People go on the Internet all the time. They load up websites for things ranging from shopping to sports to other interests. It appears seamless with their typing in the address to the text and graphics then showing up on their screen.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, though, to make it all work. Part of the process includes IP transit.
How Internet Traffic Works
Whether it’s a website, an app, or a database, it all is on a physical server. That information is being copied from there to your laptop, tablet, or phone. An IP address, which is a numeric identifier to open up accessibility to other devices, is required to do this.
This is when two networks connect to each other to share information. They can communicate with each other freely since they have the same routes. People can save connectivity costs this way.
How A Request Is Processed
It begins when a person sends out a request for information that is then sent to a network router. The router looks at its routing table to see what the shortest path is to get that, starting with its own network. If that is not the case, then it uses Border Gateway Protocol to get the best route.
Think of the Transit Provider as a station to allow the requested information to pass through. There are three tiers of IP Transit Providers:
- Tier 1 – These are the biggest ones that have a reach all over the world. Think AT&T and Qwest – there are six of them in all. They form what people consider the backbone of the Internet. While they can talk to each other freely, it will cost the other tiers to access the network.
- Tier 2 – There are many networks here with widespread locations. They can talk to each other so as to avoid paying for Tier 1. Think Amazon and Netflix here.
- Tier 3 – These are mostly small providers that pay for Tier 2 rather than Tier 1 to save money.
What people have to consider is how many times the information has to pass through networks. The more stops that it has, then the longer it will take for the information to reach them.
This is not an overly-nuanced explanation of what an Internet IP Transit Provider is, but hopefully it is enough to give your a basic understanding of what the details are.