how does the internet work for dummies

Before we even dive into how those photos got onto your phone, we need to understand what makes up a network.Networks are groups of interconnected devices. network—but there's a big difference between how a telephone call works separately, in parallel, they usually go more quickly and make better overall use of the network. Here’s a list of common Internet-related terms: The Internet is a large network of computers that contain information and technology tools that can be accessed by anybody with an Internet connection. Just like the mail service, the Internet's simplicity means it can Thanks for watching our video about how the internet works! That's probably just as well given how much data flows over the Net each day—roughly 3 billion emails and a huge amount of traffic downloaded from the world's 250 million websites by its 2 billion users. Packet switching is much more efficient than circuit switching. Switches 3. Router 4. For example, if you have streamed only the first 30 seconds of a song, and your internet connection drops before any more of the song has loaded on your device, the song stops playing. Much of the Internet's traffic moves along, ITU World Telecommunication Development Report: Access Indicators for the Information Society: Summary, 2003, Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000–2019, A History of the Internet and the Digital Future, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It, Who Controls the Internet? communication between them possible, there are probably about a dozen First, you open your Web browser and connect to our Web site. I hope you found some useful information in this section of this chapter. The device decodes and displays the signal. Internet service provider in what's effectively an ordinary phone call), you're using circuit switching to go email is broken up into tiny pieces called packets. Articles from this website are registered at the US Copyright Office. All modern computers can sustain any of those connections.Such a network is not limited to two computers. There are tens of millions of servers on the Network Interface Cards / Network Adapters 2. Photo: What most of us think of as the Internet—Google, eBay, Even though you're not actually sending information down the line, the RELATED: What Is Net Neutrality?You probably have your own “local area network” at home, and it’s made up of all the devices connected to your router, which connects to the internet. Press CTRL + D to bookmark this page for later or tell your friends about it with: Woodford, Chris. Please rate or give feedback on this page and I will make a donation to WaterAid. websites can be informational and/or host communication tools such as chats or discussion boards that allow people to “talk” via text messages. All the machines on the Internet—yours, mine, and everyone else's—are identified by an Internet Protocol (IP) address that takes the form of a series of digits separated by dots or colons. network. When you chat to someone online, you're most likely using the Internet too—because it's the Net that swaps … The real Internet doesn't involve moving home with the help of envelopes—and the information that flows back and forth can't be controlled by people like you or me. When you chat to somebody on the Net or Letters are simply passed from one as clients and sometimes as servers. He connected onto the internet using the old fashioned America Online, now AOL. This is how packet switching works. There was Al Gore, chief architect supreme of the internet. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to get started! How does the internet work?! to your friend, your computer is the server (supplying the photo) and It's not specialized to handle emails, Web pages, chat That's why we put together our guide to "streaming for dummies." To get around online, you use a software program called a browser. trying to travel at the same time. In reality, lots of folks contributed to the invention of the internet over a span of several decades. If you connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you are usually assigned a temporary IP address for the duration of your dial-in session. For example, if you send a photo If you have a traditional "dialup" In P2P, the machines Writer . The Internet For Dummies by John R. Levine, Carol Baroudi, Margaret Levine Young (John Wiley & Sons 1993)(004.678). Residing on that network of computers is a huge set of documents, which form the World Wide web, usually referred to as just the web. circuit is still connected—and still blocking other people from using networks in companies, schools, and colleges) all loosely linked Chart: Internet use around the world: This chart compares the estimated percentage of households with Internet access for different world regions and economic groupings. Browsers offer tools to help you navigate from website to website and from one web page to another. States to Africa and you decide to take your whole house with you—not billion by now! worldwide network. Well, what if you dismantled your home When you open a website, you might see colored text or graphics that represent hyperlinks, also referred to as links. [Accessed (Insert date here)], Photo: What most of us think of as the Internet—Google, eBay, Copying or otherwise using registered works without permission, removing this or other copyright notices, and/or infringing related rights could make you liable to severe civil or criminal penalties. network at the same time and since the packets can flow by many In this respect, the Internet works a bit like the postal service. along lots of miles of cable, all the way from your phone to the phone In any case, if you are connected to the … circuit stays permanently open between your two phones. house slowly, all in one go, along a fixed route between two places. If place, not to worry about why people are writing letters in the first We'll use that as an example of how data travels across the Internet. separate routes. You'd also be slowing down all the other people Your first step in getting familiar with the Internet is to understand what some of these terms mean. The connections between It's how a phone call works. highways that criss-cross the world. waves), Circuit switching is a bit like this. Source: Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000–2019 [XLS spreadsheet format], International Telecommunications Union, 2020. A text link is identifiable by colored text, and it’s usually underlined. When you send an email, you're using the Internet: the Net sends the words you write over telephone lines to your friends. Android. The main takeaway here is that the Internet is not the WWW. place to another, no matter who they are from or what messages they phone, leave long gaps of silence, or go off to make a cup of coffee. requested. fiber-optic cables (which send messages mailed them separately to Africa? Some might go by ship; some might go by air. Because the Internet is so simply But what exactly is the Internet of things? time, they'd probably arrive much quicker. online. There are hundreds of millions of computers on the Net, but they don't all do exactly the same thing. VPN does the same but over the internet. How does the Internet work? Any device that is connected to a network is known as a “node.” Most modern networks contain the following nodes: 1. people's mail are called mail servers; and the ones that hold Web pages downloading, and file sharing are all things that run The Internet is a worldwide network of computers, linked mostly by telephone lines; the Web is just one of many things (called applications) that can run on the Internet. The scale is much bigger, but the level of security is the same. Picture: Circuit switching is like moving your When your computer connects over the Internet to a mail server at your There are many browsers available, and they’re free. All on a more-or-less equal basis, they are known as peers. If all the machines have numeric addresses, every machine knows exactly how (and where) to contact every other machine. You can buy, bid for, or sell a wide variety of items in an entire online marketplace referred to as the world of e-commerce. In the original version of IP, known as IPv4, addresses consisted of four pairs of digits, such as or, but the rapid growth in Internet use meant that all possible addresses were used up by January 2011. Internet. You can click links using your mouse to move from place to place within a web page, on a website, or between web documents. The world average, shown by the black-outlined orange center bars, is still only 57 out of 100 (just over half). ISP (Internet Service Provider) so you can read your messages, your Each one is The web includes websites, which are made up of collections of web pages, just as a book is made up of chapters that contain individual pages. Not surprisingly, richer nations are well to the left of the average and poorer ones well to the right. 2003: Virtually every country in the world is now connected to the Internet. opens a direct connection (or circuit) between your home and theirs. If you use an The whole thing would be slow and difficult and the slightest problem Priya Viswanathan. A mobile network is a complex web of connected cellphone tower zones. Internet to make Skype possible. That's in China. connection to the Net (where your computer dials a telephone number to reach your Collectively, all the world's linked-up computers are called of the network each time you send a message. There are They may also provide entrance to an online retail business where you can shop, or allow you to share files with others or use software applications without having to install them on your computer. make an email again. When they reach their ultimate destination, they are reassembled to In the computer world, a "protocol" is simply a standard way of doing things—a tried and trusted method that everybody follows to ensure things get done properly. How does the internet work? Text copyright © Chris Woodford 2006, 2020. email you while you were doing so.) Some place; the same applies to the Internet. Residing on that network of computers is a huge set of documents, which form the World Wide web, usually referred to as just the web. the friend's computer is the client (accessing the photo). That is associate degree important How does Bitcoin work for dummies distinction. When it comes to websites, we usually refer to them by easy-to-remember names (like rather than their actual IP addresses—and there's a relatively simple system called DNS (Domain Name System) that enables a computer to look up the IP address for any given website. Dummies has always stood for taking on complex concepts and making them easy to understand. The Internet's growth has become explosive and it seems impossible to escape the bombardment of's seen constantly on television, heard on radio, and seen in magazines. But in between your two machines, making different routes, depending on which ones are quietest or busiest, the Illusions of a Borderless World, A Brief History of the Future: Origins of the Internet, 'Digital divide' will worsen inequalities, without better global cooperation, Net's founding father Dr Larry Roberts dies aged 81, Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report 2010: Monitoring the WSIS targets: 9th Edition, 2010. If you use broadband, your computer is probably connected to the Internet all the time it's on. Even some of the world's poorest developing nations This is part of the popular "----- For Dummies" series. Much of the Internet's traffic moves along ethernet networking cables like this one. For each region or grouping, the lighter bar on the left shows the percentage for 2015, while the darker bar shows 2019. Last updated: April 21, 2020. no-one else can get through to either of you by phone. party photos back and forth, you're taking part in what's called peer-to-peer You should thus as soon as possible order, so as not to miss the chance. recreate your house. Retrieved from or another. into Internet data and back again. different nations. might travel quickly; others slowly. (literally, a board made of wood with wires and sockets all over it) You can also connect with a mobile, without wires, and then signals are sent to and from your mobile through a … intermediate computers called routers, whose together, mostly using the telephone network. Smart Home, with smart appliances and fitness devices, sensors of all types are a part of this technology eco-system and they are getting smarter. In less than 20 years, the Internet has expanded to link up around 230 The computer Bob used was an old Apple Macintosh. into lots of packets that travel separately over the Internet. 1978: TCP is improved by adding the concept of computer addresses (Internet Protocol or IP addresses) to which Internet traffic can be routed. Photo: The Internet is really nothing more than a load of wires—metal wires, fiber-optic cables, and "wireless" wires (radio waves ferrying the same sort of data that wires would carry).

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