IT: Basic Fundamental Concepts of The Internet

This is a small article diving into some of the fundamentals and core of how HTTP works and how the overall web works giving you a solid understanding of underlying internet web technology.

Photo by Farzad on Unsplash

Hello, Dear Readers and followers, welcome back to my new story, I hope all’s well. Today I planned to talk about some basic fundamental concepts of the internet before jumping to HTML and other web technologies. It is my first article in this series and I plan to explore the more different old and also modern new technologies with you guys which help to build a bright future career in Information Technology.

Let's first discover what is computer science. So, Computer Science Principles basically introduce the foundational concepts of computer science and challenge them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world.

Information technology is a broad field. It’s also a very exciting career path, brimming with opportunities for growth. You get to play with the latest advancements in one of the fastest-growing fields out there. The IT industry offers quick employment, opportunities in every sector, multiple career paths, and high salaries, and it’s easy to enter this industry without a college degree.

Although a career in IT is exciting, it often requires considerable time and effort to get into. You want to be very clear on why you want to pursue an IT career or else your motivation will burn quickly and you’ll give up.

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Basic Fundamental Concepts of the Computer Hardware:

Computers have evolved from simple devices to a 21st-century staple in just a few decades. But despite being a relatively new technology, most people have no idea how a simple rectangle — small enough to fit your backpack — is capable of everything from complex math to playing video, audio, and running sophisticated software.

A computer is a programmable electronic device capable of processing information. Composed of hardware and software, computers operate on two levels: they receive data through an input route, either live or through a digital storage unit, and send out an output.

Modern computers shouldn’t be mixed up with the outdated job occupation of computers in the 19th century. While they both perform long and tedious mathematical calculations and information processing, one is a person, and the other is a machine.

Read on to learn more about Basic Fundamental Concepts of the Computer Hardware

Basic Fundamental Concepts of the Computer Network:

Computer Network is basically connecting different computers or nodes together so that you can share resources or communicate with each other. Computer Networks are built using a collection of hardware (such as routers, switches, hubs, and so forth) and networking software (such as operating systems, firewalls, or corporate applications).

One can also describe the concept of computer networking by its communicating protocols, the physical arrangement of its networking elements, how it manages network traffic, and its functioning.

Computer networks are globally used by businesses, the entertainment industry, and education in the research field for communication and transferring their data from source to destination node.

All the other technologies, including the internet, Google search, instant messaging apps, online video streaming, social media, email, cloud kitchen, cloud data storage, etc., all exist because of computer networks.

Read on to learn more about Basic Fundamental Concepts of the Computer Network

Basic Fundamental Concepts of the Internet:

According to Wikipedia, The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices.

It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.

The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the interlinked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

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The Internet: Web

The World Wide Web usually called the Web for short is a collection of different websites you can access through the Internet. A website is made up of related text, images, and other resources. Websites can resemble other forms of media like newspaper articles or television programs or they can be interactive in a way that’s unique to computers.

The purpose of a website can be almost anything: a news platform, an advertisement, an online library, a forum for sharing images, or an educational site like ours!

Once you are connected to the Internet, you can access and view websites using a type of application called a web browser. Just keep in mind that the web browser itself is not the Internet; it only displays websites that are stored on the Internet.

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Domain Name

The domain name is the most prominent part of a web address. Typically, different pages on the same site will continue to use the same domain name.

Each segment of the domain name separated by a period is called a domain. The domain on the right is called a top-level domain, with the domain to the left of it called the second-level domain, then the third-level domain, and so on.

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Difference between Website and Domain Name

Website: A Website is a collection of web pages that is used to convey specific and helpful information to specific users. Websites are also used to increase business, reach more customers, generate more qualified leads, etc.

Domain Name: A Domain name is an address where one can find the website by typing the web address in the browser URL bar to visit a website. When you enter the domain name of the website in the search box, a powerful engine searches the web’s largest pool of names and takes us to the website.

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URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

Every time you click a link on a website or type a web address into your browser, it’s a URL. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Think of it like a street address, with each portion of the URL as different parts of the address, and each giving you different information.

Let’s examine each component of a URL and what we can learn from it.

In simple terms, A URL specifies the location of a target stored on a local or networked computer. The target can be a file, directory, HTML page, image, program, and so on.

Every URL begins with the scheme. This tells your browser what type of address it is so the browser connects to it correctly. There are many types of schemes, but for typical web browsing, you will mostly see HTTP and HTTPS. Your browser usually won’t show the scheme in the address bar, and usually, you don’t need to type the scheme when typing a web address; instead, you can just begin with the domain name. The scheme is still always part of the URL; it just isn’t being displayed.

A well-thought-out URL structure plays an important role in successful website promotion and user experience. This is important to ensure the website can be successfully crawled and indexed appropriately. The structure of URL and links is the web address to the website and its subpages. It’s the way Google, Bing, and other search engines crawl and index the website’s domain name.

This article explains the difference between the two different URLs and covers the basics, to help you choose the best option that caters to your goals. If you choose the wrong type, it will not only make the site difficult for search engines to crawl but could also affect your SEO strategy.

Absolute URL:

An absolute URL is a ‘full’ URL of the page, meaning an absolute URL provides all the information about the full page address in the search engine and all the steps you need to go through to get to the page, including the protocol and domain.

URLs like this can be searched from anywhere on the Internet, not just on one site.

An absolute URL uses the following format: scheme://server/path/resource. An example of an absolute URL is:

<a href = http://www.xyz.com/xyz.html>

Relative URL:

The term “relative URL” refers to a shorter version of “absolute URL.” The relative URL indicates your current location. The Domain and Protocol information are not present in these addresses. It assumes that the link you add is on the same site and is part of the same root domain.

The relative path starts with the forward slash and leads the browser to stay within the current site.

An example of a relative URL is:
<a href = “/xyz.html”>

Which ultimately is best to use when doing internal linking absolute or relative URLs

This topic was brought up in a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout where the following question was asked:

“In your opinion, which ultimately is best to use when doing internal linking — absolute or relative URLs?”

In response, Mueller presents two different scenarios where absolute and relative URLs may or may not matter.

Difference between Domain Name and URL

In the world of the internet and websites, Domain Name and URL are very common terms and are used interchangeably, but there is a lot of difference in these two terms. In this article, we will learn what is the difference between the Domain Name and URL.

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The Internet: Web Browser

A web browser is a type of software that allows you to find and view websites on the Internet. Even if you didn’t know it, you’re using a web browser right now to read this page! There are many different web browsers, but some of the most common ones include Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

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Search Engines

With billions of websites online today, there is a lot of information on the Internet. Search engines make this information easier to find. Let’s look at the basics of using a search engine, as well as some techniques you can use to get better search results.

Search engines work by crawling billions of pages using web crawlers. Also known as spiders or bots, crawlers navigate the web and follow links to find new pages. These pages are then added to an index that search engines pull results from.

How to search the Web

There are many different search engines you can use, but some of the most popular include Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. To perform a search, you’ll need to navigate to a search engine in your web browser, type one or more keywords — also known as search terms — then press Enter on your keyboard. In this example, we’ll search for recipes.

After you run a search, you’ll see a list of relevant websites that match your search terms. These are commonly known as search results. If you see a site that looks interesting, you can click a link to open it. If the site doesn’t have what you need, you can simply return to the results page to look for more options.

Most browsers also allow you to perform a web search directly from your address bar, although some have a separate search bar next to the address bar. Simply type your search terms and press Enter to run the search.

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The Internet: HTTP & HTML

Many folks get confused between these two terms which are associated with the Web. Are they really same? First thing first. HTML is a Language while HTTP is a Protocol. Doesn’t make much sense..?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is a great means of data communication for the World Wide Web. It is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the protocol to exchange or transfer hypertext. Hypertext is a multi-linear set of objects that are used to build a network by using hyperlinks between the nodes, such as text or words.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a well-known markup language used for web page development. It is commonly used in webpage design. HTML is written using HTML elements, which consist of tags, primarily and opening tag and a closing tag. The data between these tags is usually the content.

To understand this difference between HTML and HTTP, we can think of an analogy. Think of HTML as C language and HTTP as FTP. Now one can write C programs in C language and then one can transfer these C programs from Server to Clients using FTP (i.e. File transfer protocol). Same way, web pages (which are mostly HTML pages) are written in HTML and these web pages are exchanged between Server and Clients using HTTP. Since HTML is a language and HTTP is a protocol, they are two different things though related. In fact, it’s possible to exchange HTML web pages without HTTP (e.g. using FTP to transfer HTML pages). Even, it’s possible to transfer non HTML pages using HTTP (e.g. using HTTP to transfer XML pages).

World Wide Web Communication

The World Wide Web is about communication between web clients and web servers. Clients are often browsers (Chrome, Edge, Safari), but they can be any type of program or device. Servers are most often computers in the cloud.

Communication between client computers and web servers is done by sending HTTP Requests and receiving HTTP Responses.

HTTP Request / Response

Communication between clients and servers is done by requests and responses:

  1. A client (a browser) sends an HTTP request to the web
  2. A web server receives the request
  3. The server runs an application to process the request
  4. The server returns an HTTP response (output) to the browser
  5. The client (the browser) receives the response

The HTTP Request Circle

A typical HTTP request / response circle:

  1. The browser requests an HTML page. The server returns an HTML file.
  2. The browser requests a style sheet. The server returns a CSS file.
  3. The browser requests an JPG image. The server returns a JPG file.
  4. The browser requests JavaScript code. The server returns a JS file
  5. The browser requests data. The server returns data (in XML or JSON).

XHR — XML Http Request

All browsers have a built-in XMLHttpRequest Object (XHR).

XHR is a JavaScript object that is used to transfer data between a web browser and a web server.

XHR is often used to request and receive data for the purpose of modifying a web page.

Despite the XML and Http in the name, XHR is used with other protocols than HTTP, and the data can be of many different types like HTML, CSS, XML, JSON, and plain text.

The XHR Object is a Web Developers Dream, because you can:

  • Update a web page without reloading the page
  • Request data from a server — after the page has loaded
  • Receive data from a server — after the page has loaded
  • Send data to a server — in the background

The XHR Object is the underlying concept of AJAX and JSON:

Final Thoughts:

I think everyone should learn some things about computer science and “computational thinking.” Not everyone is going to use it in depth, but understanding how computers work, what they can and cannot do, and how to solve some problems with a computer are all valuable skills.

It is similar to mathematics — everyone should learn math through at least algebra.

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Raja Muhammad Mustansar Javaid

Writer | network engineer | Traveler | Biker | Polyglot. I’m so deep even the ocean gets jealous