Ever wondered how the Internet works?
(5 months ago)
New Delhi , Jan.03 : Do you know that only 10pc of population knows the full form of the Internet and just 2pc understand how it works.
So, when you are done reading this article, you will be part of that minuscule population who understand how it works.
So, let's begin with the word the Internet. It is acronym for interconnected network.
Congratulations! You are now in 10% bracket.
Now, to reach the next bracket, you will have to scroll down a little.
Many scientists and engineers at different times have played a part in it. Undoubtedly, Graham Bell, inventor of telephone, is on the top of that list.
Having said that, for our present day 'net' one has to give credit to Cold War.
The Americans, in the late 1960s, decided not to keep their computers meant for military purposes at one location and become a target for Russian jets.
So, they then relocated them at various spots in the country and developed a communication network for their computers using the telephone lines.
Sounds familiar? Remember dial-up connections.
Now, you know the history of Internet too. Yay!!
Let's begin with the real thing.
The Internet is like a track of Delhi Metro on which train or, in software language, a packet runs or flows. We, passengers, are its clients.
We are not directly connected to the track. We sometimes take rickshaw, bus or some other mode of transportation to reach the nearest track. Let's call these vehicles, even our legs, in this case as Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Now, here each website is like a metro station, which we will call as 'servers' and they are connected to the track, meaning the Internet. And these servers, a lot of times host multiple websites.
So, the Internet is a long-running track, a 'wire' to be precise, running underground and over the ocean bed, connecting continents. And, over 8 million servers, also known as data centres, are connected to it.
The wire is a mixture of telephone, cable-tv and fibre-optic wires, depending on places. Well, now we get the Internet from satellites too but more on that maybe some other time.
So, let's say you log onto Facebook, while sitting somewhere in New Delhi.
Now, this would mean that you have just taken a rickshaw (ISP) to nearest track (the Internet wire) and got down at a metro station (server) in Singapore because that's where Facebook's server for Asia is located.
Similarly, let's say, you have a gmail account and you have sent an e-mail to an account on yahoo.com. In the real world, actually in the hypothetical world, this would mean you deboarded at Changua County in Taiwan or Singapore and then again got on the track for Thailand.
And that's how the Internet works!
Wait, who does the travelling part?
Exactly! We don't actually get into the wire and appear somewhere on Earth. The moment we type ww.facebook.com on the web browser and hit enter, we generate a request. This request then gets enveloped with our Internet Protocol address (ISP's address), Facebook's address and series of other numbers and becomes a packet. This packet then through the wires reaches Facebook's Singapore server. The computer over there reads it and sends the webpage of Facebook in number of packets which reassemble at our end and comes in the form of -- you know how it looks.
Finally, that's how the Internet works!
By Aman Joshi.