also co-founded Netscape, the Andreessen Horowitz company, Opsware company, Ning, and is also on the board of directors at Facebook.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
Yahoo! – an internet web services company formed in 1994 by David Filo and Jerry Yang. The headquarters of the company are in Sunnyvale, California. Even though Yahoo! is nowhere close to its former glory, it was a pioneering internet company at the time. Its core services were its search engine and web portal, along with sports betting, social media, email services, advertising services, messaging, and news portal.
Source: Wikipedia
IETF – The Internet Engineering Task Force is a non-profit standards organization. The goal is to create and adopt various internet standards with the emphasis on standards that could complement the TCP/IP technology. Anyone can become a member if they have the knowledge to contribute. It was formed in 1986.
Source: Wikipedia
SSL – the first Secure Sockets Layer was developed by Netscape in 1994. However, the 1.0 version had a lot of flaws and it never went public. SSL encryption has a cryptographic system that encrypts data with a public key and a private key. SSL is the predecessor to TLS, which is a better version built on the same principles.
Source: Webopedia
First Webcam – developed in 1994 by the Connectix company. Even though it wasn’t used as a Webcam at the start, the development of the World Wide Web and Video conferencing software made it ideal for this use. QuickCam was completely black and white and could handle a maximum of 15 frames. It was used on Apple Macintosh devices of the time.
Source: Wikipedia
Netscape – a computer services company founded in 1994 by Marc Andreessen and James H. Clark. The company created the first commercial web browser “Netscape”, SSL encryption technology, JavaScript language, and created a sister company called the Mozilla Organization, before being bought by AOL.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
3,212,000 hosts
46,000 domain names
3000 Websites

1995

Together with his team, Karlheinz Brandenburg created a file extension to be used for audio format called MP3.

The internet became commercialized as Amazon went live in 1995, a year after it was founded. Many people believe that Amazon is the most successful story of the early commercial internet because it was one of the few companies of the time that survived the “Dot-com bubble”.

The company was forced to fire most of its employees, and lost around $1.4 billion in just 12 months. Despite all of this, Jeff Bezos (founder) was able to restructure Amazon and turn it into one of the leading e-commerce giants.

Source: Cnet

This is the same year when eBay was founded. However, at first, it was called AuctionWeb. It was created by Pierre Omidyar, whose goal was to create an online marketplace that would offer equal opportunities for everyone. The site was built on trust between users and emphasized honesty and fair trade.

Source: Cnet

LiveScript is launched for the first time together with Netscape Navigator 2.0. This might not seem like an important moment, but LiveScript is the precursor of JavaScript. In December of 1995, Brendan Eich renamed it into JavaScript after working with Sun Microsystems. Interactivity on the web wasn’t possible until JavaScript came along.

Source: Cnet

Apache servers were first released. In a short amount of time, these servers will become a standard on the internet and everyone will use them. To this day, around half the sites online are running on Apache servers. These servers were completely free and open source solutions created by Rob McCool. The Apache servers were indispensable for the growth of the web throughout the 90s and early 2000s.

Source: Britannica

1995 was also the year that gave birth to the first internet radio. Norman Hajjar created Radio HK, which was a 100% internet radio station that “streamed” music from various bands that weren’t yet signed by any record label. This radio station was able to reach over 100,000 people in many different countries around the world. It also had the ASCAP trial license, and was a pioneering internet radio that opened the door for many others to follow.

Source: Cnet

People
Karlheinz Brandenburg – born in Erlangen, Germany in 1954. This mathematician and engineer developed the MP3 format together with Harald Popp, Bernhard Grill, Ernst Eberlein, and other associates. He also contributed to psychoacoustics, audio coding, and perception measurements.
Source: Wikipedia
Jeff Bezos – born in Albuquerque, United States in 1964. He is a known businessman, investor, and billionaire. Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, for which he’s best known. He was also the president and the CEO of this e-commerce giant. Since 2017, Bezos has been considered the richest man on the planet.
Source: Wikipedia
Pierre Omidyar – born in Paris, France in 1967. Omidyar studied at Berkeley, where he got his degree in engineering. A known philanthropist and entrepreneur Omidyar created eBay in 1994 and served as chairman until 2015. He also created the “Omidyar Network” to expand his philanthropic work and worked as an online journalist in 2010.
Source: Wikipedia
Brendan Eich – born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1961. Eich is best known for creating the JavaScript language and being one of the co-founders of the Mozilla Corporation. He also worked as the CEO and CTO of the Mozilla Corporation. He also founded Brave Software company, where he is the CEO.
Source: Wikipedia
Rob McCool – born in 1973 in the United States. Robert Martin McCool authored the first NCSA HTTPd server that became popularly called the Apache Server. He created this server software while working on the Mosaic team created by NCSA. McCool also worked for Netscape, Yahoo!, Google, Stanford University, and so on.
Source: Wikipedia
Norman Hajjar – date of birth unknown. He was an electrical engineer that broadcasted a radio stations over the web. With his Hajjar/Kaufman New Media Lab company he successfully broadcasted a completely internet-based radio signal in 1995.
Source: Wikiwand

Technologies
MP3 – this digital audio coding format or file extension was created by Karlheinz Brandenburg and a number of his associates. It had several versions before creating a standard one. It’s also a compression standard that loses some of its audio quality, but not in any major way. This makes files far easier to manage while retaining most of their quality.
Source: Wikipedia  
Amazon – the company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Its headquarters are in Seattle, Washington. Some of the core services of Amazon are e-commerce, cloud services, AI development, and online streaming. It’s one of the largest information technology companies in the world along with Facebook, Apple, and Google.
Source: Wikipedia
eBay –  founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb. It was set up as an auction site where people could interact individually. The first item sold on the platform was a laser pointer that was broken. The company exploded and its name was changed to Ebay in 1997. It quickly grew into one of the largest auction-based websites in the world and earned billions.
Source: Wikipedia
JavaScript – a programming language that uses the ECMAScript specification. JS is a multi-paradigm, instantly compiled, and high-level language. It’s one of the most important technologies of the WWW as it allows the use of various web apps and interactive web pages. Brendan Eich played a key role in creating JavaScript.
Source: Wikipedia
Apache – the Apache HTTP Server  is an open source and completely free cross-platform software for web servers. It was originally created by Robert McCool in 1995. However, it was further upgraded and maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Most of the Apache HTTP Servers run on Linux, but there are also Windows, and Unix-like versions.
Source: Wikipedia
Radio HK – created in February 1995, it was the first ever internet-based radio station. It used a virtually created audio CD that was put in loop along with the CU-SeeMe web conferencing software.
Source: Guinness World Records

Key statistics
62,803 hosts 
120,000 domain names
25,000 websites
16 million Internet users

Source: Netcraft

1996

Essential Voice over the Internet Protocols were developed by Dr. Henning Schulzrinne. These protocols enable VoIP.

VocalTec created the “Internet Phone.” It was the first-ever commercially available VoIP software that could be used on personal computers. This was almost a decade before Skype came out. Even though dial-up modems were used at the time, the Internet Phone could deal with packet loss and slow internet. It showed the potential of VoIP technology and how it could be used in the future.

Source: Cnet

In 1995 Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia started working on Hotmail, the first web-based email service. It launched a year later and was acquired by Microsoft for $400 million in 1997. This was an important event for internet communication, as it showed that email could be used outside of Internet service providers. Simply put, anyone on the web could use email, no matter where they were.

Source: Cnet

A computer drawing software called SmartSketch was developed in 1995 by a company called FutureSplash. The company was acquired by Macromedia and rebranded the software into FutureSplash Animator. It was later renamed into Macromedia Flash 1.0. The company distributed its plugin for free so that everyone could use their software. Soon enough, over 90% of internet users had Flash Player.

Source: Wikipedia

The ICQ chat platform was created. It was developed by an Israeli company called Mirabilis in 1996. It was one of the first stand-alone clients that allowed instant messaging. Even though it wasn’t the first real-time chat platform it was the first one that offered a centralized service through different user accounts. ICQ was acquired by AOL in 1998.

Source: Wikipedia

The Internet Archive is created by Brewster Kahle after successfully creating the Wide Area Information Servers System. He wanted to archive audio files, videos, images, text, and websites across the internet. That’s why he invented the Internet Archive, which was free to use.

Source: Cnet

People
Henning Schulzrinne – born in Cologne, Germany (date of birth unknown). An internet multimedia expert and computer scientist. He is best known for developing internet standards. Together with Mark Handley, he created the Session Initiation Protocol, Real-time Transport Protocol, Real-time Streaming Protocol, and the Next Steps in Signaling Protocol.
Source: Wikipedia
Brewster Kahle – born in New York City, New York in 1960. This internet activist, entrepreneur, and computer engineer is a digital librarian and promoter of the internet. He founded the Alexa Internet and the Internet Archive. He also founded WAIS Inc. along with the WAIS system, a document retrieval system a precursor to search engines.
Source: Wikipedia
Sabeer Bhatia – born in Chandigarh, India in 1968. This Indian-American engineer co-created Hotmail in 1996 with Jack Smith as an answer to an ISP email. Bhatia was also the CEO of Hotmail until it was acquired by Microsoft. He also created JaxtrSMS, a free messaging service, and the Arzoo Inc. e-commerce company.
Source: Wikipedia
Jack Smith – born in 1968 in the United States. Together with Sabeer Bhatia, he created Hotmail in 1996. He worked for Apple Inc, founded EEE.com, co-founded Akamba Corporation, and is currently the CEO of Proximex.
Source: Wikipedia
Jonathan Gay – born in 1967 in the United States. A software entrepreneur and programmer who founded the Future Wave Software Company. He is one of the main contributors to the development of Flash. He also founded the Software as Art company that developed solutions for the efficient use of energy. 
Source: Wikipedia
Norman Hajjar – date of birth unknown. He was an electrical engineer that broadcasted a radio station over the web. With his Hajjar/Kaufman New Media Lab company he successfully broadcasted a completely internet-based radio signal in 1995.
Source: Wikiwand

Technologies & companies
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol involves a number of technologies and methodologies that allow multimedia transmissions and voice communications over the internet. The information sent via this protocol is packetized and sent through a packet-switched network.
Source: Wikipedia
VocalTec Internet Phone – The Internet Phone is the first VoIP software used on the internet. It was created by Lior Haramty and Alon Cohen. The phone worked using the Audio Transceiver that handled sample rate adjustments, packet reordering, and packet loss.
Source: Wikipedia
Internet Archive – an online digital library created with the goal of providing free access to universal knowledge. It includes tons of data from books, movies, images, videos, games, software, and so on. It’s an open and free internet archive at everyone’s disposal. It was founded in 1996.
Source: Wikipedia
Hotmail – the first web-based email service completely independent from internet service providers. Hotmail was created by Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia in 1996. Anyone could access their email inbox no matter where they were. It offered 2MBs of storage and reached 8.5 million subscribers by 1997, when it was sold to Microsoft.
Source: Wikipedia
Flash – a multimedia software application for viewing and creating visual media such as games, mobile and desktop apps, animations, and so on. Flash is currently owned by Adobe and it has been upgraded many times throughout its history. Its origins go back to 1996, when its initial version was released by FutureWave company.
Source: Wikipedia
ICQ – the first widely adopted instant messaging platform that offered centralized service. Users had to create their accounts and start conversations between themselves. This VoIP client messenger was created in 1996 by the Mirabilis company. In 2001, ICQ peaked with over 100 million registered accounts.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
603,367 hosts
488,000 domain names
300,000 Websites
36 million Internet users

1997

The term “weblog” was created by Jorn Barger. He came up with this term while logging data onto his site. He was one of the blogging pioneers and remains a blogger to this day. However, the term “blog” came into existence a bit later, in 1999, when he wanted to shorten the term “weblog”.

Source: Peterme.com and Cnet

SixDegrees.com was launched. It was the first social networking site that allowed people to create accounts using their email, adjust profiles, and connect with people.

Dave Winer developed the scriptingNews format, a precursor of RSS feeds. RSS lets people subscribe to a website in a standardized fashion and receive readable content. Based on XML language, this format helps people get information from different sites in the same channel. Ramanathan V. Guha and Dan Libby from Netscape continued to develop this XML-based technology and created the RSS 0.90 in 1999. RSS feeds made blogs much more accessible and enabled podcasting as a concept.

Source: Tutorialspoint

WiFi was introduced to the world. It was made publicly available to everyone, and that event led to the formation of the 802.11 committee that was renamed to IEEE802.11. The name was inspired by a set of standards that define wireless local area network communication.

Source: PopularMechanics.com

Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph founded Netflix Inc. in Scotts Valley, California. Initially, the company sold and rented DVDs via mail, but it quickly switched to rental only and this remained its primary business model until 2007, when it started a streaming platform.

Source: Wikipedia

People
Jorn Barger – born in Yellow Springs, Ohio in 1953. One of the blogging pioneers that had an influential website called “Robot Wisdom.” He came up with the term “weblog”, which would later evolve into “blog”. He made many publications about a variety of topics, including AI and James Joyce.
Source: Wikipedia  
Dan Libby – date of birth unknown. A Software Engineer that contributed to the development of RSS fees while working at Netscape. He also helped port Netscape onto the OS/2 platform. He is currently working at Open Source Consulting as a software engineer.
Source: Wikipedia
Ramanathan V. Guha – born in Tiruchirappalli, India in 1965. He contributed to computer technology by creating various interest standards such as Scheme.org, RDF, and RSS. Guha also created Google Custom Search and co-founded Alipiri and Epinions.
Source: Wikipedia
Reed Hastings – born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1960. An American entrepreneur and businessman. He co-founded Netflix and is currently the chairman of the company. Hastings is also a board member of many non-profit organizations.
Source: Wikipedia
Marc Randolph – born in Chappaqua, New York in 1958. One of the co-founders of Netflix and former CEO. A successful advisor and businessman that co-founded the Macworld Magazine and MicroWarehouse. He’s a board member at Chubbies Shorts and Looker Data Sciences.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
Weblog – a weblog is a term used to describe a blog. It was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997. These informal sites usually consist of news or diary-like posts filled with text information. These mediums sparked a lot of discussion about various topics on the internet. Today there are various types of blog niches that focus on a variety of topics.
Source: Wikipedia
SixDegrees – the very first social network website. Even though, at the time, there wasn’t a term for these kinds of sites, SixDegrees offered all the aspects of social networking, including creating a profile, customizing it, adding friends, posting bulletin boards, and chatting with people.
Source: Wikipedia
RSS – a web feed that gives internet users access to different content a site offers in a readable and standardized format. Sites use RSS feeds for different reasons, but in most cases, the goal is to spread information about any important updates like news, new episodes, new blog posts, and so on. RSS was developed by Netscape in 1999.
Source: Wikipedia
WiFi – a group of network protocols designed for wireless internet. Designed on IEEE 802.11 standards used for WLAN internet and devices. The term Wi-Fi is trademarked by Wi-Fi Alliance. Wi-Fi works together with Ethernet and it allows devices that are compatible with its protocols to connect through different access points without a physical connection.
Source: Wikipedia
Netflix – one of the largest streaming companies in the world. Netflix was founded in Scotts Valley, California in 1997 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. The initial business model consisted of selling and renting DVDs. However, from 2007, the company established itself as an inline streaming platform that people could access by subscribing. Subsequently, Netflix started producing and distributing TV series and films.
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
1,681,868 hosts
1,301,000 domain names
1,200,000 websites
70 million Internet users

1998

Two Ph.D. students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founded a company called Google in September. Google was incorporated by the two students as a privately held company.

Source: Wikipedia

The first blogs were published. The social blogging network, Open Diary was launched. Readers had the option to comment on someone’s blog for the first time. At the same time, the network gave bloggers the option to share their content only with their friends. All these publishing tools on Open Diary inspired a number of new blogging platforms.

Source: Wikipedia

The Mail Abuse Prevention System Company was founded by Paul Vixie. The goal of this organization was to combat spam messages and other abusive behavior via email.

Source: Wikipedia

PayPal was launched in Paolo Alto, California. At the time, nobody knew just how big this money transferring platform would get and many people were sceptical about online transfers.

Source: Electronic Payments International

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers got its first CEO and president – Michael Roberts.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

The multi-language internet domain name system was founded by Tan Tin Wee. He was the key to putting it on the international map – throughout the 1990s, he led a group of people that hosted Tamil and Chinese sites in Singapore. He received many rewards for his technological achievements in developing the Tamil internet.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

People
Larry Page – born in Lansing, Michigan in 1973. A successful internet entrepreneur and software engineer. He was one of the founders of Google and worked as a CEO of Google until 2001. He also created a search algorithm used by Google, the “PageRank”, and was the CEO of Alphabet.
Source: Wikipedia
Sergey Brin – born in Moscow, Russia in 1973. Together with Larry Page, he co-founded Google and Alphabet Inc. They also co-created PageRank and made a lot of success doing business together. In 2020, Brin was the 20th richest person of the world.
Source: Wikipedia
Paul Vixie – born in 1963 in the United States. This computer scientist contributed to developing the Domain Name System, its procedures, designs, mechanism, and implementations. He also made important achievements in open source software. Vixie was behind the first anti-spam service provider.
Source: Wikipedia
Michael Roberts – date of birth unknown. An internet technology expert and consultant. He was the CEO and president of the ICANN. He is currently chairman of the U.S. UCAN and Darwin Group, Inc. president.
Source: ICANNWiki

Technologies & companies
Google – a multinational computer technology company that offers various internet products and services. Some of the company’s core offers include hardware, software, cloud services, search engine, advertising, and so on. It was founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The company is one of the leaders in developing information technology.
Source: Wikipedia
PayPal – an online payments system company based in America. The company provides online money transfer infrastructure and acts as a payment processor for commercial users, auction sites, and vendors.  PayPal was founded in 1998 by Luke Nosek, Peter Thiel, and Max Levchin. The company was originally called Confinity.
Source: Wikipedia
Open Diary – one of the first social networking/blogging platforms. It was created by Bruce Ableson in 1998. It was the first example of websites being used as online diaries. The peak number of diaries on this platform was over 600,000. Its architecture inspired various blogging platforms and social media networks to sprout.
Source: Wikipedia
Mail Abuse Prevention System – one of the first commercial anti-spam service companies. The company did this by creating a Domain Name System Blacklist. The company had 5 lists based on which IP addresses and emails were blocked. The name MAPS was given by the founder Pau Vixie, and it spells “Spam” backwards.
Source: Wikipedia 
ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. A nonprofit organization that maintains various databases that control the numerical and namespace of the internet. The goal of the organization is to make sure that the whole network is operating in a secure and stable way.  
Source: Wikipedia

Statistics
3,689,227 hosts
4,300,000 domain names
2,410,067 websites
147 million Internet users

1999

Winifred Mitchell Baker joined the Mozilla Project. She also founded the Mozilla Foundation and became the chairperson. Her work gave legitimacy to Open Source internet software clients.

Source: Wikipedia

Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark. Craigslist quickly became one of the most popular websites in the world. It introduced classifieds to the internet and revolutionized them. Due to the impact of Craigslist, classified advertising has become an internet industry.

Source: Wikipedia

The .SE board realized the value of Domain Name System Security Extensions or DNSSEC. This internet protocol protection gives more security to visitors and lets them know if they are visiting a safe site. The application of DNSSEC is mostly due to the efforts of Anne-Marie Eklund Lowinder.

Source: Wikipedia

Pyra Labs creates and launches their “Blogger” platform. Everyone on the internet could now create their own personal blog on this platform, quickly and free of charge. Blogger was a major hit for the blogging community, and it started developing rapidly. That’s why Google acquired the company in 2003.

Source: Wikipedia

One of the first globally popular messaging, voice call, and video call services was launched – Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger.

Source: Wikipedia

The first large-scale internet-based music platform was launched – Napster. In just a month, Napster started distributing MP3 data to its users. The application was created by Sean Fanning, and it was an important milestone that showed how the internet could change the whole music industry in the future.

Source: Wikipedia

The BlackBerry “850” was presented in Munich, Germany for the first time. This two-way email pager was named by the Lexicon Branding marketing company. The company soon branded itself as BlackBerry Limited and it was instrumental to the development of smartphones and the whole mobile industry.

Source: Wikipedia

People
Mitchell Baker – born in Berkeley, California in 1959. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Mozilla Foundation and Executive Chairwoman of Mozilla Corporation. She worked for Netscape Communications Corporation and Open Source Applications Foundation. She made great contributions in protecting intellectual property and legal issues concerning internet services and product development. 
Source: Wikipedia
Craig Newmark – born in New Jersey, United States in 1952. He is best known for creating the popular website Craigslist. This entrepreneur, philanthropist, and computer programmer has made lots of contributions to humanitarian organizations and served as an advisor to nonprofits.
Source: Wikipedia
Anne-Marie Eklund Löwinder – born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1957. A proud member of the Internet Hall of Fame, and board member on several internet organisations and the representative of ICANN. Anne-Marrie is one of only a handful of people who have control over key generation for the DNSSEC internet protocol. 
Source: Wikipedia
Shawn Fanning – born in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1980. This investor, entrepreneur, and programmer is best known for creating Napster. This was the first peer-to-peer platform that people used to share music. However, he sold the company after numerous copyright claims. He also started Rupture, Path, Airtime, and Snocap companies.
Source: Wikipedia

Technologies & companies
Mozilla Project – the project started in 1998 when the Netscape browser code was released to the public. The goal of the project was to combine the knowledge of many programmers to bring innovation and perfect the browser market so that the whole world could benefit.
Source: Mozilla
Craigslist – the first classifieds website that includes many sections. Craigslist was incorporated in 1999 by Craig Newmark and offered advertisements for forums, music shows, various services, items, housing ads, jobs, and much more. Craigslist is used in over 70 countries with more than 55 million monthly users.
Source: Wikipedia
DNSSEC – Domain Name Security Extensions are a number of IETF specifications (Internet Engineering Task Force) used for securing information coming from the DNS. These extensions give DNS clients data integrity, authentication, and existence denial authentication.
Source: Wikipedia
Blogger – a publishing platform launched in 1999. It allows users to create blogs and to be used by multiple people. Created by Pyra Labs and acquired by Google in 2003. Blogs can use the subdomain of the site or get a custom third-party domain. A single user can have up to 100 blogs.
Source: Wikipedia  
MSN Messenger – Windows Live Messenger or MSN was a messaging platform created by Microsoft in 1999. It was a cross-platform messaging platform compatible with Facebook Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. At one point, it had 330 million users but the final release was in 2012.
Source: Wikipedia
Napster – one of the first peer-to-peer platforms. It allowed sharing audio files and songs in MP3 format. It quickly became an online music store due to copyright issues. It was created by Shawn Fanning in 1999 and sold to Rhapsody.
Source: Wikipedia   

Statistics
9,544,483 hosts
7,052,350 domain names
3,177,453 websites
248 million Internet users

To Be Continued

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