According to Techterms, the Internet is a global wide area network that connects computer systems across the world.True indeed, but what really is the internet? What constitutes it, can we see it and so many other questions.
The internet is many computers, devices, etc (i.e the advent of the IOT) connected together, sharing Data and information for several purposes.
The Internet is made up of Cables, yes Cables, connected round the world which helps everyone be able to connect to this large network and also benefit and contribute to this Data and Information Sharing Process.
Users around the world, through wired/wireless connections share information and access information from several servers via many Internet Protocols, cell towers, cables connected under ocean and underground, Satellites, and little invisible radio waves which travel fast around us everyday with speeds our brains can't comprehend.
A person can be connected or provided with access into this network via cellular data from service providers (ISP), WIFI, WAP's, Cell Towers, and cables.
An example of how the internet works, our phones. How you are reading this Dev.to post.
Your phone via your service providers (ISP) and your web browsers send requests to DNS servers (Domain Name System) which provides the IP address of the servers that host the Dev.to website/web app and also the specific IP address of the Dev.to web app/ website. Then from the web servers your Browser connected via your ISP's sends HTTP get requests to those servers to retrieve information (the post you are reading now)
In the process of retrieving the information from the server to your device, it establishes a secure connection which encrypts the information it sends back to your device. (Check out SSL, TSL)
You could be miles away from these servers, but how does this happen? bits are being transmitted along Cables(fiber optic or copper) and Cell towers as light and radio waves, and the various devices;servers or phones decode the signals to machine usable and readable information(0s and 1s) which is now transferred into readable and interactable form; pictures, text and videos.
And this all happen in nano seconds, very very minute seconds, data can travel from one end of the globe to another in split seconds, that very much explains how you send texts, stream videos, and read a Dev.to post.
That's really a nutshell of how the internet works, as simple as that, communication in signals happen around the world. And on this simple basic network as a lot of infrastructure and life changing innovations are being born and put into play.
And yes, you can see the internet! the fibre optic cables connecting continents together;