The process of how the internet gets to your house involves several steps, and it generally relies on a combination of physical infrastructure and network technologies. I have identified below a few of ways new homes get an internet connection:
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Internet Service Provider (ISP)
You subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which is a company that provides you with access to the internet. ISPs can be telecommunications companies, cable providers, satellite services, or other entities that offer internet connectivity.
The ISP has a network infrastructure that extends into your local area. This infrastructure can include various components such as data centers, network switches, and fiber optic cables.
Last Mile Connection
The “last mile” refers to the connection between the local infrastructure and your home. Depending on your location and the type of service you have, this connection could be through:
- Cable Modem: This uses the existing cable television infrastructure.
- DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): This uses existing telephone lines.
- Fiber Optic: This involves fiber optic cables that transmit data using light signals.
Wireless: In some cases, internet connectivity may be provided wirelessly, such as through fixed wireless or satellite connections.
In your home, you typically have a modem and/or router provided by your ISP or purchased separately. The modem connects to the last mile connection and translates the internet signal into a form that can be used by your devices. The router manages the local network in your home and allows multiple devices to connect to the internet simultaneously.
Devices in your home, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and smart devices, connect to the local network either wired or wirelessly through the router.
Global Internet Backbone
Once your data leaves your local network, it travels through a series of network connections that make up the global internet backbone. These connections may involve high-capacity fiber optic cables and network nodes that link different parts of the world.
The data you send or request from the internet reaches its destination, which could be a server hosting a website, an online service, or any other resource.
The requested data travels back through the global internet backbone, your ISP’s network, the last mile connection, and finally, to your modem and devices.
Throughout this process, data is broken down into packets, transmitted in a digital format, and reassembled at its destination. The entire journey takes only milliseconds for each packet, allowing for the near-instantaneous communication we experience when using the internet. Keep in mind that this is a simplified overview, and the specific details can vary based on your location, ISP, and the type of internet connection you have.