The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
By the end of this decade, it is estimated that nearly 8 billion people worldwide will be using the internet and that well over 500 billion devices will be connected to this incredible worldwide network of technology. But like many people, you are probably wondering just how you get all that information when you are surfing the internet on your computer. If so, here are some facts to know about how the global internet actually works.
For anything to happen online, you need to know it all starts with IP and TCP. Known respectively as Internet Protocol and Transport Control Protocol, the IP lets computers send data around the globe by assigning them a numerical address, called an IP address. Meanwhile, the TCP works in conjunction with the IP to make sure all data is transferred from computer to computer in a reliable manner, meaning data quality is high and in its proper sequence.
For you or anybody else in the world to have access to the internet, it takes an ISP to make it happen. The ISP is your internet service provider, which is the company to whom you pay your bill each month to gain access to the internet. Using equipment like an antenna positioner that will aid in the efficient collection and transmission of data, your ISP will rely on multiple servers to disperse the data to its proper places. Whether you are using a modem or router, your computer will be connected to a network that is also consisting of thousands, millions, or even billions of other computers.
While it may sound odd to you, messages and packets are critical components of the global internet network. As data gets transferred online, it is delivered to its destination in the form of messages and packets. The actual data sent online is a message, while the packets are tiny parts of the message being broken up before being sent. Once the data reaches your computer, the packets are reassembled in the correct order to ensure your computer gets the right message.
When your computer receives a 200 OK message, it’s always a good thing. This means the server has approved a request to send website files to your browser, meaning those data packets will soon be reassembled in the form of whatever website you wish to view.
Little did you know so much work goes into getting one website to your computer. Whether it’s packets, IPs, or plenty of other components, it’s clear the global internet relies on many pieces coming together at any one time to make online magic occur.