As a developer, there are a few things that you should understand about the internet. Knowing what’s happening behind-the-scenes as you browse the web is one of those things. In this blog post, let’s work through one deceptively simple question:

What happens when you type “Google.com” into your web browser?

By typing “Google.com” into your browser, you’re asking two questions: who is google, and how do I get there? That question is posed to your Internet Service Provider, or ISP. Common ISPs in the US are Verizon and Comcast. The ISP sends your request to a Domain Name Server (DNS), which is essentially a phonebook that stores URLs and their related IP addresses. The DNS sends the address back to you through the ISP.

Every computer/device connected to the internet has an ISP. So, when the browser gets Google’s address back from the DNS, it sends another request to the Google Servers. Servers are computers running software that knows how to send files when you request them. When the Google servers receive your requests they send back some HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. These are all files that enable the Google.com webpage to load on your computer.

And voilà! Now Google.com is loaded and ready for you to search for something interesting, like “What IS the Internet?” ;-)

Try it for yourself. Open your browser, and type in the IP address 172.217.7.23 into the URL bar. Report back what you see in the comments!

Full Stack Engineer — THIS CODE IS ON FIRE!!!

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