What is the internet? & How does it work step by step?

The Internet is one of the brilliant inventions. I hope you don’t think even a second to accept my word. Because the internet has that much popularity nowadays. I’m sure by the end of this article, you must know the detailed information about the internet.

We are using the internet for almost every work. For example, if we want to chat with our friends or watch a show on Netflix or browse something or for me, to write this article and for you, to read this article also requires an internet connection. But what that means? Let’s see…

What is the internet?

The internet is an interconnected network with communication between computers that can allow data transfer from one computer to another. The old data stored and the new data getting added every day, every second. We can connect to anyone or everyone through it. However, it doesn’t have any limits.

Optical fiber cables installed to all over the world

The above picture represents the connection of the internet throughout the world.

Back in the 1950s, there was no internet. And in the early 1960s, Paul Baran invented the concept of ‘packet switching’ for the communication of the computers.

Packet switching is a process that transfers data from one place to another with the conversion of the digital signal to packets through wires or cables. Also, call them ‘channels’ and they are reusable.

Paul did this invention for the sake of the US military defense system. But the people started connecting to it because of its impressive work abilities.

With his invention of packet switching, the present internet connection is likely to all over the world.

Who is the inventor of the internet?

In the early 1970s, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn began working on the design of what we now call the internet. But it leads to another experiment called the ARPANET (Advanced Research Project Agency NETwork). Through this network, a message ‘Log in’ sent from a computer at UCLA to a computer at Stanford. This is the first message passing through the internet.

But unfortunately, ‘Lo’ letters only received by the Stanford computer. Since then, there was a lot of change. In the coming year 1971, Ray Tomlinson used to send an e-mail from one computer to another with a sign ‘@’. We know the popularity of this sign today.

In the same year 1971, Vint and Kahn designed a protocol that helps to send data easily. They call this a ‘TCP/IP protocol’. This is the best protocol until now. The TCP/IP protocol means Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol used to connect the computers and make their communication possible in the best way.

Later, it has happened with many minor changes. But the data transferring is very limited, and also the confusion takes place between the hosts and the users.

To solve the confusion of networks, Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, invented the World Wide Web (www) in 1989.

With this brilliant invention, the new era began in this world.

The internet and the web (www) are not the same. Yes, it’s true. Let me explain it to you.

For example, take your household power supply. All the appliances or electronic devices are connected with the network, and the network is ultimately connected with the main power supply.

Even if your connection is good, the devices or appliances are not working without current in it. Like the same way, consider here your home as the world and household network as the worldwide network.

We, ‘the users’ consider ourselves as the devices. And we can get information through a website on the internet.

If your network doesn’t have current, your appliance cannot work. Likely, without a website, you can’t get any information.

Here the internet is your household network, and the website is like a current in it.

Let me hope, now you have clarity about the internet. But…

What is a website?

A website is a place where a collection of information found in online or internet. The information is in different formats like articles, songs, videos, software, images, etc. If you find anything on the internet, there must have a domain name and hosting service to it.

World Wide Web
World Wide Web

There are two compulsory matters to every website. No matter what type of website it is.

They are:

  1. Domain and
  2. Hosting

Let’s see what they are? And why they were compulsory to every website.

Domain – Name of a website

A domain is nothing but the name of the website. This is important to identify that website in the internet’s ocean. Do you know that? There are millions of websites on the internet. So among all of them, it’s difficult to find a particular website.

Some popular domains on the internet.

  • apple.in
  • google.com
  • amazon.in
  • facebook.com
  • shoutmeloud.com
  • twitter.com
  • youtube.com
  • yahoo.com

Usually, the domain is ending up with an extension ‘.com‘. This is the most popular extension. But that doesn’t mean the other extensions are bad.

If you look at the above-listed domains. The apple and amazon company websites don’t have ‘.com’ extension in the list. Instead of that, I placed ‘.in’ for your better understand that ‘.com’ the extension is not compulsory.

If you want to start a website. Choose the best domain for your website here from Google.

I purchased this domain vipadda.com from WordPress and also took the hosting service from them only.

We need to pay to get our domain, and also the previously registered domains are not possible to take. Google will charge around $12 per domain.

Hosting – Address of a website

Hosting is the address of a website that means where the information of a website is located. This is the compulsory factor of a website. Without hosting, we can’t consider it as a website.

These are the best hosting providers in the market.

  • GoDaddy
  • WordPress.com
  • Bluehost
  • Hostinger
  • Hostgator
  • Greengeeks
  • Dreamhost
  • A2 hosting

Google provides domain service but not hosting. So we need to choose any of them.

If you want the best hosting service for your website, you can go through the best.

The reason I’m telling you about this information related to the website is useful for you to better understand the ‘internet is working‘.

How the internet is working?

Well, we are coming to the crucial aspect of How the internet is working? This is a complicated subject if we don’t understand properly. Also, it is a simple matter once we understand it.

The internet is working with the collection of computers from all over the world. The communication between them is possible through the websites and leads to the transmission of data from one place to another with the help of connecting cables or also called optical fiber cables.

Back in the 1990s, if we want to connect two computers, we must provide the wire connection between them.

But the wire connection is likely to connect two to ten computers around. If we connect more than that, the complication of the network occurs.

And it is not possible for a new computer to connect with all the computers in the world separately.

optical fiber cables
The Optical fiber network connecting us

So the top companies in the world installed the optical fiber cables all over the world by connecting all the computers. Because of this, we can connect to the internet of optical fiber networks frequently.

You can check here the optical fiber connection of all over the world.

One of my friends said, “Internet is working with the satellite signals.” After I explain all these things to him, he realized that the internet is working with cables. I hope now you too have clarity about this.

Let’s get this thing.

Here search engines play a key role to provide the best internet service to the people. We will discuss different search engines later. But now I want to take Google as an example to explain how it connects us.

First thing, Google is a search engine, not the entire internet. There are so many things that google can’t provide. But Google is the best to get healthy and valuable information.

For you better understand, I want to take an example.

“How is it possible for you to read this article?” or “How is it possible for me to provide you this article?”

Step: 1 Make a website

I have told you already that the website is compulsory to put any information on the internet. I create this website on WordPress because I’m not good at coding. By this, I have a domain and a hosting plan.

Now WordPress is ready to save my data on its server. The data input is all my wish like photos, videos, pdf, etc.

Here WordPress doesn’t do any modifications to my data either in a good way or a bad way

All WordPress can do is store my data and give a DNS to my website.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phonebook to the internet, just like the phone contacts on our mobile. Through this people can access a website easily. Every website has a unique DNS and an IP address.

Step: 2 Content input

All the website holders or webmasters want to provide you the quality content. I too want to provide the quality content for you. Let me know how much you like this post at the bottom.

I want to make this post ‘How the internet works?’ for you. So for that, I collect information from various sources and provide this information in one place.

Quality matters here a lot. That’s what I want, that’s what you want, and that’s what Google wants too.

So the quality content is the priority that everyone wants.

Step: 3 Add on Google

If you look at this post, you can find the URL of this post. But what is the URL?

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is like an address to the webpage. For example, vipadda.com is my domain and https://vipadda.com is the URL of my website. By this URL google and the audience like you find my site easily.

The key thing here I need to do is, ‘I must submit my website to Google’. Google search console makes this way easy to reach information from me to you. We can submit the site URLs to Google and the rest is Google will take care.

Not only my website, whatever you found on the internet must have an URL.

Step: 4 Google Read and Test

Do you know this? Google changes its algorithm nine times in a single day. If there are any major algorithm changes, it took some days for the change.

This shows us how Google took care of sharing quality information with its users.

So, google reads the data I provided through the search console and took some time to place it in front of you.

While reading my website, the main factor Google considers is ‘whether or not the site is Search Engine Optimized SEO?’

If my site has well SEO optimization, then it took less time for my website or article (this article) to reach you.

Step: 5 Google shows you

After considering many factors, Google will place me where I need to be.

If Google believes that my site has suitable content for your search query, it put my website in front of you and says this indirectly “Hey, this page has content related to your query, just have a look to find the answer.”

Google ranking is based upon the quality content on a website or on an article.

Along with Google, this is five steps that are common for all search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc.

All the above steps will give you brief information about How are search engines working?

Let’s dig out some technical stuff in it.

HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure is the most common and secure communication of computer networks. This is the extension of the ‘HTTP’ protocol.

The major difference between HTTP and HTTPS is the security of a connection. I suggest you guys if you are giving e-mail to any website on the internet. Make sure that the website is trustworthy.

And you will get to know by looking at the URL of that webpage.

The below steps will give you a clear technical vision about the ‘working of the internet’ and how this post is reaching you.

##1. I write an article with good content and hit the publish button. Before I publish, I need to look at the permalink or permanent link of this post.

This article permalink customize

In the image, you will find how I’m able to customize the permanent link to this article.

##2. After I hit publish, Google stores my data along with similar articles, just like all the books related to a particular category found at a particular point in a library.

Google is maintaining a huge server and is capable to store all the information we are giving to it.

Google using Solid State Drives to store information and for a fast read.

##3. Google registered my website with an IP address provided by WordPress. And put all my data within that unique IP address.

When I hit publish, Google store this post based on my IP address. For those who don’t know about the IP address, here you can find what is IP address mean?

Internet Protocol or IP address is the unique address of an electronic device that comes with numerical assign. The address has only 0’s and 1’s because the computer can only understand the language of binary digits. So for communication, all the electronic devices have a unique IP address in Binary form.

##4. If you type any queries related to ‘how the internet working?’, ‘who is the inventor of the internet?’ or else related to the internet. Google will show you this post.

While you are typing on Google search box, Google algorithm read the data you typed in binary digits and look for the related information in its library (here library means Google server).

The data you typed is converted into binary digits and passes through the cell phone tower and reaches the optical fiber cables which are connected with the Google server.

When the search query reaches the server, Google will look for the best and accurate results to the query and send the results to your mobile.

The mobile phone has an IP address so that data mismatching is not occurring even the millions of searches happening every day.

##5. While finding the results for your query (How the internet is working?), Google found this article because this is related to your query and shows in front of you.

Server with full of hard disks
Server interface

The process like sending query to the server, Google searching for results, and showing results on your device.

All the process is happening in a fraction of seconds. During this millisecond’s time data is passing from your phone to the Google server and from Google server to your phone through the optical fiber cables which were installed all over the world.

The fiber cables have very thin (almost 5 times thinner than our hair). The electrons or data or binary digits passing with the speed of light. So the data transmission is possible within seconds.

How much the speed of light can travel? Check here.

I want to give a live example of tracing the IP address of Google and how your internet connection is connected with the Google server. Do these steps to trace your internet signal.

  1. Open search (Windows key + S)
  2. Type ‘cmd’ in the search box – command page will open like this
  3. In the command tab enter ‘tracert + space + google.com’.
  4. Then the command traces your signal from your mobile to google server.
Tracing the route of Google
The internet connection from my PC to Google server

You can’t escape from contact with the internet. So, why not get to know it? And use it.

Vint cerf

I hope that you learn something new today. And if you like this content, spread the knowledge with your friends. Also, comment below, so I can understand how much you like this?

Author: Aswarth

Former Blogger, Passionate & Informative about Science & Technology.