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How-To Geek

What Happens When You Load a Web Page? [Video]

When you type in a URL and the web page loads, everything seems so simple. Peel back the layers, however, and you see a complex delivery system built around data packets. Watch this informative video to see how your web requests actually work.

Courtesy of The World Science Festival, we find this well put together video demonstrating how a trans-Atlantic web page request works.

[via Boing Boing]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/7/12

Comments (19)

  1. owen123

    Good Job its not controlled by Royal Mail, it’ll never get there :P

  2. Sam

    Awesome explanation to make a complex process understandable. Thanks.

  3. Bjarnovikus

    Really good video :)

  4. Ashok Kumar Verma

    thanx for complete and detailed graphical explanaion.

  5. bobro

    was nice if not a little simple i thought it was going to go a bit deeper into it.. but still good

  6. mpho

    I have to save this for all those idiots that dont know ….what internet is

  7. Priya

    Nice explanation thank you so much

  8. Ringman

    Unfortunately my country hang the cables on the pole. When It’s rain the packet stopped and slowly sending.

    Also the bandwidth for international was very limited, Imagine about a lot of cars trying to enter the narrow road to destination city.

    True story.

  9. Cissy Brazil

    Excellent! Thank you!

  10. Dave

    I liked the animations. :-)

  11. Bob

    I am amazed at how much crap has to load on a page.

    For instance this site has:
    twitter.com
    doubleclick.net
    scorecardresearch.com
    quantserve.com
    crwdcntrl.net
    ytimg.com

    By blocking some of these, the page scrolls much smoother.

  12. webdev

    Nicely done although a little too much simplified. For example the detailed domain name to ip lookup is missing.

  13. Frank

    when I first learned about routers I was like wow – so complicated, it sends packets all over the place – then I later learned that there’s typically one superhighway (undersea optical fibre cable) taken by as he says ‘most’ of the traffic, and most other routes are so much slower that you’d get ‘time out’ if they were taken.

    So the practical reality of most routers routing tables would be – main route working? OK – continue …

  14. Louie2114

    A very nice review of my networking course. (applause! applause!)

  15. Giorgio

    So why can’t I watch this video with those crazy circles interrupting it? did someone miss the buss? (double entendre intended)

  16. Sam

    What’s ironic is I kept getting a “server not found” error the first three times I loaded this page.

  17. Pusalieth

    This is way to overly simplified, this is what you would tell your 8 year old how the internet works, not a grown person. Get smarter world, or get humbler and realize you will never understand. Proof that its overly simplified, a hacker can manipulate networks, packets, and computers to do what they wish because they know exactly how it all works, so if your not a hacker, you don’t know what your doing. If you have no idea what I just said and meant, its because I overly simplified it, and those that understand what I said, already knew it. There in lies the proof that oversimplification does nothing but keep the dump….. dump.

  18. r

    The reality is that most people could care less about tech terminology & function. They just want “things” to work for them. That’s fine with me. I have my job & they have theirs. Keep it simple.

  19. mahesh

    It is good video to watch and to know what the internet is but it should be some more illustrative.

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