How Does the Internet Work? - Glad You Asked S1 | Summary and Q&A

January 8, 2020
by
Vox
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How Does the Internet Work? - Glad You Asked S1

TL;DR

The internet is both virtual and physical, consisting of cables, radio waves, and fiber optic systems that connect us globally.

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Key Insights

  • 🚠 The internet is a physical infrastructure consisting of cables, routers, and hubs.
  • 🛜 Wireless technology like Wi-Fi and cell towers help facilitate internet connectivity for individual devices.
  • 🖐️ Underwater cables and submarine systems play a critical role in global internet connectivity.
  • 😀 5G technology has the potential to provide faster internet, but its implementation may face challenges due to infrastructure requirements.

Transcript

( music playing ) Wait. That's the cable? I was expecting something so much bigger. That's the internet. To get across the ocean, nearly all internet traffic has to use a cable like that one. - It's tiny. I'm so surprised.

  • You're actually surprised. I know, I could tell. Love it. All right, let's go get some hard hats. Cleo: If you're watching... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does the internet travel across the ocean?

Internet traffic across the ocean is facilitated by submarine cables, which are laid down by specialized vessels and connected to internet hubs in various countries.

Q: What happens if an anchor cuts an underwater cable?

Damage to underwater cables can disrupt internet connectivity, as seen in the case of Tonga, where an anchor cut caused a 13-day internet outage.

Q: How does 5G technology make the internet faster?

5G uses higher frequency waves, allowing for more data to be transmitted. However, it requires more physical infrastructure and may not benefit those in rural or low-income areas.

Q: How does Loon's balloon internet work?

Loon sends balloons into the stratosphere to provide internet access to areas with limited connectivity. The balloons use radio waves and communicate with ground stations and other balloons to establish connections.

Q: How does the internet travel across the ocean?

Internet traffic across the ocean is facilitated by submarine cables, which are laid down by specialized vessels and connected to internet hubs in various countries.

More Insights

  • The internet is a physical infrastructure consisting of cables, routers, and hubs.

  • Wireless technology like Wi-Fi and cell towers help facilitate internet connectivity for individual devices.

  • Underwater cables and submarine systems play a critical role in global internet connectivity.

  • 5G technology has the potential to provide faster internet, but its implementation may face challenges due to infrastructure requirements.

  • Balloon-based systems like Loon offer a unique solution for providing internet access to remote or underserved areas.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The internet is an essential part of our lives, but many people still don't understand how it works.

  • The first and last mile of internet connectivity occurs through wireless technology like Wi-Fi and cell towers.

  • Internet data is broken into packets, which are then sent through cables, converted into binary code, and transmitted via radio waves and laser light.

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