The internet is a network that allows computers to connect to each other to transfer information. Some of these computers act as clients, others as servers, and some as both. In this video, review how the internet works to get a fundamental understanding of how digital information travels across the world.
- [Instructor] In order to get your software product to your customer, you have to use the internet. You might be thinking, that's a little obvious. But it's important to know that as information transfers back and forth across the internet, one party requests information and the other party sends information. When you click a link to access a webpage, your computer sends a request through the internet to retrieve that webpage. Once the request is sent, another computer receives this request. This computer is where the webpage is stored, and we say it hosts the webpage. Seeing the request, this computer gathers the appropriate data about the webpage and sends it back to your computer. The internet is what allows computers to communicate with each other. When a computer requests information, we say the computer is a client. When a computer sends information based on a request, we say the computer is a server, since this computer waits for requests and serves information to its clients. The server likely lives in a data center with lots of other servers serving content. Let's take a look at another example. Let's say I send an email from my computer. Am I now a server because I'm sending information? Nope. When you send an email from your computer, your computer creates a request and sends it to a server with the data you want to send. In this case, that data is your email. The server will see the request and send your email along to the right account, as well as a response to your computer confirming the email was sent. Of course, just because you have a computer doesn't mean you can automatically communicate with other computers. The internet connects computers through physical cables, including telephone wires, TV cables, and fiber-optic cables. Wireless connections such as wifi rely on these physical cables so that you can access the internet. When you send and receive requests on your computer, it ultimately comes down to these wires. These wires connect the client consumers with the servers in the data centers.