The How the internet works.


How does the internet work?

The internet has been growing in popularity for decades but how does it really work? It takes more than a phone jack, a computer and a power source. Every time you open a browser, through whichever means you choose to do that, there are lots of processes taking place. The internet couldn’t operate without these processes and they all take place within seconds! There are three areas that must be understood before understanding how the internet truly works. These areas are: transport protocol, which moves information around the Internet; domain names, which are what you call certain things on the internet; and servers, routers, and clients, which are referred to as the hardware of the internet.

TCP/IP is the process of moving information through the Internet. Although they are two different things, the internet cannot exist without the presence and successful operation of both of them. These abbreviations stand for transmission control protocol and internet protocol. With the TCP/IP protocol, files in the server are broken down into things that are called packets by the file server. Each packet is given an IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, of its destination. As the different packets move through the global network, it travels through many different servers and routers before reaching the requesting network and the requesting computer.

The IP address that has been assigned to the packet will tell the servers that the packet travels through, where to send the packet next. At every stop, the packet is given a wrapper, which will allow someone to see which different server the packet travelled through. Although they are travelling to the same place, the different packets that the initial file was broken down into don’t necessarily take the same way to arrive at the final destination. The process of breaking down files into packets helps users to receive packets more efficiently. This way it can be done with many different phone lines, instead of spending time looking for one phone line that can handle the entire file. It also makes the internet work more efficiently by not compromising the system when there is one air that is having trouble. The packets will simply find another way to get to the destination.

A domain name is how businesses and organizations are recognized on the internet. In an email address the domain name appears after the “@” symbol and when browsing the domain name appears after www. Domain names are all registered with the domain name authority so that it can be traced to a server. That server is then responsible for receiving files, email, and servicing web pages for that domain name. Hosts are the companies that will manage your web site and email through the name server. The host will manage a domain name server, or DNS, that is usually a software server that will answer requests for that server and will redirect incoming information to different parts of the host’s server. In short, a DNS redirects information to different IP addresses.

The internet is comprised mainly of servers, routers, and clients. Servers are computers that are extremely powerful and run continuously. They are specially made with redundant hard drives, which are referred to as a RAID array. These servers have special cooling components and are generally designed to be very skinny so that they can fit into a rack with many other computers just like it. Servers are generally kept in a data centre. These data centres provide things such as extra cooling, extra power supplies, anti static mats, and many other components to keep the servers safe and secure.

Routers are far less complex. They simply pass information on to their destined IP address. While they are very quick and efficient, they are designed only for that job and don’t necessarily need to do much more than that. Routers are so simple in fact, that individuals can have them sitting on their desktop and this will allow more than one computer to run in a house at one time (such is the case if you have a desktop computer and a laptop computer.)

Clients are the users at the other end of the computer. When you open a web page, you are requesting message from another server and so, you are a client. The server on the other end is designed to gather the information and send it back to the client.

The most amazing part of the process the internet must go through when a request for information is made is not the many different servers it travels through, or what the domain name is. The most amazing part is how quickly all of it takes place. When you open up a browser or look at email, you don’t even have time to think about the process before the information you requested is staring back at you from your computer screen.

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