Skip to main content

This is How Your Internet Browser Works

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • lassik
    My browser needs more owls... :'(
    Reply
  • ikefu
    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!
    Reply
  • gorillateets
    The browser forget to insert the rest of the URL...
    Reply
  • karthik_11
    It seems simple but heck there is a lot of code involved
    Reply
  • icepick314
    I don't see series of tubes...

    FAKE!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • I dont ge it lolz... ohhh.. from right to left..
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    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.
    Reply
  • cookoy
    really interesting. now show me how an ATM works and how i get the money.
    Reply
  • jedi940
    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.
    Reply
  • Bolbi
    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!
    Reply