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Pornographic images had been transmitted over the Internet as ASCII porn but to send images over network needed computers with graphics capability and also higher network bandwidth.
This was possible in the late '80s and early '90s through the use of anonymous FTP servers and through the Gopher protocol.
The rise of pornography websites offering photos, video clips and streaming media including live webcam access allowed greater access to pornography.
On the Web, there are both commercial and free pornography sites.
Because of the network restrictions of the time, images had to be encoded as ascii text and then broken into sections before being posted to the Alt.binaries of the usenet.
One recent entry into the free pornography website market are Thumbnail gallery post sites.
This small image archive contained some low quality scanned pornographic images that were initially available to anyone anonymously, but the site soon became restricted to Netherlands only access.
Usenet newsgroups provided an early way of sharing images over the narrow bandwidth available in the early 1990s.
At this time the internet was mainly an academic and military network and there was not widespread use of the internet.
One of the early Gopher/FTP sites was at tudelft and was called the Digital Archive on the 17th Floor (List of websites founded before 1995).