What is ARPANET Origin characteristics Myth behind ARPANET


The ARPANET refers to the acronym in English Advanced Research Projects Agency Network which in Spanish means Network of Agencies of Advanced Research Projects.

It was a computer network that was built in 1969 as a means of communication between military organizations.

The creation order was given by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and the first node was established at the University of California in Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, becoming the start of the internet .

Origin of ARPANET

As we already mentioned, the network originated from a DOD request in the 1960s. By that date, the concept of a computer network that could be capable of transferring data and communication between users of different computers was already known.

This concept was created around the year 1963 when Joseph CR Licklider, an American computer scientist, generated a series of ideas that led to the creation of the ARPANET network. In his ideas there were two important points such as:

  • A decentralized network with multiple paths between two points.
  • Dividing messages into fragments that would follow different paths.

After that, Licklider was contacted by the ARPA (Advanced Projects Research Agency) and from that moment a series of tests were generated that evolved until a complete plan was created in 1968 that was approved by the agency, being the plan that gave life to the ARPANET.

A year later the first message was launched through the network and in a short time the first link between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) was established.

Main characteristics of ARPANET

Among the characteristics of this network, we can find the following:

  • Decentralized data switching system, that is, there is no single central node like that of centralized networks.
  • It was initially created to connect institutions.
  • ARPA developed the network.
  • It originated the TCP/IP protocol that gave life to the Internet , the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service , and email.

Myth behind ARPANET

The creation of the ARPANET network originated several myths around it, one of the most popular was that the network had been created to survive nuclear attacks, but this was demystified by the ARPA in its summary A Brief History of the Internet:

However, this clarification did not convince many, who argued with complete certainty that the creation of the network had another background.

One of the main reasons was that the ARPA was financed by The Pentagon, which further encouraged the spread of the myth.

According to several testimonies, the interests that the Pentagon had with the network was to create an efficient system that could prevent any attack on the nation, including nuclear attacks.

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