Who Invented the Internet?

invented-internet Credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

The invention of the Internet is credited primarily to the developers of ARPANET, a project of the U.S. Department of Defense and dozens of universities. This complex technology, however, has been developed over time by hundreds of innovators and inventors.

ARPANET was the culmination of decades of thought and work, starting with Vannevar Bush's 1945 concept of a digitized library for organizing and sifting through U.S. Department of Defense data. Mike Wingfield and Larry Roberts designed the first hardware, and Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf invented TCP and IP. Paul Baran, Donald Davies and Leonard Kleinrock invented packet switching. These technologies are the bedrock of Internet architecture.

Tim Berners-Lee brought this architecture to the public with the invention of the World Wide Web. Using the existing architecture of ARPANET's Internet, he added hypertext to create hypertext transfer protocol, or HTTP — the cornerstone of the Web.