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The STEM Way

Internet Part 2: How does the Internet work?

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As we learnt in Internet Part 1: What is the internet?

The Internet is a big collection of computers connected to one another.

All these computers talk to each other and send information to each other.

How do these computers communicate?

But  how do these computers send information to each other?

Let’s imagine you are visiting the disney.com website which has a video on it. How are you able to see this video on your computer?

 

Every computer has a unique  address called IP address just like every house has a unique address.

An IP address is like a pincode for  each computer connected to the internet. It is a set of numbers. or example 195.188.87.10.

 

We cannot remember so many numbers so IP adresses are translated to Letters like disney.com or thestemway.com

The disney.com  is also just a computer that is connected to the internet.

A computer which Hosts Information and allows other computers to access it is called a web SERVER. It SERVES us data 🙂

Disney.com is the ADDRESS of this computer.

We send a request to this address by entering this address in our browser.

The video is hosted on this web server. Your computer sends a request to the web server for the video..

The disney webserver sends the video in little virtual packets. Each packet has a part of the video data and your computer’s IP address.

Once it come back to your computer, your computer puts it together and you can see it the video!

 

Sometimes some packets are missing or delayed which is why you see your video pausing or breaking.

What are in these packets?

Each packet has a little part of the video and the IP address of the computer it has to go back to.

For computers to talk to each other they all have to talk in the same language! Computers talk in Binary language! this language is very easy. It has only zeros and ones! Everything in the computer is converted into zeros and ones. Images, video, text- anything!

Can you send food over the internet? Well we can order food but we can’t send ACTUAL food to someone else! All Information that is sent on the internet is Digital information.

Everything is represented in terms of zeros and ones. So videos, images, apps everything is converted to zeros and ones and sent over the internet as electric signals.

Because the information is digital information this packet can be sent from anywhere in the world.  It is sent through fiber optic cables under the sea or even by satellite.

This whole process of sending a request and receiving the packets usually takes less than a second

FREE WORKSHEET

Activity: Get some tracing practice and send data from the internet to different devices

Ages: 3-5

 

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Test your knowledge on how the internet works!

 

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