Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

This is How Your Internet Browser Works

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

An interesting representation of how things appear in your browser.

These days it seems almost like magic that you can type in "tomshardware.com" into your browser and it'll bring you here. It's almost as if your internet browser knows that typing those words will direct it one of our servers that'll serve you the page that you're reading right now.

In terms of operation, it's exceedingly simple, but the technical details of how it all comes together is actually quite involved.

A comic strip by Vlad Gerasimov explains how the internet works, or at least how your browser fetches you the pages that you want to see.

Check out more of Gerasimov's work at Vladstudio.

Display 33 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    ikefu , November 10, 2010 11:18 AM
    So all these browser wars and speed test races we see are actually just a bunch of guys bragging about who has the faster walking polka-dots?

    I knew it!
  • 28 Hide
    lassik , November 10, 2010 11:17 AM
    My browser needs more owls... :'( 
  • 19 Hide
    icepick314 , November 10, 2010 11:31 AM
    I don't see series of tubes...

    FAKE!!!!!!!!!!
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    lassik , November 10, 2010 11:17 AM
    My browser needs more owls... :'( 
  • 30 Hide
    ikefu , November 10, 2010 11:18 AM
    So all these browser wars and speed test races we see are actually just a bunch of guys bragging about who has the faster walking polka-dots?

    I knew it!
  • 4 Hide
    gorillateets , November 10, 2010 11:20 AM
    The browser forget to insert the rest of the URL...
  • 5 Hide
    karthik_11 , November 10, 2010 11:24 AM
    It seems simple but heck there is a lot of code involved
  • 19 Hide
    icepick314 , November 10, 2010 11:31 AM
    I don't see series of tubes...

    FAKE!!!!!!!!!!
  • -8 Hide
    Anonymous , November 10, 2010 11:33 AM
    I dont ge it lolz... ohhh.. from right to left..
  • 2 Hide
    nukemaster , November 10, 2010 11:39 AM
    A very simplified version of packets getting where they have to go and back.

    icepick314I don't see series of tubes...FAKE!!!!!!!!!!

    You act like the internet is not a big truck....and that we can't dump something on it.
  • 10 Hide
    cookoy , November 10, 2010 12:07 PM
    really interesting. now show me how an ATM works and how i get the money.
  • 16 Hide
    jedi940 , November 10, 2010 12:10 PM
    Clever. I like it. Although its probably only funny to those of us that understand what actually goes on. The average user probably still won't get it.
  • 2 Hide
    Bolbi , November 10, 2010 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    These days it seems almost like magic that you can type in "tomshardware.com" into your browser and it'll bring you here.

    Thanks to Google Browse by Name, I don't even have to add ".com". :) 
    Great job, Vlad!
  • 0 Hide
    emjayy , November 10, 2010 1:02 PM
    LOL! That's pretty good.

    I guess if the browser was accessing the Internet using broadband, it would have to be illustrated as driving a car (instead of running around on foot -> dial up)? And maybe VPN could be represented in the cartoon as a limo service with security escort :-)

    And the 'tech savvy' user would be the one telling the browser
    "Bring me Google.com...but talk to this DNS server first (hands browser OpenDNS config settings), 'cause the ISP's default DNS server is a really slow bird!".

  • 4 Hide
    joebob2000 , November 10, 2010 1:48 PM
    The firewall should be facing the other way (i know, pedantry at it's finest, i'm sorry!) The traffic outbound is subject to little to no scrutiny except in the most complicated and strict corporate firewalls. It's the return trip that the traffic must pass muster, the firewall should have said "take this passport, you will need it later" and then when the browser dot thing gets back, he hands it back to the firewall to gain access to the king.
  • 5 Hide
    DXRick , November 10, 2010 2:19 PM
    Dang. I expected for there to be internet babes in there.
  • 3 Hide
    annubiz , November 10, 2010 2:30 PM
    @joebob2000

    If you're not using least access principle for outbound access you're doing it wrong in any environment. You may decide that http/https traffic outbound is acceptable to anywhere but you're still using the principle of least authorized access for both outbound and inbound.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , November 10, 2010 2:44 PM
    :lol: 

    I like
  • -1 Hide
    rantoc , November 10, 2010 2:46 PM
    Jedi940Clever. I like it. Although its probably only funny to those of us that understand what actually goes on. The average user probably still won't get it.[/citation]

    Judging how stupidified the information was i figured it was for mac users and then looking up in the menu of the site confirmed it, Steve's hardware does another clever marketing one
  • 0 Hide
    alyoshka , November 10, 2010 3:07 PM
    Nice way to explain to the really blonde.....
    Even she'll not find it difficult to understand, but, for all you know, she might be looking for the owls the next time to see how they get in and out of her rig....
    Cool portrayal though.....
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , November 10, 2010 3:56 PM
    Kinda funny, but Its actually a lot more complicated than that cartoon.

    joebob2000The firewall should be facing the other way (i know, pedantry at it's finest, i'm sorry!) The traffic outbound is subject to little to no scrutiny except in the most complicated and strict corporate firewalls. It's the return trip that the traffic must pass muster, the firewall should have said "take this passport, you will need it later" and then when the browser dot thing gets back, he hands it back to the firewall to gain access to the king.

    Actually, firewalls do work both ways. Even Windows firewall prompts you for a program to be allowed outbound access.
  • 8 Hide
    phosun3000 , November 10, 2010 4:32 PM
    If this was an IE browser, it would be taking a break every few steps, drinking a beer under the tree, and sometimes won't even come back at all.
  • 0 Hide
    zerapio , November 10, 2010 4:48 PM
    ikefuSo all these browser wars and speed test races we see are actually just a bunch of guys bragging about who has the faster walking polka-dots?I knew it!

    Actually, browser wars are waged on step 1 (client side java applets, AJAX) and 8 (where the rendering, layering, etc, of the page happens).
Display more comments