The Evolution of the World Wide Web: From Dial-Up to WiMax

When it comes to big changes in the past decade, nothing has garnered the amount of evolution and success that the world wide web has. At one point in recent history, no one got in touch with friends and accomplished work online, but now, that’s a common activity for those who are tech-savvy and regular people alike. And more and more workplace environments are switching to a digital approach, while colleges make it mandatory for their students to have laptops. It’s truly incredible how quickly things have managed to change with this technology.

To understand where the world wide web is destined to go, it’s crucial to actually comprehend its development. After all, the first networks and connections did not have wireless internet, and the speeds have increased so much that most people don’t remember a time that downloading movies was impossible and photos took upwards of 10 minutes to simply load on a web page. And the evolution of the web is only possible when communications and connectivity are able to advance, too. Streaming audio and video exist because of networks getting speedier, and with 4G and the latest high-speed connections, it’s possible to even video-conference while on the fly.

First, though, there was the dial-up modem. Using a phone line to connect to the web is a memory for all but the very young, and the noise and stress of waiting for pages to load kept the web as a playground for only the very devoted. But with the move from phone lines to cable lines, there was a leap in the amount of people who spent time online. Because of a faster speed, it was also possible to introduce wireless internet, which essentially took a regular speedy connection, added a router, and made it possible to get online from somewhere besides a desk. Because of this innovation, sales of laptops skyrocketed, and more people started looking at web access as something that could be mobile, rather than sedentary.

However, Wi-Fi has a number of limitations, and until recently, there were no solutions for any of them. Because of the router and its importance in getting online from somewhere besides a desk with a cord, people could only connect from close to the router. And this meant not actually being able to roam, much in the way that a landline used by a cordless phone still meant staying inside to make phone calls. But the introduction of WiMax, which takes the web signal to a network that’s national, has changed the game.

Now, it’s possible to open a laptop and connect from anywhere, thanks to towers that carry signals for upwards of mile and are able to bounce and continue signals from place to place. It’s possible to get on a train on the east coast and ride it all the way down south with the same signal, minus the stress of finding new networks. And as far as the web goes, any technology that changes the game means that people will be able to make innovative choices in how they design websites and content, too.