The Internet Explained

by Natalie Hillard

    One of the greatest things about the Internet is that nobody really owns it. It is a global collection of networks, both big and small. These networks connect together in many different ways to form the single entity that we know as the Internet. In fact, the very name comes from this idea of interconnected networks. The internet is a world-wide network of computers linked together by telephone wires, satellite links and other means.

    For simplicity's sake we will say that all computers on the internet can be divided into two categories: servers and clients. A server is a computer program running to serve the requests of other programs, the "clients". Depending on the computing service that it offers it could be a database, file, mail, print, web, or gaming server. Thus, the server performs some of these computational task on behalf of "clients." Clients are typically personal computers that access services provided by the servers. Information is able to travel to and from your own device accurately by having an assigned Internet Protocol Address, or IP address. This is a 32-bit number that identifies your computer and allows it to communicate with others.

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