– Your computer asks the server of the website you want to visit, for a copy of that webpage.
– The computer sticks this request in a packet, which is a virtual envelope, including the IP address of the web page.
– The computer sends this packet out the house and into the street via underground copper wires.
– It passes through a number of regional networks before passing through one of Londons Telehouse data centres. There are 5 London data centres, which are large buildings housing equipment, space, and bandwith for firms and connects them to a variety of telecommunications and network services.
– The IP address in the packet tells the server where the destination of the website requested.
– The packet is then sent out as light through fibre optic cables, and this can be done overseas, as there are vast amounts of cables underneath the oceans of our world literally connecting us.
– The packet then lands at another hub, in the country of the where the website is hosted.
– The hub sends the packet through a number of regional networks until it gets to the server where the webpage resides.
– The server reads the request and then prepares to send the data requested back to your computer.
– Web pages however are too large to send as a single packet of data, so the webpage is divided into thousands of smaller packets of data, each one wrapped with all the data needed to rebuild itself at its final location.
– These packets travel to another main hub which checks the traffic report before sending it off. The information is then sent through fibre optics in light form and then through copper wires, more reigonal networks and then back to your computer.
This happens in about one second.
And is happening trillions of times a day.
From watching your favourite movie, sharing music, creating anything, connecting with people on the other side of the world, educating yourself, watching cats do stupid stuff, and making shopping much easier the internet has changed everyone’s lives dramatically and we would be stifled without it. It continually gets faster and the technology gets increasingly immersive. As long as it doesn’t get to the high levels of debauchery explored in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror we could be in for a real change in how we perceive the world. Remember to thank Tim Berners Lee for what he created. Where we go from here, I think we just ask google.