Saturday, June 15, 2024

What happens when you type in your browser and press Enter

Programming LanguageWhat happens when you type in your browser and press Enter

Have you ever wondered what happens when you type in “” on your browser? Why does the Google website appear on your browser instead of another website?
There is this wonderful thing that happens in the web universe. Let’s take a walk.

John needs to research his coursework and then decides to check Google on the topic. He enters “” on his Chrome browser, like all processes there is the first step. The first step is the DNS Requests.


There is something called an IP address. This is a unique dot-separated number combination that identifies a device connected to a computer network. IP addresses are boring to memorize and that is where the DNS comes in. Just like your phonebook stores phone numbers with a name to identify the numbers. Also, DNS stores IP addresses with hostnames ( to identify the addresses. Therefore, the DNS is the phonebook of the internet. Hence, the DNS gets the hostname and searches for the IP address that is attached to it.

The IP address has been identified, what next? No, you didn’t guess it, the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) comes next.


These guys are responsible for the transmission of data from the server the IP address identifies with to John’s computer. The TCP ensures that there is a reliable connection with John’s computer and that the data are delivered in order. On the other hand, the IP ensures that the data is routed to the right destination (John’s computer).

That’s all, right? No! what if the data is malicious? We have a new guy called the Firewall.


This guy loves his job, he is the security who scrutinizes the data that has been transferred into the computer and makes sure that they are safe based on predetermined security rules (He doesn’t smile).

This must be it, well not yet. We take security serious
here and we don’t want anyone minding John’s business, so we got the perfect guys for the job, HTTPS/SSL.


These guys (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure/Secure Sockets Layer) make sure the connection between John’s computer and the Google server is secure. It encrypts the data transferred between John and the Google server.

That is all about John, but let me tell you about what happened in the Google server when John made that request. Google has a lot of users, therefore, one server for all its users will be catastrophic. So to ensure optimum service Google makes use of a lot of servers. To ensure all servers are receiving the right amount of requests we employed a manager called the Load Balancer, this guy is terrific.


This guy ensures the distribution of network traffic across all the servers so they don’t overwork and crash. Yeah yeah, it balances the load (I know you thought about it).

But what do these servers do actually? Sip more coffee and relax.


These guys interpreted John’s requests. They knew what action to carry out based on the HTTP request John sent, and communicated with the application server to process the request.

Yeah, I mentioned the application server, just relax this story will end.

Google is an application and all the contents John saw were processed by this guy. He processed the request and sent the response John asked for.

Yeah, that must be all, well one thing left, it is the database. (Just one more cup of coffee)


This guy is Google’s recordkeeper, to show John what he asked for, the application had to ask the database for these records.

Finally, the response is sent to John, and he can view the Google web page.

Now, I have come to the end of my story, I hope you enjoyed it but most importantly you now know what happens when you request that web page.


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