Most of us are familiar with the Internet and use it as a daily essential element of life, without actually knowing how it works.
It’s like the electricity you use at your home. You might not be able to understand the mechanics behind it, but you still use it.
If electricity is so difficult to understand then the Internet might be impossible??
In the new few minutes, I’ll put you into a world of 10% people who actually know what the internet really is.
How does the Internet work??
Whenever people listen to the word cloud the picture that comes to their mind is the bubble cloud image.
But that is not what the Internet is actually, even in the modern age of cloud computing.
So you might be thinking about what it is actually??
The Internet is a straight line.
That straight line is nothing but a wire which can be of anything like copper, fiber optic, cellphone networks, wireless etc.
Put together the internet is a wire.
On the Internet, the two computers can be connected using this wire no matter if they are separated by large distances.
While you using the Internet most of you all have gone through a word called server.
A server is a special computer which is connected to the internet and it stores files which are accessible to all the computers connected to the same wire.
Every server has a unique identification number called the Internet Protocol address or the IP address.
Just like postal addresses are used to find the people in the real world. IP addresses are used to find computers in the virtual world.
Example of an IP address: 22.214.171.124
Computers which we use on a daily basis are not called as servers as they are not connected directly to the internet.
They are actually called as clients.
These clients are indirectly connected to the internet using an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Let’s understand this by an example,
Let’s say I’m using an ISP called DSL and I want to visit a website called hackgentips.com which is coincidentally both a server and ISP.
Now I use my computer to access the webpages that are stored upon the hackgentips server.
Suppose I want to download a picture from the website. Then the computers on the internet break the image into smaller parts.
These parts are often referred to as packets.
When all the packets are reached at its destination. They are rearranged into the actual image.
This is done with everything. It can be video, audio or as small as a tweet.
There are many users on the internet using it for different purposes every second. So what makes the packets you requested to reach your destination instead of other people’s computers??
This is when the IP addresses and the Routers come into the picture.
Everything that is connected to the internet has its own unique IP address. That includes your computer, cell phone, server and all the equipment that is used for the connections.
Anywhere where the intersection occurs on the internet a device called router is used.
A router helps to direct the packets on the internet making packets to get one step closer to the destination.
Whenever you visit a website about 10 to 15 routers help the packets travel from your computer to the server.
Imagine a packet as a candy which is wrapped using many layers.
The first layer is your computer’s IP address when this packet moves further to the first router, which adds its IP address.
Each time the packet mover further to the other router a new layer is added until the packets reach the server.
When the server sends back the packet to the client. It creates a packet with identical wrapping.
AS the packet makes its way to your computer. Each router unpacks a wrapper to discover where to send the packet next until it reaches your computer, not to any other random stranger.
So that is how the internet works.
Congratulations, you’re among the 10% of the world’s population who actually understands the working of the internet.