The title says what this post is basically about. We use internet for many purposes and all we need is a computer, an internet service provider and a browser. Since the internet is such an important aspect of the routine, it is worth understanding or at-least visualizing how the data moves across the devices. I have included a series of graphics that will show you how data moves about in the web. There are various scenarios titled under various sections. I have also tried to make the images as visually appealing as possible. If you feel that some of the concepts are wrong or need some polishing, please do not hesitate to drop a comment in the comment section below so that appropriate changes can be made.
Please note that I am not trying to show the intricate details of the data transmission and the aim of the post is to look at things in a Bird’s Eye perspective which means that we will visualize the things in the larger scale without being too technical.
You can click images for their High-Res versions .
1. Client – Server Communication
This is a very simple type of communication and this consists if a Client (User) who has the need to access the data from another computer located either near or far from his/her location. To be able to do this, the client needs an internet connection which is given by a service provider. The information or the request for the access is carried to the concerned server several other mediators and it finally reaches the server. The server responds to the request and then sends a message to the client either accepting the request or rejecting it. This can be seen in the following series of diagrams. Please notice that there is a increase in the number of requests and the responses along the series.
a. Client – Server Communication with One Client
Please note the the server is not a single port but a series of ports. The communication with the sever is usually done by a random port depending on the availability. Also the data goes out through the service provider through a random available port. For this reason, path of each communication will be unique. The images below show the same point regarding randomness .
Important Note: The lines show the passage of data but not the connecting wires.
Data’s Path: Client → ISP’s Random Port → Server’s Random Port → Server → Server’s Random Port → ISP’s Random Port → Client
b. Client – Server Communication with Many Clients
In this case, there are several computers communicating with various other computers through a computer network that consists of one server only. The path of the communication in this case is as follows.
Data’s Path: User-A → ISP’s Random Port → Server’s Random Port → Server → Server’s Random Port → ISP’s Random Port → User-B → ISP’s Random Port → Server’s Random Port → Server → Server’s Random Port → ISP’s Random Port → User-A
2. Communication from Client to Client without an ISP (Star Network)
In this case, the clients communicate with each other through a central server that is connected to all of them. This means that this is a star type network. The path of the communication is as follows.
Data’s Path: User-A → Server’s Random Port → Server → Server’s Random Port→ User-B
Both the images represent a single communication but drawn in different color shades.
3. Fully Connected Network
In this type of network, each computer(device) is connected to every other in the network. It is not a very efficient method because using wires to connect all the computers is not very economical but efficient when the connections are wireless.
Data’s Path: Client-A → Client-B
4. Fully Connected (Version 2 With Many Computers)
Data’s Path: Client-A → Client-B
End of the Post