When Was the Internet Available to the Public?

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Internet was available to those few people who owned personal computers as early as 1983, when Arpanet computers switched to the TCP/IP protocol still used today. The birth of the World Wide Web vastly popularized Internet use.

The 1983 adoption of the TCP/IP protocol allowed the fledgling Arpanet/Internet to grow beyond its initial limit of 1000 computers. By 1987, almost 30,000 computers were connected to the Internet. Many more people connected to the Internet in 1989 when America Online made it easy to do so. In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee began work on the creation of the World Wide Web, with the first web page going live one year later.