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A few decades ago people knew very little about the Internet. They were still learning what the Internet really is. It seemed to them like a dream that they could also communicate using computers. But now internet has become very necessary for us. But many of us do not know how the Internet actually works.
All data such as video or any information is stored in the data center as data. This data center can be thousands of miles away from us. One might think that they have been sent via satellites. But satellite transfer cannot be used for that purpose. Because the satellite exists about 22,000 miles above the Earth’s equator, the signals would have to travel about 44,000 miles to move the data. Such a long distance traveled can cause a delay in receiving the signal.
How does the Internet work ?
The data is transferred with the help of a complex network of optical fiber cables. These fiber cables connect your device and data center. Your phone can be connected to the Internet via cellular data or any Wi-Fi router. But eventually at some point, it is connected to these optical fibers.
The data is stored in the data center in a solid state device. It serves as the internal memory of the SSD server. A server is a powerful computer whose job is to provide you with information or other stored content when you ask for it. Each device that is connected to the Internet whether it is a server or computer or a mobile phone is uniquely identified using a string of numbers, known as IP addresses. In the Internet world, this IP address acts as a shipping address, through which all information reaches its destination. Your internet service provider will determine the IP address of your device and your IPP ability to see the IP address assigned to your mobile phone or laptop. The data center’s server also has an IP address. The server stores a website so that you can access any website by knowing the IP address of the server. But one person cannot remember multiple IP addresses. So for that purpose domains such as youtube.com, facebook.com, etc. are used that correspond to the IP address. This is easier to remember than a long sequence of numbers.
A server has the ability to store multiple websites. And if the server includes multiple websites, not all websites can be accessed from the server’s IP address. In such cases, additional pieces of information, host headers, are used to uniquely identify the website. However, for large websites such as Facebook.com or Youtube.com, the entire data center infrastructure will be dedicated to the storage of particular websites. To obtain IP addresses corresponding to our domain name requests, the Internet uses a huge phone book known as DNS.
Therefore, now summarizing the entire process, when the domain name has entered the browser, the DNS sends a request to the server to obtain the corresponding IP address. After obtaining the IP address, the browser forwards the request to the data center exclusively to the server. The data flow starts when the server receives a request to access a particular website. The data is transferred in digital format or light pulses via optical fiber cable. These light pulses sometimes have to travel thousands of miles to reach their destination via optical fiber cable. During their travels, they often have to pass through difficult areas such as hilly areas or under the sea. There are some global companies that lay out and maintain these optical cable networks. And these optical cables are connected to the router. These routers convert light signals into electrical signals. An Internet signal is then used to transmit electrical signals to your laptop. But in the case of mobile phones, we use cellular data. So, in that case, the cables are connected to the cell tower and from the cell tower, the signal reaches our cell phones in the form of electromagnetic waves.
All these functions i.e. to maintain IP address assignment, domain name registration etc., are maintained by an institution called ICANN based in USA.