How the Internet works


The internet is an essential service that many people use. It is used for many purposes such as learning, communication and entertainment. This essay will describe the hidden journey when using the internet.

For a start, there must be a client and a server which are connected by a modem or/and a router, and most importantly a unique address that every device has which is a number from 0-225 and is known as an IP address*.


The diagram shows clients communication with a server via the Internet

As soon as someone clicks on a hyperlink or types a URL* address in a web browser, a flow of information will start the journey. First, it is divided and packed into several limited sizes of packets. Then, it is labelled by the IP with both sender and receiver addresses and a proxy*, also the type of the information inside the packet. After that, the packets are launched into a LAN*, which is connecting all devices such as computers and printers inside a building for information exchange. Then, each packet is directed into the right path by the router after it reads the address. The role of the proxy is to read what is inside each packet to decide whether the address is acceptable to go to the internet or not. In the next step, another router picks up the packets and directs it into an exact path. Now, the packages are ready to enter the internet, which is a connection of many routers and paths, and each router represents a LAN, and they are all connected via satellite, Ethernet or WIFI. Having been connected, routers inside the internet keep directing the packets until they reach their destination when finally the link or the web page that was requested will open, and this journey usually takes a few seconds.

To sum up, the internet is a vast world that does not have an end. The previous process is just a brief journey of what is happening inside.


*IP Adress: ‘Internet Protocol Address (or IP Address) is an unique address that computing devices such as personal computers, tablets, and smartphones use to identify itself and communicate with other devices in the IP network’ (Internet 1).


The diagram shows many IP addresses where each number represent a device

*URL: ‘Uniform Resource Locator: a protocol for specifying addresses on the Internet’ (Internet 2).


URL components

*Proxy: ‘is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers’ (Internet 3).

*LAN: ‘A Local-Area Network is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most often, a LAN is confined to a single room, building or group of buildings’ (Internet 4).


Description of a LAN 



The INTERNET (how it works) Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 1: What is My IP Address? Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 2: URL definition Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 3: Proxy server Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 4: LAN – local-area network Available at:  (Accessed: 6 October 2016).


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