First assumption before reading this article is you (readers) already have experience of connecting to internet, either by checking email, browsing website, transfer file, and many other things. In the previous article, you know that we can build a network using devices like router and switches. with network computers can communicate to each other through a media. internet actually, is just a collection of network where computer can access each other. This article will talk about how internet works.
so how internet looks like?
When you connect several computers using a switch, its already a network. and when want to connect other networks like you then you need routers. this process is keep going and going, network getting bigger and bigger, and that is called internet. so definition of internet is very simple, just a collection of networks, connected by routers. see picture on the left.
Technically, when you access a server in the internet (e.g. google), signal from your device (laptop, phone, etc) will be forwarded to your local router. the router receive the signal and forward again to other routers in the internet, this processes keep going and going until it reaches the destination. the replied signal follows the same process, keep jumping through routers and return back to your device.
Who invent internet?
well, internet is not like manufactured items like home appliance, food, or chemicals. internet was invented as a project from department of defence (DOD) USA which was looking for a new technology for communication. initially only military and universities participate in this research.
Later on, government and private sectors participated in funding and then the technology (standard / protocol) was open for public. this means everybody can build their own machine based on the standard/protocol above, and then they can communicate to each other.
how internet designed in the beginning?
Since the beginning, internet is designed based on trust. Because we trust other party, then we build a physical connection to them for communication.
The best feature of the internet is to enable host to connect each other, and to make it happen, there should be an addressing system where each host should use a unique address in the internet. and to make sure everyone uses correct IP address, the internet community setup an organisation that administer IP address allocations (IANA)
What is IXP (internet exchange point)?
Internet is run by community that consist of many organisations that connect to each others. In order to make interconnection easier, those organisations agree to setup a location as exchange point where the traffic is in and out. this location is called IXP (Internet eXchange Point) or some people say NAP (Network Access Point).
There are many IXPs in the world usually build in every major city where internet user is high. with IXP, local traffic stays local, no need to be forwarded overseas. Application performance is better, more and more applications will be hosted locally, which result improving the local’s economy.
So, with that concept, actually we dont have to pay fee to connect to the internet?
Correct. as long as you connect to the IXP then its free.
Are there any location of IXP in Indonesia?
Sure, the oldest IXP in indonesia is called IIX (indonesia internet exchange), located in cyber building, jakarta. Second IXP is called OpenIXP (Open Internet Exchange), located in IDC Durentiga, Jakarta.
By the time goes, more and more IXPs were built to accommodate internet users. some examples: Medan-IX, Jabar-IX, Makassar-IX, etc
OK, why do i have to pay for the internet?
Because you live far from the IXP. therefore you need somebody/organisation that provides connectivity to IXP. These organisations build physical network that could reach IXP and your place. And because of that invesment, they will charge you for internet connection.
Indonesia is one of a lucky country because in the beginning of internet era (1990s) the internet communities were aware about the importance of having IXP in the country, keeping local traffic stays locally.
Without IXP, the internet price will be higher as big ISPs are very tempted to do monopoly on internet access. The more connection (peering) in IXP, means many alternatives to connect, and hence make the internet access price lower.
OK thats all for for now, thank you for reading.