1670s, from L. connectere (see connection). Earlier was connex (1540s), from Fr. connexer, from L. *connexare, freq. of conectere (pp. stem connex-). A similar change took place in Fr., where connexer was superseded by connecter. Meaning "to establish a relationship"
(with) is from 1881. Slang meaning "get in touch with" is attested by 1926, from telephone connections. Meaning "awaken meaningful emotions, establish rapport" is from 1942. Of a hit or blow, "to reach the target," from c.1920. Related: Connecting (1680s); connectedness (1690s).
Said of a computer installation, asserts that it has reliable electronic mail links with the network and/or that it relays a large fraction of available Usenet newsgroups. "Well-known" can be almost synonymous, but also implies that the site's name is familiar to many (due perhaps to an archive service or active Usenet users).