When we talk about the Internet, what we’re actually referring to is an interconnected network of computers (hence, internet). Some of these computers are web servers, which are just specialized computers that contain and serve content from your favorite websites, and others are just the client devices.
What happens when you type a URL in your browser?
- Your browser is what we call a “client device”. Each web server has its own unique IP address. When you type in “https://www.google.com/” into your browser, your browser contacts the DNS (domain name system) and looks up the IP address for that url. You can think of the DNS as a phone book.
- Once the IP address is retrieved, your browser attempts to connect to the web server of that IP address by opening up a socket connection. If someone responds, then you know they’re open and you’re connected.
- Now that your browser and the server have a open connection with each other, your request to a specific article on specific website can be made. But before your request can be sent over the internet, it has to follow a set of rules that describe how the request must be formatted. These set of rules are known as TCP/IP and the HTTP protocol.