Understanding Network Connectivity
(or better said, How the internet connects us)
Have you ever had an issue connecting to one website, when you can connect to others with no problem? Perhaps your own website is unavailable to you, while other see it just fine. Chances are you are dealing with a network connectivity issue. And as frustrating as that can be at times, ISPs, network connections and service interruptions along the way (or at the destination itself) are all a part of the internet itself. Hard to understand how that all works?
Less technical: Think of the internet like a city bus system.
You want to get downtown and live in a west side suburb. I want to get downtown and live in an east side suburb. For both of us, there is a bus route to get us there.
For you to get downtown, you have to take your car to the local bus stop. From there, you catch the #3 bus, connect with the #8 bus and finally grab a seat on the #14 bus to arrive at the downtown station. That’s a total of 4 stops.
For me to get downtown, I have to drive to my local bus stop, catch the #5 bus, connect with the #10 bus, take a short ride on the #12 bus and finally arrive at the downtown station on the #17 bus. For me, a total of 5 stops.
For other people, they will catch a variety of different buses along the way to arrive at the same destination, all depending on where they are starting from.
If your car or any of the buses along the way break down, you can not arrive at the downtown station. You may be able to get off the bus and grab a coffee at the local coffee shop, but you are not going to arrive downtown until all of the buses in the network are up and running. However, I may still be able to get downtown if all of my buses are working just fine. Now, if the downtown bus station is shut down, then neither of us will get there.
So it all depends on the network that connects our routes.
In this example, your car is your local Internet Service Provider, the buses are other connections along the internet and the downtown station is the website you want to visit. The coffee shop would be all the other websites you can visit, even if you can’t get to the one you want.
Sometimes a path on the internet will break, and when that happens, it can cause you to not get where you want to go. Thankfully, the internet has a lot of connections, and when one goes down, others will become open, rerouting you like a GPS navigation system. Sometimes it happens without you even noticing… but sometimes, it can take a little time to reroute.
Of course, this doesn’t explain all issues with the internet. But when it comes to an internet connectivity issue, this is basically how it all works.
Hope that helps bring a little more understanding to this technical part of the web!