The internet is a collection thousands of networks all linked together. This is called a wide area network (WAN) or the internet to you and me. About 99% of data we send travels via undersea cable called submarine cables.
There is almost 145,000km of undersea cable around. Some nearly 2000m below surface. Data in some of these cables can run at 224 trillion bytes per second.
The internet is the infrastructure (physical parts e.g. you can touch) that allows the world wide web, your web browser for example, to operate and communicate with other computers. The internet can (and did at the very beginning) exist without the world wide web but the world wide web cannot exist without the internet.
When you send a message or request information your computer has quite a task to get that information and display it on your screen in a fraction of a second
- Your computer places your message into a number small digital packet to send over the internet
- each packet is addressed stamped on it just like we do when we send letter
- before the packet goes out across the internet it has to though your modem to be modulated. These are normally built into your router. Digital data has to be converted to analogue to be transmitted over the internet. The same is completed when data is received only in reverse. Analogue data is converted back to digital.
- from here your data talks to your ISP to gain permission to transmit data across the internet. Remember your ISP network is just one of thousands of networks connected together to form the internet
- One of the first things your computer must do before it sends your data to the destination if to find out the correct address. Whilst we type in the name of the destination website the internet only works with number. dns
- Data is sent and received on the World Wide Web using several different technologies. A Web browser is used to access webpages. Web browsers can be defined as programs which display text, data, pictures, animation and video on the Internet.
So next time you get angry with the speed of your internet connection just remember its travelled far and fast!
On a more serious note is anyone really safe on the internet? No, not really nothing is totally safe online but there is a lot we can do to make it safer for us to use.