In fact, nobody really wanted to stop them from joining this branching complex of networks, which came to be known as “the Internet”.

In 1984 the National Science Foundation got into the act.

This was a very handy service, for computer time was precious in the early ‘70.

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As early as 1977, TCP/IP was being used by other networks to link to ARPANET.

ARPANET itself remained fairly tightly controlled, at least until 1983, when its military segment broke off and became MILNET. And ARPANET itself, though it was growing, became a smaller and smaller neighborhood amid the vastly growing constellation of other linked machines.

As the ‘70 advanced, other entire networks fell into the digital embrace of this ever-growing web of computers.

Since TCP/IP was public domain, and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature, it was difficult to stop people from barging in and linking up.

Each packet would begin at some specified source node, and end at some other specified destination node.

It would wind its way through the network on an individual basis.RAND mulled over this grim puzzle in deep military secrecy, and arrived at a daring solution.In the first place, they would design a network with no central authority.Its users scarcely noticed, for ARPANET’s functions not only continued but steadily improved.The use of TCP/IP standards for computer networking is now global.A mere twenty years had passed since the invention of the ARPANET, but few people remembered it now.