The Internet is an extremely flexible and rapidly evolving communication infrastructure. Most researchers are struggling with the challenge of understanding the significance of the Internet for our present and future life. The aim of this contribution is different: The main focus is on the history and evolution of the Internet up until now. Like many other complex technologies, the Internet is not a single innovation and was not invented in one day by a single individual. This entry presents a few of the key events and key developments in this history.

This entry begins with an explicit definition of the Internet that highlights that the Internet is much older than common wisdom usually assumes. In the following sections, three main phases in Internet history are distinguished ...

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