IT 101: How does the internet work? A Quick 101

by | Feb 1, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

How does the internet work?

You might be sitting on your phone right now. Or maybe you’re on a laptop. If you’ve ever asked, “How does the internet work?” In this article, I’m going to explain the luxury of the internet and how you access it so easily.

A Quick History on the internet.

  • 1962 – MIT, J.C.R. Licklider spoke about the Galactic Network concept, “the internet.”
  • 1969 – The first message was sent over the internet from one computer to another via ARPANET.
  • 1982 – First emoticon “:-)”
  • 1989 – AOL is first launched
  • 1991 – The first web page is launched on the internet.
  • 1993 – The first web browser Mosaic was launched. Then Google follows in 1998
  • 1996 – First web-based email service – “Hotmail” (First email was sent in the 1971)
  • 2004 – Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook in his Harvard Dorm room.
  • 2005 – Youtube is launched on the internet
  • 2007 – The iPhone is finally released to the world
    • (Source 1 – Web fx)

IT Terms you should know for answering “How does the internet work”

And like any industry, there’s new lingo you should learn if you want to know how does the internet work.

  1. IT – stands for “Information Technology”
  2. Network – links two or more devices that are in order to share electronic communications. Devices on a network are linked via cables, telephone lines, radio waves, and satellites.
  3. ISP – Internet Service Provider. Examples are Verizon, spectrum, and optimum. These service providers install the physical wire from their facility to your home, office, or business.
  4. Modem – this device sends the request for information through the ISP, then waits for the request to be fulfilled by the server. Lastly, the info is sent to the router and to your phone.
  5. Router – Creates a network that allows wired and non-wired devices to communicate with one another without going through the internet.
  6. Wifi – Wireless Fidelity. – Devices connect to the local network over short-length radio waves.
  7. WAP – The Wireless Access Point transmits and receives the wifi radio waves for devices to connect back to the network. Although known as another popular music song.
  8. Bandwidth – this lists the amount of upload/download speed your ISP is providing. Think of this as a lane on a highway, the more data you send, the more lanes you’ll need.
  9. Latency – This describes the round trip time from the browser to the server. The time it takes for your request to hit the server and return to your screen. The lower the latency the faster your pages, show, or download.
  10. IP Address – “Internet Protocol” address. The “address” part refers to a unique number that gets assigned to the device you’re are using to request and receive data from a network. To clarify, it just like a return address on a letter you’d send out.
  11. Bluetooth – Not WiFi but another way of transmitting data short distances and communicating directly from one device to another. When you send music to a speaker, it’s exchanging the data of the song through Bluetooth radio waves from your phone directly to your speaker, not through the internet or network.

WhatismyIPaddress.com does a great job at breaking down this process.

In addition, see the visual to answer “how does the internet work.”

Your ISP provides an IP address and allows you access to the internet.

Next, you request data (this is your website, social media account, Netflix show) from the server on your phone or device.

Lastly, the host server sends you the data/information back to you to read, view, or watch via the hardware.

 

This image visually shows how the internet works

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