The Web is turning 30 years old this month and clearly we’ve come a long way since Tim-Berners Lee wrote his paper proposing an information management system to facilitate information-sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine what life would be like without the web; it’s permeated virtually — and not so virtually — every aspect of our lives and shaped the way do things.
Although for many the web is synonymous with the internet, they’re actually two separate things. Simply put, the internet is the infrastructure upon which the web runs alongside things like email, instant messaging, cloud services, video calling, movie streaming, file-sharing, and the list goes so on. It’s not a stretch for people to make that mistake, though, as many things you do online can be done through a web browser — including the aforementioned email, messaging, and even watching Netflix.
Thirty years has brought along a lot of changes to the World Wide Web where we’ve witnessed how it evolved from static to brimming with activity and creativity. As we commemorate another anniversary let’s look back at some of the events and milestones that helped transform the web into what it is today.
Pirate Bay founders found guilty, get jail sentence
Google tells Gmail users Facebook is a trap
UK government wants to block all Internet porn
Adobe stops mobile Flash development, will focus on HTML5
US Judge: an IP address is not a person
Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion, raising awareness of how incumbents were willing to part with big dollars for mobile web pioneers and the evident shift in usage favoring smartphones.
The ‘Deep Web’ gains mainstream exposure after the FBI shuts down the Silk Road, a.k.a. “the eBay of drugs.”
Edward Snowden’s disclosures about NSA’s mass surveillance programs start a conversation on what it means to be anonymous on the web.
Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion betting almost 10% of the company on mobile and instant communication.
The net neutrality debate heats up as the FCC considers new rules for how the Internet works. Obama endorses net neutrality and asks the FCC to classify internet as a utility. And so the controversial and complicated issue begins…
‘Father of the Internet’ Vint Cerf warns we could be heading towards a digital Dark Age.
While ISPs in the developed world bring gigabit fiber to more places, repressed yet creative Cubans develop an illegal ‘Internet’ that connects thousands of computers.
We’ve finally run out of IPv4 addresses
Popular free VPN service, Hola, discovered to have malware-like behavior. Serves as a showcase of new ways to malware is distributed.
It’s now possible to run Windows 95 natively in your web browser.
Samsung abuses DMCA to take down GTA V exploding Note 7 mod videos.
Microsoft is bleeding web browser users. Chrome takes over IE.
Mobile web browsing becomes more popular than desktop for the first time
The most common passwords of 2016 have been revealed, and they’re terrible (not much has changed).
The Pirate Bay is using your CPU to mine cryptocurrencies while you browse
It’s official: the FCC has killed net neutrality
Infographic: the top 100 websites by popularity (in 2017)
Wi-Fi is everywhere: There are around 450 million Wi-Fi networks in the world, up from about 100 million five years ago.
Browsers begin to support new web standard for password-free authentication
The inventor of the World Wide Web has unveiled a plan for a new secure internet
Over 40 percent of activity on the internet is fake
Half of all phishing sites display the padlock, making people think they’re safe
The World Wide Web turns 30 years old, it’s been one hell of a ride!
It’s estimated that more than four billion people — or close to 60% of the world’s population is now online.