How does the internet work? [Explained]

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In today’s world, the internet has become an important tool of human life. If you are reading this article, you are familiar with the internet. We all use the internet daily, but many of us don’t know how the internet works. In this article of Terminal Stack, we will talk about the internet, its origin, brief history and how the internet works.


In simple words, the internet is an interconnected network of computers. 

Wired Internet is the most common form of connection to the internet. Thousands of kilometres of wires are laid underground or underwater throughout the world.

Satellite Internet is required when there are no wired connections available in the remote area. Satellite internet is slower than wired internet due to longer transmission distances (up and back down instead of across).

Cellular Internet is a recent addition. Cell phones connect to cell towers and the cell towers then connect to physical wires and to the rest of the internet.

Origin and brief history of Internet

The origin of the internet began in the late 1960s when the United States Department of Defence launched the first internet known as ARPANET to connect various department of defence scientists and researchers across the United States working on defence projects.

In the beginning, only a few people had access to the internet. But as the technology improved, it became an essential tool for people around the world. Today, it is estimated that around three billion people use the internet.

Now the main point, how does the Internet work?

Our PC connects to the internet with the help of a router and modem. A router is a device that connects two or more separate networks. The modem brings internet service from our internet service provider (ISP) into our home. The main difference between a modem and a router is that a modem connects us to the internet and the router distributes the internet connection to our devices.

The Internet follows Internet Protocol (IP) and Transport Control Protocol (TCP). Internet Protocol (IP) rules how the information is sent from one computer to another computer. The Transport Control Protocol (TCP) works with IP and ensures data transfer is reliable.

Data sent over the internet is called a message. Computers send and receive messages that are actually packets of information. The messages can be a simple text or a complex file. These messages travel from one computer to the other using IP and TCP. 

Also Read: Which language should you choose to start programming?

We type an address into our browser. This address is called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). URLs are words, but IP addresses are numbers. The ISP has access to many servers that store information. Our ISP has Domain Name Servers (DNS). DNS translates the text based URL into a numerical IP address.

Browser locates the IP address of the desired web page and sends the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request to the target server to send the copy of the webpage we want to see. The server then approves the request and sends the website files to the browser in the form of data packets. As the browser reunites the data packets, the website loads the content.

And all this happens in seconds! Hope you have understood the working of the internet. So the next time you will be surfing through the internet, don’t forget to thank all the brilliant minds who made this possible.

Thank you for reading Terminal Stack! Please make sure to share this with your friends if you liked this post! 


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Dhanesh Vishwas Sawane

    Thank you for giving me this information.

  2. Ganesh Wankhade

    The information is very nice. it helps me a lot in boosting my technical knowledge.
    I think that the creators of this site tooks a lot of efforts to make it mote charming coz, the language they used is very easy and straight . Also the images they used are very attractive. . I hope that you will be going to post new blogs everyday which will elevate my technical knowledge.
    THANK YOU! 🙂🙃

    1. Arpit Madse

      Thank you for your encouraging words Ganesh!
      We will work to improve everyone’s knowledge as our tagline says “We act on ideas!”

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