There was a time when 56kbps dial-up modems were how most of us connected to the internet. Who can forget the characteristic robotic squeak-like noise our modems made as they connected our computers to the World Wide Web (WWW) on our land telephone lines to a beautiful virtual world without borders?
To say that since then the internet has ‘moved on’ somewhat is a gross understatement when you consider that today billions of people in both 1st and 3rd world countries – and everywhere in between – connect to the internet in seconds on all types of computers and mobile devices for the ultimate convenience and flexibility.
The fastest internet connections can even handle live-streamed content of 4K quality (a horizontal display resolution of roughly 4,000 pixels) which wasn’t possible until fairly recently. In fact, the live streaming industry – which includes video games, films, events and more – is worth roughly $13 billion per year, and growing.
Most People Own an Internet-enabled Phones or Tablet
The statement ‘technology and speed have made the internet beautiful’ is as true as the leaps and bounds the internet has made over the last two decades, opening up a wide new world of possibilities. Already most people who have internet-enabled i.e. ‘smart’ phones and tablets use them to do just about everything under the Sun.
We can live stream, make voice over IP (VOIP) calls, send instant messages, search the internet, do our banking, book tables, flights, rooms and tickets, receive the news in real time from all over the globe, play live games against players around the world and, of course, check out our favourite social media platforms night and day.
You can Play Virtual Mobile Casino Games 24/7
And that’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of what we can use the internet for as the list grows longer every day. For instance, where at one time casino games were limited to land-based casinos, you can now play real money online casino games 24/7 at online casinos where the quality level of online games has reached amazing heights. Many of these games can be played with a no deposit bonus.
In terms of the history of the internet, while Sir Tim Berners-Lee created HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and the WWW in 1990, and as a result is known as the ‘father of the internet,’ this way of connecting the world wouldn’t have been possible without the valuable contributions of many other exceptional and forward-thinking people.
Key People in the Development of the Internet
These include Leonard Kleinrock, who in the early 1960s developed the theory of ‘packet switching;’ Lawrence Roberts who in 1969 was the first to connect a series of computers; Robert Kahn & Vint Cerf who in the mid-1970s created Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) technology; Raymond Tomlinson who in 1971 sent the first email; John Postel & Paul Mockapetris who in 1985 created the domain name system; Barry Shein who in 1989 launched the first commercial internet service provider (ISP); and Eric Bina & Marc Andersen who in 1993 launched the world’s first internet browser called Mosaic.
Little did they know what a force the internet, its endless content and multitude of uses would turn out to be. From being used to sell and market goods and services of every description to being able to sway elections of 1st world nations, the internet has never been more powerful or faster, and that’s down to huge strides in technology.
But it wasn’t always that way.
56 kbps Dial-Up Internet
In 1993 if you tried to download a song of about 3.6mb in size using a 56 kbps dial-up modem, it would have taken you approximately 10 minutes at full speed, or anything from half an hour to a couple of hours at the slowest speeds.
Thankfully it would only be another three years before ‘broadband’ internet connectivity made its debut in the form of cable (which works on the same infrastructure as a cable TV) and the highly popular digital subscriber line (DSL), both of which are still in use.
Like 56kbps modems, DSL works on the copper wires of the existing landline network. The two types of DSL are symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), the former being more expensive as its download speeds match its upload speeds, unlike the latter. DSL speeds typically top-out at 100mbps.
If you had to liken internet speeds to well-known cars, a 56k internet connection would be a 1908 Ford Model T, cable and DSL would be a 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS, and fibre would be a 2005 Bugatti Veyron 16.4, with download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.
Fibre vs old school cable. There is still a debate which one is more stable.
Fibre connectivity allows the transmission of information in the form of light pulses through an optical fibre. As a result, fibre is not only lightning fast, but it’s not prone to electromagnetic interference the way DSL is which relies on existing copper cables.
3G, 4G and 5G Internet
The first 3G network (short for 3rd generation) was launched in Japan in 2001. It is a fast wireless mobile telecommunications technology used to connect smart phones to the internet (provided mobile users can access a 3G infrastructure). 3G has download rates / speeds of up to 21.6 megabits per second (Mbit/s).
4G was launched in 2009 and as the 4th generation network is capable of download speeds as high as 100 Mbit/s. 5G was only launched towards the end of 2018 and as such has been launched in limited areas to date.
When fully rolled out and operational, however, the maximum download speeds of 5G are expected to dwarf those of 4G.
Because Wi-Fi is so widely available in public spaces – often for free – it has become the go to internet connection for billions of mobile phone and tablet users across the globe.
Live streaming via Wi-Fi is possible depending on the speed of the connection, and you can even connect compatible devices to each other via a Wi-Fi ‘wireless access point’.
Although free Wi-Fi spots differ by country and city, in the United States you can expect to find free Wi-Fi in place like Apple Store, Public Parks, Target, Whole Foods, Dunkin’ Donuts, Barnes & Noble, Yoga Studios, Starbucks, Marriott Hotels, Gyms, Museums, Public Libraries, Airports, Trains, McDonald’s, Hospitals and Buses.
As internet speeds increase and costs drop, the internet will become more accessible than it is now to people everywhere. It will also continue to evolve alongside the technology that drives the very devices that can access and harness its immense power.