The History of The Internet: Part 3 – How Does It All Work?

This is the 3rd and final blog for this series… if you missed either Part 1 or Part 2, click the linked text to learn more about the history of the internet and how it all comes together! 

Through this blog series, we have covered the main portions of how the internet was created and the backend parts that make it all work… but for this final article, we will explain how it all comes together and why the fundamentals we covered in the first 2 sections are so important.

When you think about the internet, the best way to imagine the structure is thinking about a house. This mindset is how the OSI Model was created and soon became the framework for everything internet related.

OSI stands for The “Open Systems Interconnection” model. This was created by the International Organization for Standardization to provide a standard for different computer systems to be able to communicate with each other.

The way that the layers works is:

Layer 1 – The Physical Layer: transmits raw bit stream over the physical medium (meaning the data is pushed through the copper and fiber laid in the ground).

Layer 2 – The Datalink Layer: Defines the format of data on the network (meaning it translates the data into the TCP/IP format that we discussed in Part 2 of the blog series).

Layer 3 – The Network Layer: Decides which physical path the data will take (which means it is sent to your router and firewall to be shuttled to the correct destination in a fraction of a millisecond).

Layer 4 – The Transport Layer: Transmits data using transmission protocols including TCP and UDP (which are translated in layer 2).

Layer 5 – The Session Layer: Maintains connections and is responsible for controlling ports and sessions (which is where packets of data comes into play also discussed in the second article linked above).

Layer 6 – The Presentation Layer: Ensures that data is in a usable format and is where data encryption occurs (meaning the data that is being sent is checked to make sure that it will be permitted by your firewall and router).

Layer 7 – The Application Layer: Human-Computer interaction layer, where applications can access the network services (meaning this is where you are presented the data on your screen from the requested website and/or internet file).

As stated earlier, think of this as a house… the physical layer (or layer 1) is the foundation of your home and then from there you build in the studs, then drywall, nails and screws, paint goes into layer 6 and then finally your front door opens to invite guests into your home when you hit layer 7.

When you think of the internet as searching a file in your computer, it really shows you just how quickly and seamlessly the internet works (and why it quickly became one of the best inventions brought to our modern age).

We hope that you enjoyed this fun series to introduce you to the internet but in upcoming articles we will be showing you ways to keep your home and work networks safe… but in new and easier ways then ever before to help take the hassle out of network security. And we always enjoy your insight and comments/questions so please fee free to reachout – we would love to hear from you!

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Happy Web Surfing!