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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How does the internet work: a brief history of the internet and ISPs

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Once upon a time, there was a world without the Internet.

It was pretty boring, people read books or watched movies stored on videotapes,

actual video tapes, and everything looked like it had an Instagram filter on.

Trust me, I was there.

So, one day, God created the Internet.

Well, not really God but some scientist at a lab in Switzerland called CERN who spent

most of their time playing God: you know, creating new, tiny universes.

Anyway, one day in nineteen-eighty-something they got bored of having to use faxes and

phones to talk to each other and they created THE WORLD WIDE WEB.

And here is how it works.

Let's start with the stuff you are familiar with, this video.

If you are watching it on Youtube we'll assume that you have a phone, or a laptop.

This video is a file, stored in a computer, in a huge warehouse that is owned by Youtube,

that is owned by Google that is owned by Alphabet.

By watching this video, you are quite literally, playing that file on that computer.... but

hooow can you do it.

So, your phone is receiving the pictures, the data for this video from your phone carrier,

with waves that travel through the air from your nearest cell phone tower.

That tower is connected to your carrier's headquarters.

Hundreds and thousands of cellphone towers end up connected here, which makes your phone

carrier an Internet Service Provider.

These guys are like the gatekeepers of the internet, which is, in the end, a bunch of

cables hooked up together.

Imagine there's this thick, fat, cable going around the world.

There are plenty, thousands of them all around the world, and they are buried underground

and under the sea.

Your Internet Service Provider is connected directly to that cable, and so is Youtube's


Let's call it a server, because, you know, that's how it's called.

So whenever you typed on your phone, that information travelled to your

ISP, who knows that is a web page that is stored on that computer, right over


So the ISP tells Google that you want to see

what they have stored in there, and the computer normally replies back, saying: yeah, OK, you

can take a look.

So that information gets sent out from Google's

computer, via that fat cable, to your ISP, and then through the air right up to your


Now let's dig a little deeper.

There are quite literally, millions and millions and millions of phones and computers that

want to play Youtube videos, so how can a computer play that video on everyone's device?

Well, it can't.

Alphabet, who owns Google, who owns Youtube actually has thousands of servers, hooked

up together to make up for all the traffic they get.

This is called a server farm, you know, because it's a like a farm, made of servers.

(Ba dam psssst).

Like in the Matrix.

Except those are people.

Anyway, one of these farms is not enough.

They make copies of the information on those computers, and create other farms, that are

exact replicas of the original farm, and place them all over the world... so that information

doesn't need to travel that far, because, you know, sometimes the speed of light is

not fast enough.

Having multiple farms is also useful in case a server dies.

Imagine what would happen if Youtube was down for one day.

What do you think would happen?

Click on that subscribe button, and we'll see you next week with a new video.

Stay Fresh!

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