Communicating Across the internet

How do devices communicate?

The internet

The internet is a network of network that covers nearly the entire planet! You have probably used the internet to communicate or access a website at some point. But how does that happen, how do devices communicate over the internet?

The world wide web

It is commonly thought that the internet and the world wide web are the same thing. However, this is not true. The internet is an actual, physical connection between networks. The world wide web is merely a way of navigating the internet and retrieving data from servers.



IP stands for Internet protocol, it is the set of rules used by every device to communicate across the internet. Every device, connected directly or indirectly to the internet, has an IP address. These are very similar to actual address. When you communicate with someone, the messages you send are broken down into packets. These packets are told to go to your specific IP address so that no one else can receive them.

Website IP and DNS

Websites, much like devices, have IP addresses. So how come we don't have to type a long number into the search bar to find every website we go on?

The answer is the Domain name System. Websites can register their IP addresses under a domain name (e.g. When you search for this, your computer searches for that domain and retrieves its IP. After that, it takes you to the requested website.

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IP is the way of directing packets of data to their selected destination. But, HTTP also plays a role in getting packets to their destination. The job of HTTP is to find the fastest way to navigate across the networks to get to the website you are going to