Internet in a Box

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For the anti-censorship toolkit, see Internet in a Suitcase.

Internet in a Box (IBox) was one of the first commercially available Internet connection software packages available for sale to the public. Spry, Inc. produced the package, as well as started up a commercial Internet service provider (ISP) called InterServ.[1][2]

The IBox software included the Winsock and TCP/IP stack that were needed to connect a computer running Microsoft Windows to the Internet in 1994.[3] The IBox package also included a licensed copy of the NCSA Mosaic web browser called AIR Mosaic,[4][5] AIR Mail (an email client), AIR News (an NNTP news client), AIR Telnet, AIR Gopher, and an FTP Network File Manager.

Combined with InterServ's dial-up access, Internet in a Box provided a complete solution for members of the general public to access the Internet, a network previously available almost exclusively to government and collegiate users, or to the public only indirectly through e-mail gateways provided by hosted systems such as BBS and CompuServe. The inclusion of a web browser further gave access to the nascent World Wide Web.

Two pioneering Internet books; Ed Krol's 'Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog' (US-1993) and a special edition of Sue Schofield's 'UK Internet Book' (UK 1994) were included in the US and European editions of the product.

Spry, Inc.[edit]

Spry, Inc. was a small software company headed up by David Pool in Seattle, Washington. Spry was the first company licensing the Mosaic's source code.[6] In 1995 CompuServe bought Spry, Inc. for $100 million in cash and stock of H&R Block (the parent company of CompuServe).


  1. ^ Goldberg, Steven (October 24, 1994). "Internet access? It's in the box". Network World (IDG Network World) 11 (43): pp. 43–44. ISSN 0887-7661. 
  2. ^ Peschel, Joe (November 7, 1994). "Spry's Internet In A Box package brings the Iway on-ramp to your computer". InfoWorld (San Mateo, CA: InfoWorld Media Group) 16 (45): p. 118. ISSN 0199-6649. 
  3. ^ Stewart, Bill. "Web Browser History". Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Sink, Eric (15 April 2003). "Memoirs From the Browser Wars". Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Cockburn, Andy; Jones, Steve (6 December 2000). "Which Way Now? Analysing and Easing Inadequacies in WWW Navigation". CiteSeerX. CiteSeerX: 
  6. ^ December, John; Randall, Neil (1994). World Wide Web Unleashed. Sams Publishing. ISBN 0-672-30617-4. 

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