We all take the internet for granted. Every day we download huge volumes of data to our computers without a second thought about where that data is coming from and how it travels across the world. We are able to communicate instantaneously with our family, friends and colleagues no matter where they might be in the world. Sometimes they’re in the same house! But the world wasn’t always like this. Trust me I remember it. The last forty years have seen the emergence of countless computer networks which today are all linked together to form the vast global network we call ‘the internet’. So stop downloading whatever you’re downloading and download this chapter instead. By the end of it hopefully you’ll understand a bit about how networks and the internet work and stop taking them for granted quite so much.
Part 1. Introduction
How local area networks work.
Part 2. Wide Area Networks (WANs)
How wide area networks (WANs) work.
Part 3. The Internet
How the internet works.
Extra Reading: Encapsulation and Packet Switching
How the internet really works. Coming soon.
Part 4. Speed and Cost
How what we download affects the speed it downloads at and how much it costs.