How Does the Internet Work ?
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How Does the Internet Work ?

In the following lines we will try to understand how does the Web and Internet globaly works. A good comprehension of this will help you in any work related to the informatics. We'll talk about the different protocols that exists like HTTP, FTP, IRC and more but also about TCP and IP.

Web and Other protocols

The Web is a world wide network of machines speaking the same language. In informatics, this language is called "a protocol". The protocol on which the Web is held is HTTP (Hypertext Trasnfer Protocol).

The Web is only a network among many others, HTTP has indeed many "cousins". Here's a few well-known protocols:

  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used to transgfer files.
  • IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is used to chat with others.
  • NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) is used to send and receive news.
  • POP ( Post Office Protocol) is used to retrieve mails.
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is used to send mails.

Each and every protocol have assigned roles that are unique and now, new networks are created to respond to the needs and wants of the users. Therefore, we have seen the birth, few years back, of networks like P2P that ease the file transfer.

Each protocol needs a client application that corresponds it. For the HTTP, it's the web browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, ...) , for the FTP it's the FTP clients ( Fillezilla, Cyberduck, ...).

However, more and more applications are able to access different protocols. Thus, the Microsoft software: Outtlook Express can read mails (POP) and the news (NNTP). The web browsers can often access to FTP, for example to access the FTP protocol of a website type in ftp://ftp.google.com.

TCP/IP and Internet

Eventhough there are loads of protocols, one thing never changes: those networks are all based on a unique protocol: TCP/IP ( Transmiossion Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol). It's the combinaison of networks based on TCP/IP that we call Internet. The Internet's network is the true base that allowed the spreading of the Web, Mails and many other features that we use and need today. Like many other scientific discoveries, this invention was first open to the army. In the 60s, a team of researcher worked on a system that could assure a continuous exchange of information between outposts. The idea was simple: to get to destination, all the information doesn't need to take the same parkour. Therefore if you need to send information to France while you'll in the UK, it is possible that the information passes through Asia if it cannot find any other options. Thus, in war if an outpost would be destroyed, information would still be able to pass through since it will find an other passage.

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Comments (1)

I did not know that there are so many protocols, write a book report and each of them has its own role.

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