How the Internet Works


Welcome to class! 

In today’s class, we will be talking about how the internet works. Enjoy the class!

How the Internet Works


On the internet, data and information are transferred worldwide through the servers and clients (which are computers) connected to the internet.

The computers which are responsible for the management of resources i.e. program and data on a network, by providing a centralized storage area, is called a SERVER. The computer which has access to the contents of the storage area on the server is the CLIENT. On the internet, a client which can access file and services on several servers called a Host computer. Your computer is a Host computer.

The inner structure of the internet resembles a transportation system. In the transportation system, the maximum load of traffic is concentrated on the highways, which are linked to the major cities. Similarly, on the internet, there are certain main communication lines which carry the maximum load of traffic. These lines are collectively called the INTERNET BACKBONE.

The internet is a packet-oriented network. It means that the data you transfer is divided into packets.

So what happens when you transfer data across the internet various networks?

The networks are linked by a special computer, called ROUTERS. A router checks where your packet data goes and decides in which direction to send it. Of course, not every router is linked with every other router, they just decide on the direction your data takes. The internet knows where your data is going, as every destination has an address called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. The data transferred with IP is divided into packets. This is handled by another protocol, the transmission control protocol (TCP).

The internet is an addressing system used to send data and information to a fixed or specific destination, just like the postal system. An IP address i.e. internet protocol address has it own unique identification attached to a computer or a device connected to the internet. The IP address has a group of number and is separated by a period (.). The number varies between 0 and 255. For instance the number 153, 25. 15,10 are an IP address. Generally, the first part of the IP address identifies the network and the last portion identifies a specific computer.

It is difficult to remember and use this all-numeric IP address. Hence, the internet favours the use of a text name that represents one or more IP addresses. The text version on IP is the domain name. The component of the domain name is separated by periods just like an IP address.

Every domain name contains a Top Level Domain (TLD) abbreviation that identifies the type of organization which is associated with the domain. Dotcom (.com) is the name sometimes used to describe an organization that has TLD of com. The domain name system is a system on the internet that stores the domain names and their corresponding IP address. Each time you specify a domain name, an internet server called the DNS server translates the domain name into its associated IP address, so data can be routed to the correct computer.

  • Webpage:

A web page is an electronic document on the World Wide Web. A web page consists of an HTML file in a particular directory on a particular machine (and in thus identification by a URL) a vast amount of information is provided by these web pages. The information may include graphics, sounds, or even movies. Usually, a web page contains links to other pages as well

  • Website:

A website is a collection of web pages. Most websites have a home page as their starting point, which frequently has a table of contents for the site. Users need a web browser and a connection to access a website.

  • Homepage:

The home page is the first page retrieved when accessing a website. It serves as a table of contents for the rest of the pages on the site and offers links to other websites. For example, a company’s welcome page typically includes the company logo, a brief description and links to the additional documentation available on that site.

  • Uniform resource locator (URL):

The uniform resource locator is the address that defines the router to a file on the web. URLs are typed into the browser to access web pages, for example,  Retrieved home page for classnotes website. The Http is the web protocol and is the domain name.

  • Hyperlinks:

Web pages contain highlighted text or image, called hyperlinks, which connect to other pages on the web. A hyperlink allows you to easily move through a vast amount of information y jumping from one web page to another. You can select a hyperlink to jump to a web page located on the same computer or a computer across the city, country or world. You can easily identify a text hyperlink on a web page because it appears underlined and in colour.


  1. Explain how the internet works.
  2. Define the following terms: server, client, host clients and internet plan.


In our next class, we will be talking about How the Internet Works – Web Server.  We hope you enjoyed the class.

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

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