History of the Internet: Second Edition
By Michael Robinson
Copyright 2013 Michael Robinson
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The Internet as we know it today began life as ARPANET, and was developed as a way to connect universities. A common misconception is that it was built to survive a nuclear war, but the network's durability came from designing for the unreliable technology of the time. That it's (probably) sturdy enough to survive a nuclear war is a nice side-effect, and a testament to the engineers who built the protocols and technologies we still use today.
This book is roughly chronological, but dates and years are hard to pin down in most cases, and there's a lot of overlap.
The Internet Protocol (IP), central to the Internet, was a basis for communication. It provided the fundamental language for any computer to communicate. But it wasn't much use on its own, so protocols were built on top of it.