How does the internet work (simple version)

One of my roles as I see it is to demystify SEO, web and internet & marketing technologies. So, I will try to do this one justice too.

First of all, lets define the internet. According to Wikipedia:

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.

So, that is quote full of jargon. This is basically the infrastructure that connects our computers, servers and any other device that uses data. And to use the words correctly the Web is mainly about the sites you use, HTML etc etc.

The geeky bit (simple version)

  • Your computer connects to your router (aka modem) either via a cable or your wifi
  • Your router via your phone line connects to the internet via your internet service provider (ISP)
  • Your browser (e.g. chrome, firefox, safari) requests a web page via its URL
  • Web sites work on the http protocol and then the servers name. e.g. http, and then
  • Your browser on your computer via your ISP uses a Domain Name Server (DNS), like a list of all website names registered. The DNS returns the websites real name which is in IP address. IP addresses are in IPv4 format are in a set of 4 numbers separated by a point e.g.
  • So, your request is now at the right server now. The server hears your request for a URL, sends the information back in small pieces “packets” via the quickest route and your computer puts it back together and compiles the pages inside your browser. That is what you see in your browser and reading this page

Hope that makes sense! And inside that you may want to know what server response codes.

Most of this all happens in less than a blink of an eye – clever hey.

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