Internet Trivia!

Since school is in session, I thought it might be a good time for some Internet trivia.

  • The Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same things.
  • The Internet was started in the 1970s to get a computer the size of a room to talk to another computer the size of a room. It is really a set of rules that computers use to connect and to talk to each other.
  • In 1974 the term Internet was created as an abbreviation from “inter-system networking.”
  • In 1989 the entire World Wide Web existed only on the computer of Tim Berners-Lee. He created the “web” of links that are on web pages. These are the links we click on in web pages. The name of the browser he created was WorldWideWeb. 
  • The worlds first website is still online. It is just a few lines of text and is found at
  • The term “surfing the Internet” was started in 1992 by Jean Armour Polly, a New York librarian.
  • U.S. programmer Ray Tomlinson sent the very first email in 1971. He doesn’t remember what the message said.
  • The first spam email was sent in 1978 to 600 recipients on ARPANET. There are now over 200 billion spam emails sent every day.
  • In 1991 the brilliant scientists at Cambridge University invented the first webcam to keep an eye on the coffee pot.
  • In 1993 the first web browser to display pictures, named Mosaic, was released. It was created by a team at the University of Illinois and was funded by the 1991 “Gore Bill.”
  • Just ten years ago, a connection of 1 Mbps (Megabits per second) was considered fast and good enough for a small business. 
  • Internet users consumed one zettabyte of bandwidth back in 2016. A zettabyte is one trillion Gigabytes.
  • All Internet traffic is measured in megabits (Mb), not megabytes (MB). There are 8 bits in a byte. There are 1000 bytes in a kilobyte (KB). There are 1000 kilobytes in a megabyte (MB). There are 1000 megabytes in one Gigabyte (GB).
  • More than half of all Internet traffic consists of various types of viruses and spam email.
  • Wi-Fi doesn’t stand for anything. According to Phil Belranger, the guy in charge of picking out the name in 2000, Wi-Fi is a made-up word. Some people think it might stand for “wireless fidelity,” but that was a marketing line that was invented after the word was created.
  • The Internet is controlled by a collection of giant phone books called the Domain Name System or DNS for short. When you want to visit a website, such as, your computer asks a DNS server what the Internet Protocol or IP address is for the site. Your computer then visits the website by using that number.

Hopefully, some of this trivia was new to you!

-Michael Martinell, The Broadband Guy