What is the Web?

An introduction to the basic structure of the Internet and how your web application fits into it.

The web, simply put, is a network spread across the globe that connects a multitude of devices and allows them to communicate with one another. Websites on the Internet are hosted on devices referred to as servers, and when you’re interacting with a webpage on the Internet, what you’re essentially doing is exchanging data with the server that the website is hosted on. The device that you’re accessing the webpage using is referred to as the client in the context of the web. In short, the web enables the exchange of data between clients and servers through several elaborate mechanisms.

Network layers

Since the web is an immensely intricate and widespread network, machines within the network are typically divided into abstract layers, each of which performs a specific task that aids in the overall communication process. The layers are enumerated below:

  1. Application Layer
  2. Transport Layer
  3. Network Layer
  4. Data Link Layer
  5. Physical Layer

Each layer is built on top of the previous layer and has protocols that implement specific functionalities that are involved in the data exchange process.

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