How the internet has changed our lives in the past 25 years

It has been 25 years since the launch of the first-ever commercial internet service provider (ISP) in November 1989, and technology has changed quite a lot since.

For example, 25 years ago there were just 159,000 hosts or websites worldwide, now there are more than 1 billion, and the basic iPhone 5S is 65 times faster and has 8,000 times more memory than a PC in 1989.


  • A 4GB Kindle can now store 3,000 books, but a mobile library carrying that many books in 1989 would have weighed 9,000 kilograms (19,840 pounds).
  • The 220,000 photos uploaded to Instagram every minute in 2014 would have used up 9,116 camera film rolls in 1989.
  • Sending the 2.3 million emails that are now sent every second would have cost you £1.24 million ($1.95 million) in 2nd class stamps in 1989.

To find out more fascinating facts about how the internet has changed out lives in the past 25 years, check out this interactive graphic.


Find out even more about the latest ground-breaking technology changing our lives, such as how mobile payments work, in issue 66 of How It Works magazine. Order it in print or download the digital edition.