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How does the Internet Work?

by Jose Manuel Enriquez

VOX’s “Glad You Asked Show” produced an excellent video explaining exactly how the Internet works. They make great use a lot of graphic and visual explanations so that anyone can capture terms that in other media can appear very abstract or technical.

In summary, it describes how when sending an image from our cell phone, the cell phone converts the image to the binary system (0’s and 1’s), and first sends them wirelessly to the wireless router, or cell phone antenna, closest to us. From the router, or antenna, the data travels through a network of fiber optic cables (including submarine cables that cross the oceans) and interconnected data centers, until it reaches the final recipient, where it takes all those 0’s and 1’s and regroups them so that the receiving staff can read the original message, or see the image or video that the first sent.

It also touches on the efforts that exist to bring more Internet to underserved areas, such as Google’s Loon project, which helped bring the Internet via these balloons to the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

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