BASICS OF COMPUTER NETWORKS, AND HOW YOUR PAGES ARE SERVED JUST LIKE A DRIVE THROUGH RESTAURANT

Illustration of a network

Computer Networking can be defined as various computers or network specific hardware that are interconnected together in other to permit the sharing of files and resources among each other. These connections are possible using wires (your Cat-5 and fibre optics ), radios,Satellites etc.

Based on whichever network topology you decide to use, these connected devices can then share resources. Common network topologies in existence include star, ring, peer to peer, hybrid, tree etc. Special protocols police the transfer of these resources from one end point to another.

For example your TCP/UDP protocols are responsible for transport, your http protocol elwhich exists at the application layer (your browser etc). In other for effective communication, your connected computers have other hardware serving as middle men for efficient transportation such as your

routers which help to detect the path a file should follow, switches which are responsible for connecting multiple computers together, your firewalls which help in filtering and security etc. Usually, if you want to connect a large network to another, switches will connect multiple end point devices and then connect to a router which serves as a gateway in which that router is then connected to another switch that has various multiple end point devices connected as well.

This is a basic illustration of how the Internet works. From its name, international network. Bet you didn’t know that’s the full meaning of the Internet. It’s also referred to as the network of networks because of how large it is. It’s the largest network in existence today.

You might wonder how does the network identify each computer from the other. Well that’s where IP addresses and Mac addresses come in play. Your ip stands for Internet protocol and it’s the protocol that governs identification of endpoints on the Internet. It is a unique address that is assigned to computers in a network. There are two versions, ipv4 which is currently in use and ipv6 which is going to be more used later in the future. For now, just now the difference between ipv4 and ipv6 is that IPV4 is an 8 octet 32 bit address, while IPV6 Is in hexadecimal.

Ipv4 addresses usually have 4 numbers separated by dots. The first three numbers are it’s network address, and the last is its user assigned address and it’s specific to a particular device. This address can be of two types, public and private addresses for now just know that private addresses are addresses that you can create while public addresses are assigned to you.

I know I am getting a little bit technical but I will stop there for now. Let’s take an example. Imagine FirstLady wants to access twitter on her device What happens is that she types in https://www.twitter.com now that’s what we call a domain name but usually at the logical view of that domain name is an IP address, a unique one let’s say something like 192.45.23.105 which directs her device to a remote location where twitter pages exist.

Yes, this twitter you see and enjoy is just one computer with a lot of pages in a particular location. The process of transporting her request to that computer located probably in America is done using wires, radios and in some cases satellites.

Let’s Say 9mobile is what FirstLady uses, 9mobile will act as the middle man, providing the infrastructure that she would need such as routers, switches, servers to locate https://twitter.com that means they are her gateway or in other words her service providers they act as a gateway to communicate with Twitter which in itself is a gateway that grants you entry to access it’s pages once all security measures are passed.

Thanks for reading.

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