Dear Grandma!

I wrote this webpage for you, so you can learn how the web and the internet works!

This is you with your ipad:

The address for webpages are called URL. the URL for my webpage is

If you type in the URL into your webbrowser, you can see my page. But how does this work? I'll explain it to you.

The First Step: Find the Domain Name in the URL

You type in the url into your Webbrowser

Your webbrowser looks at the url and picks out this part:

this is called the domain name. you can think of it like the name of a town, like "london" or "salzburg", "bordeaux".

The Second Step: Look up the IP Address

The Name is nice for people to remember, but it cannot actually be used by the computer that run the internet. So the next step is to look up the IP Address That goes with this name.

The answer is: the IP Address of is

You can think of the IP Address as something like the post code of a town, like 33000 (for bordeaux) or 5020 (for salzburg) - There is a directory where you can look up domain names and ip-addresses, it's called the domain name system or DNS for short.

Intresting fact: Your computer also has an ip-address.

Third Step: Send a Request

Your webbrowser sends out one "packet" across the internet. it's a bit like a postcard, with the IP-Address as the address, and a request "please give me the webpage such-and-such" as the message on the card.

Fourth Step: Transmission

the packet ("postcard") travels across the internet, from one computer to the next, across copper cables and fiber optic cables and maybe a sattelite

Fifth step: The Webserver replies

Finally the postcard reaches the right computer - after about 200 milliseconds. In that compter there's a software called "the webserver".

it sends a reponse with the actual page (with all the html-codes I wrote in it) back on a return postcard:

side note: if the page is too big for one packet, there might several packets.

Sixth Step: Transmission

The packet(s) travel across the internet .... (but you know all that already.

Seventh Step: Displaying the WEbpage

The webpage arrives on your computer after about 400 milliseconds in total. The webbrowser now displays it.

Seventh Step: Reaction

You are very impressed by my cleverness, and touched that I did all that just for you, and decide to .....


This page was written by Dave+Brigitte and dedicated to grandma