We live in an age where just about everybody uses the Internet, but very few actually understand how or why it works. Sure, most people understand how to open a browser and navigate to a website of their choice, but how the information actually travels from where it’s stored to a particular personal computer is a mystery. If you’re trying to educate yourself about how the Internet works, a great place to start is with hosting. Services like Hivelocity hosting play an important role in making the Internet work.
The first part of hosting is storage. Each host server must have a hard drive where websites and other types of documents are stored. When you type in the URL (the web address) of a particular website, the information makes its way from the host hard drive to your own computer.
Along with storage, a server also controls access to content. A server is not much different than your own computer, except that it is fine tuned to receive and handle requests. When you type in a URL, you are actually sending a GET request to a server. In response, the server sends your computer all of the data needed to display the website.
The other major difference between a regular computer and a server is the form. Personal computers are designed to sit on or beneath a desk, and to be attached to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor at all times. A server, on the other hand, is usually designed as a standalone device and in a way that makes it easy to stack and store along with many other servers in a server room or closet.
The Big Picture
The Internet can be said to have three parts: a sender, a receiver, and a method of carrying data between the two. A typical Internet browsing session starts with the typing of a URL on your personal computer, and that computer becomes the sender. That URL is translated into an IP address; similar to a house address, your IP address helps with locating and navigating to your destination. After being redirected through several relays, your message should finally arrive at the host server, the receiver. If that request is accepted, the server then becomes the sender as it relays back the data you need to view the website. There are many more details about this process, but you should now have a general idea of how the Internet works and how Hivelocity hosting is an integral part it.