How would we survive in the modern day without WiFi? From online shopping to staying connected with team members when WFH, it is used by over 5 billion people worldwide!
WiFi has never been faster than today but guess what… it is still evolving! We want to take a look at the evolution of the internet over the years…
The beginning of internet technology…
The first email ever sent was back in 1971 and computers were then able to start sharing information with each other by 1983. The early 80’s internet that would connect computers together was powered by a network called USENET. This still required phone modems to work
In the 1989, the invention of the World Wide Web (invented by Tim Berners Lee) gained vast attention across the globe – this introduced the use of websites and internet connectivity to the general public.
1990’s & dial up internet…
Dial up internet also took off in the 1990s, the first commercial ISPs (internet service providers) began to offer internet connections to regular households. Dial up internet was not as seamless as WiFi today and you were required to have full use of a home telephone line in order to make the internet work – this also meant you couldn’t make phone calls at the same time as browsing the internet.
How fast was this internet? Dial up connections ran at 56kbps, to put in perspective: 60Mbps internet connection (a common speed in todays world) is equal to 60,000kps, this is over 1000 times faster!
In 1997 WiFi – known as 802.11 at this time, was invented and released to the general public/consumers. The first set of standards used whilst setting up this WiFi connection was called IEEE802.11, a massive step forward for the evolution of WiFi.
2000’s & broadband…
The early 2000s brought a new lease of evolution to the internet, broadband allowed the signal in one line to be split between telephone and internet which finally meant that users now had the ability to make phone calls as well as being online at the same time. At the time it was branded the ‘always on’ internet service.
Broadband also brought much faster connection speeds, allowing people to download and share files like pictures, videos, and movies at much quicker speeds. It also opened up the gate to the online world within the first 5 years of broadband we saw the creation and rise of Wikipedia (2001), LinkedIn (2002), Facebook (2004) and YouTube and Reddit (2005).
This was then a pretty perfect time to bring out fibre-optic broadband! Scrapping out the old copper phone lines as these new fibre lines allowed users to access much faster internet speeds. At this time Virgin Media was the first to offer this, with speeds of 50Mbps which were over double the offers from competition.
The 2000’s also brought us 3G and smartphone! This allowed users to connect to the internet from anywhere with decent enough mobile connections, this provided the perfect place for social media apps to evolve.
2010’s speed and streaming…
With fibre connections, 4G and smartphones nearly fully integrated into our daily lives, we saw a rise in social media and streaming. We could do more online now than ever before!
In 2018 providers introduced their first ever ‘ultrafast’ broadband deals with speeds of 100Mbps plus! Completely avoiding copper wires it meant that much more data was able to be transferred at the same time, speeds could reach up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) – this is 100 times faster than copper broadband deals.
To give you an idea of how fast this speed is – you could download a full HD movie in 47 seconds. If you only had download speeds of 100 Mbps, the same task would take a full eight minutes!
2020’s & The Future of WiFi technology…
Today the use of internet has never been higher!
With the hit of the global pandemic, we have seen a evolutionary shift in the way internet is used, millions worldwide began working and learning from home, with this massive change there was a strain on internet usage – it was made obvious that old speeds weren’t enough to keep up with this skyrocket demand for data, this led to the rise of full fibre speeding up their connections.
As well as this full fibre rise the birth of 5G helped supply ultrafast speeds for smartphones as well as creating a new option for broadband in the form of a 5G home broadband hub.
What does the future hold for internet?
Well, as the demand for data is consistently rising, internet providers will have to keep up with this demand with new innovations and faster speeds, our commercial offerings are now 10Gbps as standard!