IP and DNS: How do computers know where to communicate?

Goal: To describe how computers use a protocol (a standard definition for communication) to talk with one another without losing parts of their conversation.

Time: 45 minutes

Context: TCP-IP is the communication protocol for the internet. It is the enabling structure for vast digital communications; among its many uses, it allows web pages to be remotely loaded, e-mails to be sent (and received), and files to be transferred. However, these mechanisms are not widely understood.

By teaching an overview for how computers communicate and through promoting an understanding of TCP/IP, we raise awareness about one of the most fundamental underpinnings of the ‘Internet’, and increasingly, the ‘Internet of things’.

This first lesson (of two) teaches about how computers communicate with one another by using IP and MAC addresses.


Special thanks to:


Doug Thompson, Microsoft Account Technology Strategist, for volunteering his time to craft these lessons.