Jan22

A Behind-The-Scenes Tour Of The Internet

As the internet grows, more structure is required. Read how certain organizations keep the internet stable and in check.

The internet has become an absolute necessity for any business. Having a website provides a business owner with a direct connection to the rest of the world. Entrepreneurs know that without an easily navigable site they will not be able to achieve the ultimate level of success.

Freelance writers, restaurant owners and bloggers are just a few examples of the millions of people interested in getting online to market their product or idea. In today’s world, anyone can access a content management system such as WordPress and come up with their own basic site. No restrictions and very little technical knowledge allow anyone to take part in this online revolution.

It’s easy to see that the internet is only going to expand. As new ideas are developed, more websites are formed. As businesses thrive, these websites will expand. This predictable growth is managed by a few organizations that keep everything stable. Well, stability is the goal at least.

Take a look at what is being done behind-the-scenes.

ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is a non-profit organization that strives to oversee the internet and ensure a safe and stable online experience for everyone. ICANN isn’t able to manage and run the millions of websites that are currently hosted on the internet. Instead, the organization focuses its work on the global Domain Name System, or DNS. For a thorough breakdown of what DNS is all about, check out this earlier post.

ICANN makes sure that all domain names are unique. Each domain name is linked to an IP address, so behind-the-scenes ICANN is ensuring that each IP address is linked to a different domain name, giving each website its unique location. ICANN oversees this entire network and strives to keep DNS running smoothly. If DNS were to stumble, it would be impossible for a web browser to find a site by typing in the domain name.

As I mentioned earlier, the internet is simply too large for one organization to run everything. Under ICANN, thousands of accredited companies can act as registrars for domain names. These companies allow clients to register their domain names under different Top-Level Domains, or TLDs. For more info on TLDs click here.

It should be known that not every registrar is allowed to sell any of the hundreds of TLDs that are on the market. A company can only be a registrar for the TLDs that they are accredited for.

Although ICANN isn’t technically running the internet, it’s doing a good job of keeping DNS running smoothly.

Internet Society

The Internet Society is a global organization that is “cause-driven and dedicated to ensuring that the Internet stays open, transparent and defined by you.” Internet Society can be seen as a sense of leadership for the internet. The organization oversees other smaller groups and boards such as The Internet Engineering Task Force, or IETF, whose mission is to provide technical documents that influence the way people design, use and manage the internet.

The Internet Society is formed by a board of trustees and has chapters all over the world. These various groups come up with ways to educate the world on the technical evolution of the internet as well as providing resources for improving the ways people utilize the internet. The ultimate goal is to educate the world so that the future of the internet stays open and safe.

Internet Service Providers

An Internet Service Provider, or ISP, is what connects you to the internet. This can be done through telephone lines, television cables, wirelessly, and fiber-optic cables. In a home or small business, an internet connection is usually made through fiber-optics.

There are cables running all over the world, keeping the various Internet Service Providers connected across the globe. This is done by means of underground coaxial and fiber cables, often referred to as trans-oceanic cabling. Click here to see a map of these connections throughout the world.

Of course, you’re going to have to pay a fee to use these complex services. The fee is entirely dependent on the connection speed you want and how you’re being connected. Some common ISPs are Comcast, AT&T, and CenturyLink.

Google

Ok, so maybe Google doesn’t really own any part of the internet, but it does run the world’s largest search engine, as well as YouTube, Android and Blogger. That’s not even mentioning the hundreds of other products and services owned by Google. It’s safe to say that all internet users are accessing Google’s services in one way or another.

Sidenote: Google is worth 56.6 billion US dollars and employs 47,756 people around the world.

Other search engines such as Yahoo are making a comeback after being almost eliminated by competitors. There’s no telling who will be at the top in a few years.


You

The internet is a global system that incorporates many smaller companies, such as ISPs, to form a never-ending network. The internet uses various protocols to keep everything in order. A global system needs some sort of order to keep everything in check. Look for articles coming to the resell.biz blog in the future about different internet protocols such as HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol).

Breaking it all down, you’re as much of a contributor to the internet as anyone else. Every time you connect to the internet with either your mobile device, tablet or computer, you’re connecting to the largest network in the world; a network that is not owned but rather formed from the billions of devices connecting every day.

 

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