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How Does the Internet Work?

The Internet is an international network that uses particular data transfer processes and online protocols to create a standard communication highway.

The Internet would not be possible without powerful telephone lines such as T3 lines which have the capacity to transfer data at high speeds (an average of 45 megabytes per second). These lines connect cities and other national access points.

This system of telephone lines are operated by multiple companies and groups who cooperate with each other. There is no one owner. If some lines go down the other lines will accommodate the traffic, in much the same way that cars will be rerouted in case a particular road is blocked. Thus there would be no instance when the Internet would entirely shut down.

The T3 lines act as the main “highways” of the internet though smaller dedicated lines are linked to the access points and connect other areas to the web. These are similar to boulevards or main streets that lead to the national freeways. The smaller lines are operated by ISPs or Internet Service Providers.

And, just as a boulevard will contain several buildings, each with a unique address, the internet users or computers have a specific “address” on the web. This is called Internet Protocol (IP) address. So when a person surfs the Internet and clicks on a link, the website “sends” the information to that computer—much the same way a packet is delivered to a house. In fact the word for groups of data is “data packet”.

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