Week 3

Computers 101, Part II


I hope you are familiar with the internet because you're on it reading this right now! My work would be near impossible if I did not have internet access and you might have trouble thinking of your life without your phone, computer, and Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/Sling. Thus, this week's topic is about how the internet works, which sounds simple; however, it's quite complicated and there are lots of devices and "doohickeys" involved in sharing data on a network. I think it is important for everyone, regardless of profession, to know more about how the internet works. I can think of many times when my internet has gone down, I thought I had a computer virus, or I wanted to hook up a new device because my older equipment was causing problems (think of using a brick cell phone to make a call on current networks) and my basic IT knowledge has greatly helped me in the workplace.

This week you will read about the following Key Terms:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISP)
  • Network
  • Server
  • IP Addresses
  • HTTP
  • DNS
  • FTP
  • Packets
  • Modem
  • Router

I am not going to give you a definition of these items, because it will be part of your assignment to know what they mean. The videos I have included below will cover each of these topics so you can create your own definitions to use in the assignment.

Video: How Does the Internet Work

This video is a basic overview of how your computer "speaks" to servers and uses IP addresses to communicate and share information.

How Does The Internet Work

This is an additional video about how the internet works. I find that viewing similar information in more than one way helps with remembering ideas; therefore, watching this video will give you additional information and perspective on the key terms mentioned above.


Modem vs Router - What's the Difference?

This video builds upon the information in the previous two videos and talks about the role of the modem and router. The video is a bit cheesy and the graphics are not the best, however, after viewing many videos on this topic, the information is the best that I've found.


Additional Resources

How the internet works is a complex topic and I want to give you additional resources to help you understand each of the key terms. I have researched (and used) the following resources I would like you to review:

Kahn Academy and Code.org's collaboration: "How the Internet Works"

I suggest reading and viewing the corresponding videos at Kahn Academy:

  • Wires, cables, and WiFi
  • IP addresses and DNS
  • Packet, routers, and reliability
  • HTTP and HTML
How does the internet work? By Johnathan Strickland

This article is great if you didn't quite catch all of the key terms definitions in the videos. It's a bit heavy on the advertising, however, there are hyper links to specific terms that describe them in more details.

How does the internet work by Mozilla

This is an in-depth review of numerous articles, all of which will help you with understanding the key terms and also this week's assignment.

Those are all the resources I have for you this week and it is a lot of information to digest. I strongly suggest using these resources to complete your assignment; however, you are welcome to use the Google machine and find resources that may be more congruent with the way that you learn. I find with technical terms, that there are usually not too many differences in the way computer networking and the internet are described, therefore, I am fine if you seek out your own additional resources.