Engineering The Internet 10/5/2012

The Internet is amazing. It allows us to communicate instantly, search for and find information on nearly anything, stay abreast of current events and, of course, watch the latest cute animal video. But how does it actually work? Made up of servers (the machines) and clients (the users), the Internet uses a common language, called a protocol suite, to help devices “talk” with each other via telephone wires and satellites. Every device that connects to the Internet, be it a laptop, a smartphone or a gaming system, has an Internet Protocol, or IP, address. Using these addresses and the protocol suite, the Internet lets users upload, download, share and stream little packets of information. The infographic below illustrates just how the Internet sends these packets from one place to another.

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