Crazy little (little?) thing called… Internet!

That the internet is a very big thing, it’s not breaking news for anyone. But can you imagine or guess how much big it really is?

We have sites coming from all around the planet earth and we can have access to them anytime we want to. And how is it possible?

One thing we do have to keep in mind is that the internet is completely physical. All the data (I am talking about all the information that you can have access when you are using internet) is concentrated in servers that are physical computers used to save all this files. And some people may think “but I use wireless internet” but to create the wifi signal it is necessary a router connected to the internet by cables.  And there are also many cables passing through countries and continents (many of them by the sea).

This way we can start to see how big the internet actually is.

And as an experience to see how things really work, I traced the path data course until the final destination.

I decided to use the site of my university from Brazil, which is

traceroute to Fatec Zona Sul website

The packets pass through Goldsmiths router, after to the UK Academic Joint Network Team, in London.

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After that they go to Switzerland, TeliaSonera International Carrier. To leave London the packets have to pass through a submarine cable, but there are many cables that leave the UK to the rest of Europe, so, it is not possible to find out by which one it is running.

pic3 pic4

The United States of America is the next place where our data goes to. There are some cables that connect that part of Europe and USA like FLAG FA-1, Apollo and TAT-14.

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And then from USA to the final place… BRAZIL. The packets this time pass through the only cable that connects the Usa and Brazil, Sebras-1.

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Sebras - 1

Sebras – 1

This analyse was very important to understand how things actually work, how the data is divided and how it travels to arrive where we really want, once I am not a “simple user”, I am a computing student and a future professional in this area.


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