Basic Computing

How does the internet work? Explanation in detail

From the moment the first internet connection was established, the world of technology changed forever. Do you have any idea how the internet works? Well don’t worry! In this post you will know in detail the operation and the most curious thing about this topic. how does internet work diagram

How does the Internet work? how does internet work diagram

In order to understand how the internet of things works , it is necessary to start by defining the operation of the TCP / IP protocol (Transmission Control Protocol & Internet Protocol), who is in charge of establishing the rules of the game, both for the communicator and for the one who receives the data. If the regulations established by this protocol are not respected, communication between the teams will not be possible. This is because it owes a compatibility between each of the points, nodes and paths through which the information passes.

You may have heard the term “ISP” that comes from its acronym in English Internet Service Provider, this is our Internet Service Provider. ISPs assign a unique identification number to each device, so that when they connect they can be detected on the network. This unique identification number on the network is called an “IP address”, and this number cannot be held by any other device on our network. how does internet work diagram

The TCP / IP protocol was developed to work in this way, imitating the postal service. For example, in the real world there are no two people with the same first and last name, who live in the same country and who have the same residence address. So it is possible to send a postcard without confusion for identity.

In the same way, this is how the internet works because it uses the same method applying the assignment of the IP addresses of the TCP / IP protocol. It grants a number that will not be duplicated in that network, and thus the equipment can be identified quickly and without error when delivering / receiving the data.

Now, there are two devices that play a very important role in assigning IP addresses. As we mentioned at the beginning, it is our IPS who grants us the identity assignment, through a Modem and / or a Router.

Digital world vs Analog world how does internet work diagram

First of all, we must bear in mind that the information we send from our computers is done through signals. There are digital signals, which are what our equipment, be it a cell phone, smart fridge, laptop, among others, use. The digital signals are those that reflect two states “high” and “low”, which represent the 1 and 0 of the bits.

And on the other hand, there are analog signals, which are mainly used by the media such as fiber optics, coaxial cables and antennas. This signal is sinosoidal, that is to say that its graphic representation is a curve that makes the changes in the same period of time constantly. Similarly, analog signals are those found in nature such as light, sounds, energy, among others.

And why is not only one type of signal used? This is because the programming languages ​​used by devices today operate with bits, which show only two states of variation “1” and “0”. But, analog signals are capable of covering greater distances when transmitted by higher frequencies without distorting or losing information.

That is why it is necessary to mix or, if we use the technical term, to modulate these signals. This process consists of superimposing the digital signal on an analog signal called “Carrier”, so that the digital signal can travel long distances using communication media that only allow analog signals. And that’s when the Modem and Router work comes into play.

But before starting we must understand what the Internet is.

What is the Internet? how does internet work diagram

The Internet can therefore be defined as a gigantic network that allows all the computers and devices existing in the world that have an Internet connection to connect with each other, regardless of distance and in real time.

Within this network there are different means of communication such as cables, fiber optics and antennas, to mention some of the typical elements that intervene to establish communication between the teams.

Even though there are different means of transmission / reception, its language is based on the TCP / IP protocol. This protocol establishes the standards that each element of the network must comply with in order for the connection to be established and not to generate interference in the network.

Now that we have the basic concept of the Internet, let’s begin to understand how the Internet works. how does internet work diagram

Modem how does internet work diagram

In order to understand how the internet works, it is necessary to define one of the key devices that are part of this communication system. The modem is a device capable of modulating (Mo) and demodulating (Dem) the analog signals that contain the digital signals. He serves as a transducer between the analog world and the digital world.

All data sent by our computer, such as when you log in to your email, is sent to the network. First, this information is found as a digital signal, the modem modulates it and superimposes it on the carrier signal that is analog and sends it to the network through the medium to which it is connected. There are different means as we said, so it can be by copper cables called UTP cable, or fiber optics, or if it is satellite internet then by an antenna.

Then the servers when they receive the information you are sending, in an analog signal. Then, the inverse process of modulation that is demodulation comes into play, where the digital signal is separated from the analog so that your devices can process the data.

Later, they send their answer as to whether the login was successful or not, also modulating their digital signals to analog signals. Your modem receives these analog signals and proceeds to carry out the demodulation process, since likewise, our device only works with digital signals.

Internet router how does internet work diagram

Its name comes from the process it performs called “routing”, which consists of transmitting data between different networks. In this process, the paths or routes through which the data packets will transit, known as bytes, are established.

You’ve probably heard the expression “data traffic” and it comes from this routing process. Millions of bytes from different networks may be traveling on the same route. However, there are mechanisms so that they do not mix or interfere with each other.

You do not need to be a person who has great knowledge in the world of networks to realize that many commercial routers and / or modems have by default or factory the IP address: or But there is no confusion between all the existing modems and / or routers even if they have the same IP because we remember that our IPS initially assigned us an IP address on our input port or Ethernet port.

Today there are already routers that are capable of fulfilling the functions of modem and router simultaneously.

TCP / IP protocol

As we already know, the TCP / IP protocol is in charge of establishing the regulations that networks must follow worldwide, that is, the way the internet works. This protocol assigns the IP addresses that are the identification number of each device within a network. Around the world, there are billions of devices connected to the internet, and therefore there are millions of networks and each one has its unique identification, and we are going to explain to you how the internet works.

First, IP addresses are made up of 32 bits, that is, thirty-two “1s” and / or “0s”. These 32 bits are divided into “bytes”. This means that groups of 8 bits are made. In total, 4 bytes are made, or 4 groups of 8 bits each for a total of 32 bits. Each byte in turn is translated into its decimal notation, and they are separated by a period. how does internet work diagram

Let’s take these 32 bits as an example:

how does internet work diagram
how does internet work diagram

IP adress:

how does internet work diagram
how does internet work diagram

Of these 32 bits, some are designated for the network identifier and the others for the host identifier. In IP version 4 (IPv4) addressing, class classification is used, this defines how many bits correspond to the Network identifier and how many will be assigned to the Host identifier.

There are 5 classes, but we will name the 3 main ones:

  • Class A: Supports large Internet networks. The first byte or the first 8 bits represent the network identifier and the remaining 24 the Host identifier. The first octet is between 0-127. For example:
  • Class B: Supports medium Internet networks. The 32 bits are divided into equal parts, that is, 16 for the network identifier and 16 for the Host identifier. The first octet is between 128-191. For example
  • Class C: Supports small Internet networks. The first 24 bits represent the network and the last 8 bits or the last byte represents the Host. The first octet is between 192-223. The last 8 bits or the last byte of the IP address is attributed to the identification of our equipment.

TCP how does internet work diagram

There are other regulations of the TCP protocol which establish the way in which the data will be transmitted, that is, it establishes the way the internet works. First of all, we must explain how the TCP protocol works. Although we will do it in a very general way so that it is easy to understand.

The scheme used by the TCP protocol consists of four layers. Application, Transport, Internet and Network Access. In each layer there is a controlled and logical division of information. In the application layer the information is handled as data. Later, in the Transport layer they are grouped evenly and stored in segments. Then, at the Internet layer, these segments are grouped into packets. Finally, the Network Access layer groups these packets into frames.

When these frames are distributed on the network and reach the recipient, the reverse process occurs. The frames at the Network Access layer are decomposed into packets at the Internet layer. Then those packets are divided into segments at the Transport layer. And finally, those segments are separated into data in the Application layer.

The way to do this successfully is that the TCP protocol places information ahead of the original data. This initial information is given the header name. This header contains information such as the shipping address, the order of each frame, packet, segment, and data. In this way, when the message must be rejoined, it is possible to reconstruct the information without errors or in a disorderly way.

Now, there are occasions in which there are frames that do not match or the data is damaged, these are lost data, so the protocol establishes communication with the original source again, requesting the information to be resent until it can be successfully completed. restructuring of the message. how does internet work diagram

Servers and Web Pages

Servers play a very important role in the world of the Internet. Understanding then the function of servers is necessary to know how the internet works. An example of servers could be Gmail email. Servers, as their name indicates, are providing a service to users.

In the world of servers there are two, let’s say “individuals”, one is the master or master who in this case is the client, and the other is the slave who is the server. The teacher requests information or sends requests to an application, program, website, among others, found on the Internet. These applications send the response back.

Although there is a master and a slave, it is important to understand that the processes are shared between the client and the server. In fact, there may be times when the client and the server operate as one entity.

One of the main characteristics of servers is that they have the ability to provide responses to many teachers or users at the same time. Let’s suppose an online video game, the server is very powerful to cover all the users who access that server. Although this server is essential for the development of the video game, the computers of each player are also participating in this process.

The use of servers can also occur on local networks. For example, a small business may have its own server where it can connect to all its computers, printers, routers, among others.


One of the ways to understand how the internet works is by knowing the process of creating, searching and downloading Web pages. Let’s take the example of this Web page, both your computer and your web browser are considered as clients, and all computers, databases and uses belonging to the “tecnoinformatic” page are considered the server.

The servers also have IP addresses. But, the servers buy the domains so that their names are the addresses. That is to say, let’s go back to the example of this page, it has the domain of “tecnoinformatic”, although that is not its IP address, it is the name or link that allows us to access the server.

Web pages are written in the hypertext markup language, hence the abbreviation HTML HiperText Market Language. This writing is called the source code of the page, and its function is to establish the organization of the content of the page. This is done through hypertext marks, which we can also call labels. The importance of these tags is that it facilitates the work of search engines like Google to find information on the internet.

Currently there are new thematic domains or TLDs for their abbreviation in English. This will facilitate the identification of the purpose of the internet pages. For example, if it is a technology page, its ending instead of being .com or .net, it will be .technology or .tec.

Access to the Web pages is done through a browser or search engine, which searches, downloads and sends the file of the Web page that our computer is requesting. The Navigator has the ability to interpret the HTML language so that users can easily view it.

Web pages are stored on servers that have a large amount of storage. The most popular servers are Apache, nginx, Google and Microsoft. In this case, these servers or the HOSTs are responsible for providing the IP address of the page. As we mentioned earlier, there is the possibility of buying the domain name that is not registered, such as “tecnoinformatic”.

The transfer of information to the World Wide Web (WWW) is done thanks to the communication protocol of HiperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP). That is, HTTP is the protocol that allows access to pages on the Web.

How the internet works

We are going to explain in a very general way, how the internet works. The first thing to do is to decode the server name of the URL that is being requested into an IP address. The distributed Internet database commonly known as DNS is used for this. The IP address will allow us to contact the web server and send the data packets to it.

There the HTTP protocol comes into action, who requests the data from the web server. If we are making the request for a web page Then the requested resource is the HTML text which happens to be studied by the browser. Additionally, it makes requests or requests of the graphs and FTP files.

Once the ftp files from the server are received, the browser proceeds to present the page according to the description in the HTML code. After all the information is correctly organized, the images and other data are incorporated to show the page to the user on their screen.

Browsing speed

The browsing speed is the speed of the connection for sending and downloading data. This transfer speed is measured in kilo bytes per second (kbps). That is, the browsing speed is measured according to the duration of the search, download and presentation of the information or data to our computer or vice versa, the period of time it takes to receive, load and store the information sent from our computer. .

These two processes are called upload speed and download speed. The upload speed is the information from our computer to the web. Meanwhile, the download speed is the one that comes from the web to our computer. Of course, this speed is influenced by other factors such as the performance of our computer.

Let’s see some speeds depending on the transmission lines:

– ISDN (normal telephone line): 56Kbps and 128Kbps.

– ADSL (special telephone line): 256Kbps, 512Kbps, 1Gbps, 30Gbps

– Cable: some companies are using cable to create their own internal network, managing to transmit for free in relation to their network. However, it must be emphasized that it is only found internally. It is not known exactly the speeds that data transmission can reach on this transmission line.

– Electrical network: in Spain networks are being created using the electrical network cable and they have given good results. This may be the future of the network.

– Li-Fi: today technology has advanced so much that it is possible to send data using light. It can achieve high data transmission speed.

Services Offered by the Internet

There are five main services that the internet offers us:

– Web pages: the web pages as mentioned above are files with HTML language. Unlike a document, web pages may have links or hyperlinks that link us to other web pages, online videos, and other multimedia files.

– Email: is the service that allows us to receive and send postcards electronically or virtually. Today the company Google has given another use to email, how we can see it on our cell phones with Android operating system . All backups and links between our devices are made through our email.

– FTP File Transfer: it is the service that allows us to send files from one computer to another and upload or upload pages to the web.

– IP Telephony: it can also be called Voice over IP “VoIP”. It allows us to have telephone calls through the internet, for example there is currently an application that is having a great boom such as Zoom, Skipe, or the calls that can be made from WhatsApp.

– P2P networks: this service allows the connection between two computers directly. Where to exchange files or other data.

Satellite Internet

Next, we will explain how the satellite internet works . The main characteristic of this technology is that its transmission medium or transmission line is by means of electromagnetic waves. These are high frequency waves that are directed into space where a satellite receives, amplifies and redirects them to the areas to whom they offer the service. This means that you can purchase the internet service that is offered internationally.

This internet has the advantage that it can cover a large area, and even reach remote places, where there are no conventional transmission lines or where there is no telephone service.

Final Thought

Undoubtedly, thanks to the internet, the world changed forever. Thanks to the existence of it, applications such as instant messaging, videoconferences, social networks, among others, are possible today. Access to information has been opened wide and immediately, all thanks to the internet.

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