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The Internet is a network connecting thousands of computers. Each network on the Internet has a unique address, and the computer systems making up a network have an address based on the network’s address (IP). Networks on the Internet agree to communicate by the Internet Protocol (IP). Basically, this means that they speak the same language. The networks on the Internet use hardware or a device called a router to communicate with other networks. Information is broken into data packets and each packet contains the address of the destination and the address of the sender. The data packets are passed from one network to another until they all arrive and are reassembled into a message. As a packet is passed from one network to another network, a device called a router decides whether to accept a packet or pass it on to another router. Once it’s accepted within a network, it’s the network’s job to get it to a specific computer.
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