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. O'Reilly & Associates (now O'Reilly Media) created and produced the package, in collaboration with Spry, Inc. Spry, Inc. also 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.

The pioneering Internet book from O'Reilly, Ed Krol's 'Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog' (US-1993) was included in the US product. The European edition of the product also included Sue Schofield's 'UK Internet Book' (UK 1994).

O'Reilly Media[edit]

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, research, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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): 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. Vol. 16 no. 45. San Mateo, CA: InfoWorld Media Group. 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 accessible. 
  6. ^ December, John; Randall, Neil (1994). World Wide Web Unleashed. Sams Publishing. ISBN 0-672-30617-4. 

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