How The Internet Works In Just 10 Lines!

How The Internet Works In Just 10 Lines!

Hello, fellow tech-nerd & first-time visitor👋. You are reading this article because of the Internet and you might have already had an idea or already know what happens behind the scenes.

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Well, many people struggle to explain how this beautiful abstraction of processes makes up this global connection that makes the world a global village.

What is the Internet?

The internet is a globally connected network system facilitating worldwide communication and access to data resources through a vast collection of private, public, business, academic and government networks.

image.png It is governed by agencies like the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or (IANA) that establish universal protocols and no one owns it!

Brief History Of The Internet ⏱:

image.png The internet originated with the U.S. government, which began building a computer network in the 1960s known as ARPANET which was to help researchers and universities share resources.

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The Stats 📈:

As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide - 59.5 per cent of the global population. Of this total, 92.6 per cent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices.

Statistic: Global digital population as of January 2021 (in billions) | Statista
➰ Find more statistics at Statista

In my country (Uganda), there were around 4% of the population used the internet in 2007 and that number has increased 10 times and over 40% of Ugandans are now netizens!

How The Internet Works In Just 10 Lines!

image.png I will begin with what happens when you type in a web address into your browser.....

Step 1: Your PC or device is connected to the web through a modem or router. Together, these devices allow you to connect to other networks around the globe.

Step 2: Your router enables multiple computers to join the same network while a modem connects to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) which provides you with either cable or DSL internet.

Step 3: Type in a web address, known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Each website has its own unique URL that signals to your ISP where you want to go.

Step 4: Your query is pushed to your ISP which connects to several servers which store and send data like a NAP Server (Network Access Protection) and a DNS (Domain Name Server).

Step 5: Next, your browser looks up the IP address for the domain name you typed into your search engine through DNS. DNS then translates the text-based domain name you type into the browser into the number-based IP address.

Example: becomes

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet.
Every device, node or computer connected to the internet has an IP address.

Step 6: Your browser sends a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request to the target server to send a copy of the website to the client using TCP/IP.

HTTP is a protocol for fetching resources such as HTML documents. It is the foundation of any data exchange on the Web and it is a client-server protocol.

image.png Image Tip: Toggle Light Mode from up to see images clearly in this blog. 😜

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and is a suite of communication protocols used to interconnect network devices on the internet.

Step 7: The server then approves the request and sends a “200 OK” message to your computer. Then, the server sends website files to the browser in the form of data packets.

200 is an HTTP response status code and means success.
➰ Read more here .

Step 8: At a client/server model, the browser is the client run on a computer that contacts the Web server and requests information.

Step 9: As your browser reassembles the data packets, the website loads allowing you to learn, shop, browse, engage and read my article😋.

➰ Read how browsers work here.

Step 10: Enjoy your search results!

My question to you now is; can you explain the Internet to a 5-year-old in under 5 minutes?


Simply put, the Internet works by allowing computers to "talk" and share information. image.png One computer asks another computer for information. Information requested; information delivered.

The two computers talk back and forth. It is still very much like a conversation but under the hood, they could be millions of other computers connected!

📌 HP
📌 Turbo Future
📌 Quora

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Ronnie Atuhaire 🤓