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Transcript of The Internet
What is browser?
What is an ISP?
What are they and how do they work?
The Internet is a system of computer networks connected to one another around the world. This network allows people to access and share information.
The early creators of the Internet discovered data moves faster when it's broken into smaller pieces, sent separately, then reassembled. These pieces are called packets. When you send an email, your full message is broken down into these packets, sent to your recipient, then reassembled for them to see in full. This process also happens when you view videos and news articles.
A browser is a type of software on your computer enabling you access to the Internet. These browsers act as portals taking you from one website to another. There are several different browsers to choose from, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
Often times browsers get confused with search engines. While you can access a search engine through a browser, they perform two separate tasks. A search engine is a website that lets you search the Internet for information. The browser acts as a window displaying to you the various websites where information lives. All you have to do is type a web address into your browser and you are instantly taken to that website.
A URL is the web address you type into a browser to reach a website. Every website has a URL. For example, the URL www.google.com will take you to Google's website.
Every URL also has an IP address. An IP address is a series of numbers that tells your computer where to find the information you're looking for. An IP address is like a phone number—a really long, complex phone number. Because IP addresses were so complex and difficult to remember, URLs were created. Instead of typing in an IP address (45.732.34.353) to go to Google's website, all you have to type is the URL, www.google.com.
Since the Internet has so many websites and IP addresses, your browser doesn't automatically know where every single one is located. It has to look each one up. That's where the DNS (Domain Name System) comes in.
The DNS is essentially the phone book for the Web. Rather than translating "John Doe" into a phone number, the DNS instead translates a URL (www.google.com) into an IP address, taking you to the site you're looking for.
An ISP, or Internet Service Provider, is the company that gives you access to the Internet and other web services. They provide different ways to connect including dial-up, broadband, fiber optics or Wi-Fi. These different connections determine the speed of your Internet. With the development of smartphones, many cell phone providers are also Internet Service Providers.
Since all data accessed on the Internet comes through an ISP, governments sometimes ask to examine their logs to find information about users. Laws regulating government access to this information need to stay current with how people use the Internet. This will ensure citizens are adequately protected from unnecessary intrusion.
How do I make my internet faster?
The amount of bandwidth your Internet has depends on your type of Internet connection. Fiber optic cables can send information close to the speed of light. That means pages, videos, photos and music load more quickly, letting you enjoy them faster. Dial-up connections are at the other end of the spectrum. They use phone lines to provide an Internet connection, which travel at much slower speeds.
How does search work?
Search does exactly what it says. It searches. For example, if you type the word “cars” into Google’s search engine, the request gets sent from your device through the Internet to Google’s computers, which look for the correct search results. Once Google’s computers find those results, they send them back to your device—all in a fraction of a second.
How does the internet get to my phone?
In general, a cell phone connects to the Internet with the same wireless signal used to make a phone call. Your phone connects to a cell tower in the area, but instead of connecting you to another phone, it connects to the Internet enabling your device to send and receive data. Because transferring data between mobile devices and the Internet can get expensive, service providers charge for data plans.
What is "open source?"
To understand what "open source” is, it’s important to first know “source code”. Source code is the language in which software is written. It’s the language used in web browsers and applications telling the software how to operate and behave.
“Open source” means the source code is open and available for anyone to look at. You can experiment with, tweak or add, and reuse it for other products or services. The web browsers Chrome and Firefox are examples of open source software. In fact, Chrome was built with some components from Firefox’s source code. This is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
What is cloud-computing?
Simply put, every time you use the Internet, you are cloud computing. What this means is, all the information you seek is stored on servers in various locations around the world. Whether you’re watching a video, reading the news or listening to music, you’re getting information from the cloud, not from your computer’s hard drive.