How Internet works


The internet is a network accessed via wire (fibre optic) or wireless. Internet is useful because any two computers directly connected to internet wire (network) can communicate. In this article we will discuss more about “How Internet Works”.

Internet Basics

A server is a special computer that is connected directly to the internet. All the web pages and web data are stored on the hard drives of these servers. Every server has a unique internet protocol address or IP address. Just like a postal address, IP address helps computers to find each other. The IP addresses are a set of numbers which are hard to remember for every website. That’s why we give them a name (or Domain Name System) as or

Your computer at home is not a server as it is not connected directly with the internet. These computers are termed as clients. To connect to the internet, clients (our computers) use Internet Service Provider or ISP (the company that is providing you the internet service).

Internet Architecture

The flow of Internet data/packets between two computers and Internet server is shown below:

How Internet works

The Internet is a network of networks in which host computers are connected by routers.

Here Computer1 and Computer 2 are hosts. Hosts are the computers connected to the Internet. Hosts have IP (Internet Protocol) Address and are reachable by either IP address or domain name. E.g. Google can be reached either by https:// or

Routers are dedicated computers that transmit data between networks within the internet.

How Internet works

Scenario 1:

Let’s assume; I want to mail a text message to one of my friends, Aditya. I have an account of Gmail, and my friend uses Outlook.

I will log on to and compose a message to my friend’s email address. Once I click send, Gmail server will send the email to Outlook server.

The next day, when my friend Aditya will log on to Outlook server, then he will retrieve the email.

Whenever an email, picture or a webpage travels across the internet, computers break the information into smaller pieces called packets.

When the information reaches the destination, the package is reassembled in original order to generate a picture, email, webpage or tweet.

Scenario 2:

Imagine you are at work, sitting next to your boss and you both are surfing online. Your boss is doing market research, and you are updating your Tinder profile. You both are sending packets back and forth over the internet. What will happen if your packet accidently reaches your boss’ screen? That could be embarrassing.

The solution to that problem is IP addresses and routers. Everything connected directly or indirectly through the internet has an IP address. It includes your mobile phones, your computers, Wi-Fi routers and everything. Wherever two or more parts of the internet intersects, a router is placed there. Routers direct our package around the internet helping each package get one step closer to its destination. Every time you visit a website, up to ten to fifteen routers may help your packets find their way to and from your computer. Each time a data leaves a device, its IP address is added to the packet. Each time a packet reaches a new router, another layer is added until it reaches the required server. Then, when the server sends back the information, it creates a package with identical wrapping. As the package makes its way over the internet back to your computer. Each wrapper unwraps the layer to discover where to send the package next until it reaches your computer and not your boss’s. And, that’s how the internet works.

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