The Internet Structure

Created: December 30, 2012,  
The Author: Mufaddal Makati
Last Updated: June 16, 2013

INTRODUCTION

The internet is the most complex network in the world right now. It is a massive hub of information. An enormously huge amount of traffic flows through it every second. It hosts millions of networks, owned independently, but still connected with each other.

No one owns the internet or runs it. It’s a totally free place. Billions of users surf the web every day, Thousands of networks join and unjoin each day, but are still able to seamlessly join and unjoin the internet without disturbing the existing Internet.

But even though, there are rules, regulations and protocols that makes the Internet non-chaotic. There are bodies governing and taking care of some of the basic addressing schemes in the Internet namely the IP addresses, domain names, autonomous system numbers and port numbers.

The Internet Map

The Internet Map
Source: Wikipedia

We all use the internet, many wonder how it works, many just don’t care, and few knows the actual architecture of the internet.

This is the actual Internet map. Well Ofcourse it seems a bit overwhelming and confusing. But if we try to breakdown the basic fundamental phenomenon that runs the internet and try to understand it, it won’t be so difficult.

Hereby, I attempt to create a picture of the internet, its backbone structure, its governing bodies and how it all fits together and makes everything run so smoothly and efficiently. I will try to explain how the IP addresses, Domain names and other such namespaces in the internet are distributed, and who controls them.

This article, by no means, will try to explain the networking fundamentals like TCP/IP or routing protocols and will assume that the reader is familiar with such networking concepts. I will try to focus only on the Internet side of networking and will make sure that I don’t miss anything important in order to explain the internet structure.

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