How Does Internet Work

How Does Internet Work

How Does Internet Work

Are you one of the people who say, "The internet is down !!!!!!! »When Google does not appear or your emails do not work? If so, stay with me ;-) After reading this training, you will be among the 10% of people who understand what the Internet is and how it works.
What is the Internet?
The internet actually has nothing to do with Google and your emails. Nor is it a cloud or a Cloud.

In reality, the Internet is a thread that links computers together!

The Internet is very useful because two computers connected to this wire can communicate with each other.

The servers are computers that are directly connected to this thread, and the websites are files that are stored on these servers. In general, the servers are managed by companies called hosts, such as OVH, Infomaniak or GoDaddy.

So that each server can be identified and reached, they all have a unique IP address, such as your place of residence or your telephone number. Since an IP address is difficult to remember (e.g., we also give them a name, such as,, etc. In jargon, this name is called a domain name or a URL.

Like the telephone network or a road network, the Internet is a global means of communication that revolves around a network of servers scattered around the world. Just like on roads, it is possible to go in both directions in the Internet network: you can send and receive data there.

Finally, the websites you visit daily (such as Facebook, Google, etc.) operate on this network of servers that we call the Internet. The reason why you cannot say that the Internet is down when Facebook, Gmail or Google are not displayed on your computer… because that would mean that the whole world would be concerned by the breakdown which affects you, which n is never the case.

In summary, we must therefore distinguish:

Internet as a network of servers scattered around the world
the websites you visit (Facebook, Google, etc.) that are hosted on servers by hosts like OVH, Infomaniak or GoDaddy
your Internet service provider (Swisscom, UPC Cablecom, Free, etc.)
your computer (or smartphone, tablet, etc.) and your Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, etc.)
Your home computer is therefore NOT a server, as it is NOT directly connected to the Internet. Computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. that we use every day are customers who connect indirectly to the Internet via An Internet service provider such as UPC Cablecom, Free or Swisscom.

Very often, when your emails do not work or you cannot access a website, the problem is therefore either at the level of the host that hosts your emails or the website in question, or at your computer or your Internet connection.

Here's how the Internet works
You send and receive information via the Internet
When you send a photo, email, or view information on the Internet, your request and send data from your computer, and the server that hosts that data sends it back to your computer, splitting it into small pieces called packages. When the packages reach their destination, they are reassembled and interpreted by your Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.).

What is fascinating is that these packages can take multiple paths to reach their destination. Even if a large part of the global Internet network were to be cut, the Internet could continue to function.

The faster your connection to the Internet through your Internet service provider, the more packets you can send and receive. This is why we say every day: "my connection is fast" or "my Internet connection is slow". So don't confuse the speed of an Internet connection (which depends on the number of packets you can send per second) and the speed of a computer (which depends on the number of instructions it can process per second ). So you can very well have a high-performance computer and a very slow Internet connection. In this case, you can play the latest video games on the market while surfing the web like a snail ...

Here's what happens when you visit the Google site
you enter the URL of Google ( in your Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer, Edge, etc.)
your computer sends a request to your Internet service the provider (Swissco, Free, etc.) and the latter will route (transmit) your request to a  DNS server (Domain Name Server) which in turn will match the name of the domain that you requested at its unique IP address so that you can redirect your initial request to the appropriate Google server whose IP address corresponds to the domain name
the server hosting responds to your request and sends you the data corresponding to the site you have requested in the form of several packets
your Internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) recomposes these packages and displays this data on your screen
And it all happens in a fraction of a second. Amazing isn't it?

Here's what happens when you send an email
For our example, let's assume that you have an email address at (Microsoft's email) and that your recipient has an email address at (Google's email).

you connect through your Internet Service Provider Site following the same path as described above, and write your email
as soon as
you send your email, Outlook sends it directly to Gmail via (the whole process described above) Internet. Gmail then takes care of delivering the message to your recipient. He knows to whom to deliver your message thanks to the unique email address of your recipient (e.g.
Routers or how data knows where to go on the Internet
Imagine yourself at work in the same office as your boss.

You're quietly posting the latest photos from your vacation on Facebook while your boss does market research. You both send and receive information via the Internet.

Question: How is it that the data packets you send and receive do not accidentally arrive on your boss's computer? It could be very embarrassing, right?

The solution to this problem again is IP addresses and routers.

Anything that connects directly or indirectly to the Internet has a unique IP address. This concerns your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, your TV, your game console, and everything between these devices and the servers.

It's like in real life: we have countries, departments (or cantons), cities, towns and postal addresses to find our way. On the Internet, it is IP addresses that allow data to find its way and not get lost.

Whenever an Internet cable crosses another cable, there is a router (like the one you have at home and you may call your box). Routers route your packets from router to router to their final destination. It's a bit like an internet GPS that makes sure that data goes where it needs to (at the right IP address). Each time you visit a website, more than 10 routers activate to help packet data from and to your computer.

It is, therefore, routers that allow your boss to receive adequate data compared to what he does on the Internet.
To simplify and summarize
When you go to a website, your computer sends a request to a server, which then returns the data corresponding to your request. Your request and the server response reach their respective destinations thanks to their the unique IP address and an efficient signaling system (routers and domain name servers).
All data that travels over the Internet (websites, Spotify, Netflix, emails, phone calls, etc.) is broken down into small pieces called packets. The faster your connection to the Internet through your Internet service provider, the more packets you can send and receive per second.

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