Without web servers, there wouldn't be an Internet. Do you know how web servers work to get you online? Take this quiz and find out.
The letters URL stand for uniform resource locator. A URL is like an address and represents a specific Internet resource.
The core of the Internet is the backbone, a system of fiber-optic lines, cables, satellite links and Internet service providers that connect the various networks on the Internet together.
Web servers locate specific Web pages with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are written out as a series of numbers.
The four numbers in an IP address are called octets because they can have values from 0 to 255. The number of possible values is therefore 2 to the 8th power.
Unix users can type in ifconfig and the name of the machine at the command prompt to see their current IP address. A Windows XP user would need to use the IPCONFIG.EXE command.
We can thank domain name servers (DNS) for making it possible to type in an address like www.howstuffworks.com instead of a long series of numbers.
The three parts include the host name, the domain name, and the top-level domain name (.com or .org, for example).
Server machines use numbered ports for each of their services. For example, a server machine running a Web server and an FTP server will use different port numbers for each service.
Web servers use encryption to keep sensitive information secure. To decode encrypted information, a machine must have the proper encryption key.
A machine asking for information from a server is a client. Machines can act as both clients and servers, depending on what action they're performing at the time.