At present time most of the population of Earth is using the internet for different purposes. Some people are using the internet for education whereas others are using it for entertainment purposes. The Internet eradicated the gap in communication, lack of knowledge, and provides accessibility of many content from all over the world. Before the innovation of the internet when we were stuck while solving any problem we used to take some experienced person help. But after its invention, many things got changed. We don’t need to carry or read thick books to understand something. We just need to visit the internet and search the solutions to our problems. Anyhow internet does not have the solution to all the problems but it has many of them.
What is the Internet?
In simple terms, “Internet is a medium where many computers are connected with each other from all over the world”. In technical terms, it is a set of networks that are working on packet switching and standard protocols. Don’t be afraid of these words, we will discuss them in a more descriptive manner.
In computer networks data travels in the form of packets. Packet switching is a process that transmits data (information) across digital networks by breaking the data into blocks or packets. These packets travel in the network by using various network devices. In the network when a device sends a file to another device it breaks the file into packets so that it can determine the most efficient route for sending the data across the network at that time. The network devices can then route the packets to the destination where the receiving device rearranges them for further use. This is packet switching in the computer network.
To make communication between networking devices there are some defined rules. These rules are known as protocols. The reason for the protocol creation is simple. In networks, many devices are connected and they may use different hardware and run different software. This is the main challenge that the creators of the internet had to solve by using some defined rules/protocols. There are protocols for sending packets between devices on the same network (Ethernet), for sending packets from network to network IP(Internet protocol) is one of the popular protocols, for ensuring those packets are successfully received at the other end TCP (Transmission control protocol), and for formatting data for website and application HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol).
Because all of the devices that are connected via the internet can interpret and understand these protocols, the internet works no matter who or what connects to it.
Physical Infrastructure of Internet:
The Internet does not have a single point of control. There are different kinds of hardware and infrastructure involved in making the Internet work for everyone. Some of the important devices are given below:
Routers: These devices are specially designed to receive and forward the packets to destination devices. Routers are responsible for defining the fastest route for the packet. Its job is similar to traffic police.
Switches: It is designed to connect the devices of a single network. They use packet switching to forward packets to the correct device in local area network devices. Switches also receive outbound packets from those devices and pass them along to the correct destination.
Web Servers: Servers are hardware devices that are responsible for hosting some application or software-based services. Web servers are specialized high-powered computers that store and serve content web pages, images, audio, and videos to users. Servers are also responsible for responding to DNS queries and perform other important task to keep the internet running. Most of the servers are kept in large data centres in high availability manner, which are located throughout the world.
How does this Internet Setup Work?
As of now, we have discussed the elements of the internet. Now check how these internal elements are interconnected and responsible for connecting several devices all over the world.
- When you open your browser and enter the website address either on your computer or mobile phone, it first makes a DNS query to find the public IP address. The public IP address is unique for every website or web URL.
- Your browser opened a connection with that IP address. This process is known as TCP handshake.
- At present time most browsers set up encryption between your computer and website server to prevent your data from hacking. This is a TLS handshake.
- In this step, your browser requests the content that appears on the webpage by using HTTP or HTTPS protocol.
- On the request of the browser remotely located server transmits the content in the form of HTML, CSS, or another form of script, broken up into a series of data packets. Once your device receives the packets and verifies all of them, your browser interprets the HTML, CSS, or other scripts contained in the packets to render the webpage. Generally, this entire process took only 1 to 2 seconds.
Applications of the Internet:
Well, this part is a little bit funny because you are already using the internet to reach us and read this article. Jokes apart, the internet has a major role in the technological revolution. Some of the applications are given here:
- Share market trading
- Online Shopping
- Web browsing
- Job search
- Real-time update
- Social connectivity
- Travel planning
- Video conferencing
- Online consultation
That’s how the internet works and plays an important role in our life
Thanks for reading. See you soon with another exploration!