How does the internet work?

Nowadays, we use the internet every now and then. Every day we wonder about the working of the net. Here, we explain what is the internet and how it works. The net basically consists of a network of connected computers across the globe. The link between them is possible with the help of wireless, wired and optical networking technologies.

The internet consists of the networked computers connected to one another. It forms a giant interconnected network known as the internet. It carries a host of information. This information includes applications and services such as websites, telephony, email and file sharing services.

The brief history of the internet

The origin of the internet dates back to 1960s. The federal government of the United States wanted a robust communication system for its computers. It was a research project that lead to ARPANET, forming the first backbone for military and academic purpose. Later on, all these technologies commercialized, forming a giant network across the globe. Vint Cerf and Robert E. Kahn are founders of the Internet. We can also call them the pioneers of the net.

The internet is also termed simply as the net. The net also correlates to the World Wide Web. Actually, the World Wide Web is a service on the net. As we use the World Wide Web every day, we now use this term to represent the net.

The Internet is growing rapidly with a growth rate of almost 100%. The 30% of the world’s population is using it. The main reason behind the organic growth of the net is its decentralized nature. No one can control it and no one will be able to control it in the future as well.

Understanding the basics of Internet

Basically, the internet works on the infrastructure of ISP (Internet Service Providers). There are different types of ISPs. It’s actually a hierarchy of routing. The end users who obtain the service or access the net are at the bottom of the routing hierarchy. There are different tiers of ISP’s. At the top of the routing, the hierarchy is the large telecommunication companies connected across the globe with the help of undersea, high-speed, fiber optic cables.

Undersea cables
Undersea cables

The Tier 2 and below networks buy the internet transit from the Tier 1 provider, ultimately reaching to the actual net users. Computers and routers identify each other via internet protocol addresses or simply IP addresses.

The access to the net is possible thru’ the dial-up modem, copper cables, fiber optic cables, and modern cell-phone networks. In general, the internet router at home or cell-phone network gives access to the net. These routers and cell phone networks are ultimately attached to the Internet Service Providers via cables.

How does internet work?

To understand how the internet works we take an example of one application on the net service called World Wide Web. The application is any website that we access every day. When you go to the website or type in the website name in the browser, the browser starts communicating with the DNS server.

The DNS server is nothing but a computer where every website is mapped to a particular IP address (physical server location). The computers don’t understand the words or phrases, but only binary numbers. The DNS stores the index of IP addresses of all websites. It maps the name of the website to its IP address and forwards the query to the server.

Every computer on the net has its own IP address. Once you type a website name in the browser, the DNS server points to the original server where the data related to the website you typed is stored. Then the original server responds to your request and sends back information you requested.

Actually, all this happens in the complex network of computers. The DNS server performs a key role in identifying the web server. It also forwards the query to other DNS servers, if it doesn’t have the necessary information. This keeps on going until finally, one of the DNS servers points correctly to the original server.

Then, the website appears on your screen. It just happens in a fraction of a second. This is one of the applications on the inter-net. There are literally millions of services and applications on the net and still, the net keeps getting bigger and bigger every day.

The usage of internet

The internet is a mainstream communication technology. It also gives immense flexibility as you can work remotely and you only need a working net connection. The biggest advantage is that no one can control it. It has no boundaries. It also makes possible to see each other in real time across the globe.

The scientist can work on single technology by sitting in another continent. The doctors can help to operate a patient hospitalized in another part of the world and so on. It has changed the way how we interact and exchange goods and services. The electronic and virtual currencies are on the rise, it seems we are creating a second life on the net. We possibly keep going in and out between the virtual and real worlds. Thus, there are already two worlds in our lives.

Some websites such as Wikipedia offers an online encyclopedia for the net users. On some websites, we can share the information anonymously, exposing wrongdoing and corrupt practices. Hence, everyone gets the power to change the world. That is where the power of the network lies. Thus, the power lies in our very own hands and not any organization or company.

In conclusion, the Internet is a great tool when we use it correctly and it has immense power to change the world around you. Thanks to the Internet to make our lives better.

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