Grandpa is already with his battles. This expression, which curiously sounds old-fashioned, will never go out of style. The generational shock it is inevitable when someone of a certain age begins to talk about how things were in his time. And the internet is not spared from this. He has been with us long enough for us to the internet that lived didn’t be the same someone born in a decade or another.

More than one we have aged several years suddenly when we have commented something related to the internet that we lived in our childhood and that today is something forgotten. So forgotten that the person we are talking to does not know what we are talking about. And in the worst case, perhaps I will release that very painful phrase: “I was not born yet.”

The case is that time gives us experience, but that knowledge is of little use if our interlocutor does not know what we are talking about or what we mean. Luckily we can always let off steam in an internet forum, on Facebook or on Twitter, places where comments are already proliferating in which there is talk of a certain application or service that was very popular years ago but no one remembers it anymore.

Next, a look at the internet from before, the one from 20 years ago, when everything was to be done but the internet was beginning to be what it is now. The internet you used to do from your computer or from an internet cafeAs smartphones and connected 24 hours a day were yet to come.

Pages under construction

Having a presence on the internet today is as simple as creating a Twitter or Instagram and post a comment, a photo or a video. A matter of minutes. Even setting up your own page is as simple as signing up for Medium or WordPress.

But before social networks and even Blogger, the first service that made it easy for everyone to create your own blog in minutes, to be online the only way was to start your own website.

And since putting your website online was not so simple, since it required programming in HTML, many activated their page and left it in construction waiting to upload more content. Sometimes that content never came.

The pages under construction where you could see messages indicating that this page would be available in the future will always remain in your memory. There was also no lack of GIF animations with road signs, construction fences and spiked workers. A whole digital art that filled pages and pages of the extinct Geocities.

The web rings

The search engine has become the gateway to any self-respecting web page, but it was not always the case. In the early years of the internet before, you had to type the full address in the browser of the page you wanted to visit.

And to facilitate you to find similar content or the same topic, web rings or webrings emerged. A web ring basically consisted of a group of web pages they were linked to each other. Thus, if you entered one, you could directly access the rest of the pages of that ring.

Web rings normally shared areas of knowledge, hobbies or themes. Today the rings have given way to recommended links or similar, but with the use of search engines they are no longer so popular.

Flash pages and games

Adobe Flash has its days numbered. What’s more, while reading this Flash may be a thing of the past. And, certainly, its golden age is past, very past.

On the internet before, Flash technology allowed create multimedia content Very visually attractive, with drop-down menus that played a sound, background music, animations everywhere … Come on, everything very retro futuristic but at that time surprised any surfer.

Adobe Flash was created to design multimedia content. Then he applied to the Web and, in his last fashionable stage, flooded the internet with flash games with which you could spend hours playing for free in your browser.

But HTML5, CSS, and other technologies have arrived that have made Flash somewhat obsolete. Not only that, smartphones and their finite batteries They gave the last one to Flash, since it consumed more battery than the modern web that was already starting to take shape.

Pages without constant warnings

There are several memes that remind us what Google was like in its early days and how it has been filling with elements, such as sponsored links, suggestions, applications and services from Google itself …

But Google is not the most extreme case. The current website has been filled with messages and warnings. Do you want your browser to notify you every time that web page is updated? Do you approve of our cookies and privacy policy? Don’t worry, we’ll ask you again every time you come back in.

Do you want to subscribe to our newsletter? Do you know our merchandising store? Do you want to register as a user? Have you already seen our YouTube channel? The list can be extended with more examples.

The internet from 20 years ago wasn’t that great either, but the most you could find were advertising banners. Today, when accessing a website, we see them with messages from everywhere, hidden ads and other advertisements.


We communicate by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat or Telegram, but before smartphones, there was also instant messaging.

In a previous article I talked about the most popular messaging apps that allowed you to talk to your contacts with text messages. Over the years calls and video calls were incorporated. You could also send files and have fun with what we now call emojis and online games.

First it was ICQ in 1996. Then AIM would come in 1997. But in Spain and Latin America Yahoo Messenger (1998) and MSN Messenger (1999) were more successful. On the one hand, the Yahoo! It integrated some of its services, such as email or online games.

In the case of MSN Messenger, it was changing its name and disappeared prematurely when in 2013 Microsoft decided to bet on Skype. Back then, WhatsApp was already starting to emerge, but MSN Messenger could have survived a little longer than it did.

In a few years before social networks and mobile messaging, desktop messaging apps were an alternative to communicate in real time with friends, family or meeting new people.


Depending on what year you were born or what year you first entered the internet, instant messaging did not yet exist. The most veteran will have known the newsgroups or newsgroups and maybe they have spent hours on IRC networks.

Still standing, although they are no longer as popular as in the past, IRC is a communication system that consists of access a server in which groups or channels are created. There you can speak to several users at the same time or do it privately.

Among its most outstanding characteristics, the channels or groups allowed a system of privileges. Thus, there were users who could kick others out of the channel or silence them. On the other hand, IRC programs facilitated direct connections between users, calls DCC o Direct Client-to-Client. They were very useful for talking privately with someone or for send and receive files at a time when connections were very slow and unstable.

In Spain, the servers of IRC-Hispanic, created in 1996. In 2009 it merged with the online chats of Terra and currently it has been converted into an online chat service through the browser.

Guest books and counters

Along with the pages under construction, the personal web pages had common elements that were in fashion back then. On the one hand the guest books, which allowed the visitors will leave your message. Something unthinkable today, in part because of the proliferation of trolls.

Another highlight was the visit counters. Considering that few people accessed the internet, seeing the number of visits to a page gave it a touch of transparency and importance.

Today, the statistics of the web pages are something of internal use and of vital importance. Without those metrics and data, you couldn’t get better prices for the advertising displayed on the current Web.