From Basic Text to 4K Movie Streaming: A Brief History of the World Wide Web


When Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989, he probably didn’t predict how much his ideas would change the way we communicate. With approximately 1.83 billion websites to date, the World Wide Web has been the lifeblood of the Information Age. Berners-Lee said, “This is for everyone,” which was still immortalized during the opening ceremony of the British Olympics in July 2012.

Concept and creation

Often confused with the concept of the Internet of the 1960s, the World Wide Web was designed to meet the need for a system for sharing information among scientists. He wanted it to be a gift to bring people, ideas and countries together. He wanted the web to remain free and open – a way for the scientific community to speak without borders, for the good of mankind.

Berners-Lee’s concept of the World Wide Web included terms such as “hypertext project” and “Web”. He described how a “web” of “hypertext documents” can be viewed using a “browser” program. These documents, or pages, had to be identified by URLs (Uniform Resource Locators).

The World Wide Web is online

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. It contained the first public website that went live 30 years ago, in 1991. Only a handful of users had access to the NeXT computers, which were required to run the new web browser. Berners-Lee therefore started working on a browser that could run on any system. The result was the “online browser”, the only second browser ever to be created, and the first to be portable across different operating systems.

The first days

The “line-mode” browser, while it could run on any machine, was not particularly user-friendly. Developers around the world have started working on their own versions of a web browser. The Mosaic browser was released by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in 1993. On April 30 of the same year, the World Wide Web software was placed in the public domain by CERN, making it accessible to everyone. The web slowly began to enter daily life in 1994, which has been dubbed “the year of the web”. The first international World Wide Web conference was held at CERN that year and brought together 380 users and developers, although there were still very few websites available at that time. Some notable players who would change the field forever were already taking their first steps. Yahoo! was founded in 1994, adding search engine capability later in 1995. That year also saw the birth of online commerce, now known as e-commerce, with the creation of eBay and Amazon.

The World Wide Web Today

It’s amazing to think that a person under the age of 32 has never known life without the World Wide Web. Today, in the information age, there are 7.83 billion people in the world, of which 4.66 billion are active Internet users. Almost half of the world is now online. Today more than ever, we depend heavily on the World Wide Web as a lifeline for information. Among its many uses are communication, work, education, shopping, medical needs, media consumption, etc. Every day, the average user spends 6 hours and 43 minutes on the Internet, creating a massive 6.59 billion GB per second traffic. Interestingly, not only are humans responsible for this trafficking. In 2020, 40.8% of internet traffic was bot traffic. Most countries also depend on the World Wide Web to provide services and information to their citizens. These are just a few of the reasons why our goal should be to make the web even more accessible and secure than it already is. Entire industries now operate almost exclusively online, with millions of apps supporting the activities of their users.

Every rose has its thorn

The “Web” as we know it is not without its flaws. In addition to the many benefits, there were unpleasant, unforeseen and unwanted side effects: cybercrime, scams (such as phishing), online fraud, widespread dissemination of hate speech and disinformation, cyberbullying, etc. A key area of ​​interest has become data privacy, with many countries and states now adopting extensive data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, and others. In recent years, the Web Foundation – championed by Web Foundation co-founder Rosemary Leith and Sir Tim Berners-Lee – has taken action by working with governments, businesses and citizens to create a new contract for the web. We like to see ourselves as part of that – fighting the good fight to make the internet a better and safer place by protecting data and all the paths that lead to it.

What’s next for the World Wide Web?

Recent global developments, such as online ordering during the global COVID pandemic and the proliferation of remote working, have served as a catalyst to transform the WWW into an even busier space. In the years to come, despite use, we hope to see further incremental improvements. More and more people will have access to the internet, as smart devices are increasingly available and the delivery infrastructure and connectivity are constantly improving. Mobile devices already dominate the market, with around 58.1% operating systems market share. One of the main effects of the pandemic is the rapid development and expansion of the digital surface space, as more business is done online than ever before. According to Statista, it is estimated that 2.14 billion people will shop online in 2021. E-commerce retail sales are expected to reach US $ 5.424 billion in 2022.

As more and more people choose to shop online, there is a growing incentive for attackers to target online retailers. Takeover and MageCart attacks are expected to be of major concern, as they allow attackers to gain access to sensitive customer information such as credit card numbers and personal data.

The World Wide Web is ‘for everyone’, and it is our vocation at Imperva to help keep it that way by protecting the online experience, the future and the ethics behind the WWW, and the data of our clients.

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*** This is a syndicated Security Bloggers Network Blog blog written by Erez Hasson. Read the original post at:

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