How Can The Internet Travel So Fast, And How Does It Work?

The internet is a vast global network that connects billions of electronic devices and computers all around the world. You can get nearly any information, has the access to communication with anyone from anywhere across the globe, and do so much more with the Internet. The internet began with the United States’ government’s ARPANET computer network which was initially launched in the 1960s.

The National Science Foundation of the United States authorized the creation of NSFNET, the backbone for the university networks in 1985. It was made accessible to scientists, librarians, and professors. By 1995, this system phased out in the favor of new networks run by the Internet Service Providers (ISP). Around this period, the internet was made more widely available to the general public.

The World Wide Web has propelled the internet’s phenomenal expansion. It makes the multimedia content available at just a click of the mouse. Hundreds and thousands of LANs (Local area networks) are connected to the internet nowadays via a WAN (Wide Area Network). The private establishments have heavily funded the development of the Internet and have brought to us what it is today.

Presently well-reputed cable companies provide quality internet services bundled along with cable TV, and there are also separate cable TV plans like Spectrum Silver Package for instance, where you can always find your favorite channel lineups at more affordable costs.

How does the Internet Work?

For something that is now an everyday part of our lives, it is about time that we ask how does it work. It surely is mind-boggling when you think about how the internet work and how does the data transfer from one end to the other. However, there is nothing too complex in the working process of the internet. Data is referred to as ‘packets’. These are important as they contain every information needed, such as the request and the destination point.

Data Packets

A data packet, or to be more precise, a network packet is a collection of numerous components. These components are required for you to be able to have access to browse the internet. To visit a website you must first transmit packets to the web server, and then the server sends those data packets back to you. The aforementioned components that they hold are;

  1. IP Addresses:

IP addresses are your source and destination address. It routes your data.

  • Length:

Each packet has a length so that the receiver is aware as to if there is only one or there are more to come. It could be that one packet is not enough, depending on what it contains.

  • Hop-Count:

A hop count refers to its life’s time. It is the maximum number of hops it can make from one network to the other and every time it passes through a network node, the number decreases.

  • Payload:

The actual data and information present in the packet are called the payload.


The data packet locates its destination location via an IP address. Routing is employed for the packet to know where to go. The routers intend to find the fastest route for each packet. These packets are essentially transmitted through the cables from the routers and out into the internet once the signals from any device are received.

All the areas are most likely to be connected to the grid. Since the packets have the addresses to their destination, there are signs that point towards them. These signs are called DNS; Domain Name Servers. These DNS point to another server that is closer to the point of destination. All of this happens at a speed almost relative to light.

How does it travel so fast?

Sometimes it is crazy to think how the internet travels so fast, and everything is at your disposal with just a blink of an eye and just a click of the mouse away. As more advancements are made, the more ways we get to make these data packets travel at a fast pace.

A data packet travels at around 200,000 Kilometers per second through a fiber optic cable. Just to give a sense of how rapid that is, the Earth’s radius is just around 40,000 Kilometers. Crazy. That means that a packet can travel five times around the world in just one second.

The very reason why the internet travels so fast is that the signals are transmitted wirelessly utilizing different forms of electromagnetic energy transmissions, which propagate very quickly.


Internet is no longer just a domain for scientists. It has now become a commodity in every household. Not everyone may care about how the data travels and is sent and received as long as it gets delivered at a swift speed with an affordable connection. However, even today engineers continue to think imaginatively to transport more data at faster speeds and to cover every point of the globe.