The United States Department of Defense began building a network in 1968 through its Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). This network, called the ARPANET, was designed to meet a specific set of goals:
By 1975 the network consisted of only about 60 nodes and was, at that time, expanding at the rate of about one node every three months. The ARPANET grew, expanded, and the rest of the computing community joined in and, today, we have The Internet. The growth rate of the Internet has been exponential and the exact number of nodes is unknown. It's probably in the hundreds of millions.
Originally, a Network Control Center was established through the company Bolt, Beranek, and Newman along with an additional Network Control Center at the Stanford Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. They used a DEC PDP-10 computer as the single, central controller for the ARPANET.
A family of communications protocols was developed to meet the objectives of the ARPANET. The original objectives continue to be met by these protocols, now known as the TCP/IP, or simply, the IP Protocols. These objectives included the following (Compendium topics are linked):
And, as the years went by, more additions were made to the original protocols, enhancing and expanding the original functionality. Here is a broad outline of some of these newer capabilities:
This section of the compendium discusses the broad spectrum of protocols under the umbrella of Internet Protocol. It is, by no means, complete - but we're working on it. Refer to the NEWS section to find out what the most recent changes are to the Compendium.
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