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The "Understanding the Internet" Lesson is part of the full, Full Stack for Front-End Engineers, v2 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jem defines the internet as a series of globally and publically interconnected devices, and defines the intranet, which is a private internet.

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Transcript from the "Understanding the Internet" Lesson

>> Jem Young: How does the Internet work? Someone take a stab at it, not Sam. Anybody else? Throw out an answer. This is one of my favorite interview questions. I don't ask it that often, but it's one of those, what do you understand? Where's your knowledge lies, at the front end, is it the back end, is it networking, is it somewhere?

[00:00:23] If you're an engineer, your understanding lies somewhere. Unless you're like, I don't know, a self-driving car engineer or a bridge building engineer, okay, there's lots of different types of engineer. But if you're a software engineer that works on the web, which is most software engineers, you should know at least some part of this.

[00:00:41] So how does the Internet work? Anybody? Just throw out anything. There are no wrong answers. We're all learning here today.
>> Speaker 2: A bunch of computers talking to each other.
>> Jem Young: Good enough for me. Yeah, it's a bunch of computers talking to each other. So how does the Internet work, though?

[00:00:55] That's kinda what the Internet is.
>> Speaker 2: Lots of requests and responses, right?
>> Jem Young: Yeah, yeah.
>> Jem Young: Yeah, lots of requests and responses, that's good for me, too.
>> Speaker 3: I just know there's files and packets of files get passed across different, I don't know.
>> Jem Young: Yeah, sometimes it's files, packets, computers.

[00:01:21] I think a lot of what we think of the Internet is we think of web browsers, and we think of, I don't know, maybe streaming movies or something like that. Mostly what people interact with the Internet is the World Wide Web, that's the www dot something. We all know that, but I guarantee my future son will not know what www stands for.

[00:01:42] It's just that when you type in, but that's the World Wide Web, that's just a part of the Internet. There's still FTP, there's things that run over the Internet, so there's things like a BitTorrent or movie streaming. There's lots of other examples, but most people, yes, Mark.
>> Speaker 4: Andrew Online says it's a series of tubes.

>> Speaker 3: [LAUGH]
>> Jem Young: That was the answer I was actually looking for. They would be hired in a second. It is a series of tubes. But like every site, it's a series of requests and responses by different devices just talking to each other. So I use the simplest definition I could think of, and I didn't look this up, even though I could have.

[00:02:21] I just said it's a series of globally interconnected devices. And I'll say it's a series of publicly interconnected devices. That's the Internet, that's the thing we all know, it's the thing we're using right now. Thing that is running through and streaming to you at home, you in the classroom.

[00:02:38] That's a little different from the intranet. The intranet is like the Internet, but it's private. How many people use a VPN, a Virtual Private Network, for work? Yeah, most companies do. It's one of the best practices. So if you're on a VPN, you're on an intranet. Which is just a private Internet of different servers talking to each other, but it's inaccessible from the outside.

[00:02:58] Why is that important? At some point, you may hear the term intranets, you may hear the term WAN wide area network, pretty similar. Local area network would be Internet just for this classroom. So if I had a server running, actually there are server's running over there, there's a server running over there, and it was only accessible.

[00:03:16] That would be a local area network, that is not accessible from the outside.