What Is The Internet? How does it Work

We use the net all day. We use it to chat with friends or for work, browsing, or sending e-mails. Whatever information we are on a lookout for is readily available over the internet.

One seldom considers how many computers are used in the processes. Two are quintessential. There’s one at your desk and the other at the person with whom you intend to communicate.

But to bridge the gap between these two computers in order to make the communication possible, there are a dozen more computers at work.

In a combined way, each of the linked computers forms the internet.

How linked computers interact with one another?

The Internet simplifies communication on a global scale. With less than 20 years of its coming to prominence, the internet links up nearly 210 different nations.

The internet has similarities with the telephone network or a network of highways. World Wide Web refers to the web pages whose information we can access online. Www forms a part of the internet traffic, just like file sharing, MP3 music downloading, and Instant messaging chat programs.

But the internet is essentially a collection of computers that are standalone. This involves the computer networks that prevail in colleges, schools, and companies. They are all linked together loosely, most frequently using the telephone network.

Various ways form the connection between computers. It may be in the format of satellite links, wireless radio connections, fiber-optic cables, or old fashioned copper cables.

What does the internet do?

The internet moves computerized information, which is also known as data from one place to the other. The machines that comprise the internet handle all the information they come across in the same way.

In certain ways, the internet has similarities with the postal system. The letters are passed from one place to another, always in the same ways. This is irrespective of the message that they contain within, who is sending or who is receiving them.

So the internet handles different kinds of responsibilities and enables people to do different kinds of works. Each kind of information is passed on in the same ways, be it chat messages, e-mails, or web pages.

Owing to the design of the internet, people can run new applications. An example of the same is Skype, which allows people to make calls over the internet. Creators of Skype came up with a program that turned human voice into internet data and back again. And Skype was up and running.

How does Internet data move?
Packet Switching

Most of the internet data moves in a way called packet switching. If you send an email to a Mongolian friend, then the email does not follow a path marked over a circuit.

Instead, the email is broken into tiny parts which are known as a packet. Each of the packets is marked with the destination’s address and moves separately.

Theoretically, each of the packets traces a different path. When they reach their destination, each of the packets is reassembled.

What makes packet switching effective is that a permanent connection between two places is not required for communication. Similarly, many people can use the network at the same time. The network is not blocked when you send a message.

The packets follow different routes. Quietness or business of the routes defines their usage. So the usage stays even. An evenly used network is more efficient.

How computer do different jobs over the internet

Servers are like electronic filing cabinets. They store information and pass it on request. Web servers hold web pages and mail servers hold people’s mails. There are millions of servers over the internet.


The client is a standalone computer. The server connects to it.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The ISP acts as the server.

Peer to peer (P2P)

Two computers, known as peers, swap information back and forth.


Routers are intermediate computers that make connections between different systems.

Internet Protocol (IP)

IP is the Internet’s addressing system.

Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS allows a computer to look up the IP address.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

TCP defines how packets move back and forth.