Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Networking, connecting to the internet, wi-fi and home entertainment
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ChrisGreaves
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Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I am curious, is all; I have no immediate need to govern or manage bandwidth.

I have two devices: a smart phone and a laptop. Both access the internet through a WiFi router. Nothing special here, a regular domestic setup.
Suppose I want to watch some sort of video presentation, say a live stream of a SpaceX launch.
I can watch the launch on my small-screen smartphone, or I can watch the launch on my bigger laptop screen. (The 72-inch flat-screen TV has not yet gained entry to my home)

The source of the signal is the same - SpaceX headquarters in the US somewhere; the destination is the same - a company near Newfoundland. The channel must be the same - coax cable that snakes into my house to the router.

I suspect that the smart phone screen has fewer pixel elements than the laptop screen.

Question: Where, exactly, is the data throttled?
I think that the throttling must occur somewhere between the router and the devices screens, because how could the router know that I had invited 100 neighbours over to my living-room to watch the launch? That is, at the point where the signal exits my router, there can be no change in the signal.

Corollary: I think too that if I invited everyone in Bonavista (3,800) over to watch, there would be no need for any change in data from SpaceX to where the coax cable plugs into my router.

(signed) "Curious" of Bonavista.
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HansV
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

Modern high-end smartphones often have a high screen resolution, comparable to a 24 inch monitor or even more.

When you visit a website, your device sends information about itself to the server, so that the site knows whether you're on a Windows PC, Mac, Android phone, etc. It adjusts what it sends back to that.
For example, you may have noticed that Eileen's Lounge looks different on your smartphone than on your laptop.
Best wishes,
Hans

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 11:39
Modern high-end smartphones often have a high screen resolution, comparable to a 24 inch monitor or even more.
Oh. I didn't know that. It does not change the question, though. I had better have rephrased it as "two devices of different resolution"
When you visit a website, your device sends information about itself to the server, so that the site knows whether you're on a Windows PC, Mac, Android phone, etc. It adjusts what it sends back to that.
So if I invite the entire town over to watch Monday-night-football, there could be 3,800 different devices in my living-room demanding customized responses from 3,800 instances of browsers?
(OK, maybe the demands fit into ranges of resolution. One browser needs 1,000,000 pixels per screen, another 1,000,240, but those two requests fall into an available range of 1,000,000 to 1,100,000)
For example, you may have noticed that Eileen's Lounge looks different on your smartphone than on your laptop.
No, I had not. I rarely visit Eileen's Lounge through my smartphone. I do know that my own web pages look awful on the phones, but I supposed that is because I built them for PC screens rather than mobile screens. That is, I wasn't prepared to do the work to offer two versions of the web pages, one for computers, one for phones.

Back to my original ponder: 3,800 devices in my home should, then, develop a measurably higher load on my router; perhaps a ten-fold increase in data coursing FROM the cable and into the air?
There should be no measurable increase in load on the cable that runs up highway 230 into Bonavista, because if the town-folk weren't in MY living-room drinking tea, they would all be in their own homes watching Monday-night football.

Thanks, Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 06 Oct 2022, 18:29, edited 2 times in total.
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HansV
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

If you managed to fit all 3,800 inhabitants of Bonavista (what are they called? Bonavistans? Bonavinstances? Bonavisitors?) into your house, and they turned on their devices too, internet would become intolerably slow, because the connection that goes into your house isn't designed for that, and neither is your router.
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StuartR
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by StuartR »

If you'd like to see some of the information that web sites collect every time you connect then visit https://coveryourtracks.eff.org/ and click TEST YOUR BROWSER
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 12:24
If you managed to fit all 3,800 inhabitants of Bonavista (what are they called? Bonavistans? Bonavinstances? Bonavisitors?) into your house, and they turned on their devices too, internet would become intolerably slow, because the connection that goes into your house isn't designed for that, and neither is your router.
Thanks again, Hans. So Bottom line is that each device establishes a unique and separate channel back to the file server that houses or streams the signals.
If all of Bonavista tuned into "Thursday night with Chris Greaves" from the privacy of their own homes, the Chris Greaves Servers in Texas wouldn't flinch; but if all of Bonavista viewed from 60 Canon Bayley, my router would melt (grin!) and because of the bottleneck, the Chris Greaves servers would probably see a lowered rate of supply - on account of my router bottleneck?
Cheers, Chris
P.S. In answer to your question, "Newfies", but only amongst themselves! C
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 14:29
If you'd like to see some of the information that web sites collect every time you connect then visit https://coveryourtracks.eff.org/ and click TEST YOUR BROWSER
Thank you, Stuart.
Untitled.png
So, :sad: , I am unique, something I have dreamed of being all my life, but as of today I fear :grin:
I suppose that if I switched my time-zone offset, screen size, browser and sundry other features that do not (I think) impact me greatly, I could stop being uniquely me and become instead six or more unique people.
But then, regardless, it is still the 5'6" Chris Greaves being identified, just in six different ways. Make that 6! if I switch 6 characteristics.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

Phew!

S1830.png
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by StuartR »

What fingerprint protection do you use Hans?
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

In Firefox settings, Privacy & Security, Enhanced Tracking Protection has been set to Strict.
And I use the uBlock Origin and NoScript add-ons.
Best wishes,
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 16:55
In Firefox settings, Privacy & Security, Enhanced Tracking Protection has been set to Strict.
And I use the uBlock Origin and NoScript add-ons.
I was too afraid to ask in case that identified me; thanks Stuart!

Hans, based on your response, I have 2 out of your 3 suggestions in place.
If I include the NoScript add-on and (reboot and ) retest my fingerprint, there is a good chance it will match yours, right?
Thanks, Chris
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

You'll have to test it.

(Can you still put your foot in your mouth - physically, I mean :evilgrin:)
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 17:44
You'll have to test it.
Hmmm. I have gone from "unique among 211,674 browsers" to "one in 1784.16". Who is using only 0.16 of their browser?!!???
I noticed too that after the reboot and reload FF, The Eileen's Lounge attachment procedure changed slightly. The "Options/Attachments" now has the Attachments tab disabled which means I can't insert an image inline.
(Can you still put your foot in your mouth - physically, I mean :evilgrin:)
I suppose I could still do that, physically, if I asked Ken to sharpen the axe, but that's not the sort of image we should conjure up in Eileen's Lounge.

FWIW I have had much more mileage out of the metaphorical sense than ever I did when I had nothing better to do.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 18:42
Hmmm. I have gone from "unique among 211,674 browsers" to "one in 1784.16".
Now down to 1769.83.
That's not a lot of improvement for someone speaking English as she is spoke in Trinidad and Tobago, living in the Chokurdakh time zone (UTC+11), and some other distinguishing characteristic which I now forget, but don't ask me, because by the time you read this I will be partway through an uninterruptible System Restore ...
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by Jay Freedman »

HansV wrote:
06 Oct 2022, 12:24
If you managed to fit all 3,800 inhabitants of Bonavista (what are they called? Bonavistans? Bonavinstances? Bonavisitors?) into your house, and they turned on their devices too, internet would become intolerably slow, because the connection that goes into your house isn't designed for that, and neither is your router.
I've been at Microsoft headquarters during an MVP Summit that drew nearly 2500 attendees. I suspect that most of us had at least a smartphone and a laptop, as do most MS employees. The WiFi system almost came to a halt until more routers and repeaters were brought online. At certain times it wasn't possible to get an IP address.

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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by Skitterbug »

Interesting about tracking and so forth for browsers. I went to the link to "coveryourtracks.org" to see how Firefox and Microsoft Edge rated. No surprise about Firefox since it seems to be locked down okay but Microsoft Edge needs help. Any suggestions about what changes in settings can be made?
MicrosoftEdge.png
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by HansV »

Click the three dots in the upper right corner.
Select Settings, then select Privacy, search and services.
Make sure that the Tracking prevention slider is set to On.
Then select Strict.

S1861.png

If you find that a site won't work and you'd still like to use it, you can create an exception for that site.

This setting will turn the first two items from No to Yes.
To prevent fingerprinting (to some extent), you'll need an add-on. See 3 Ways to Stop Browser Fingerprinting in Chrome, Edge, Brave, and Firefox
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Re: Bandwidth - how does the internet work?

Post by Skitterbug »

Thanks for the quick reply Hans - I'll get to work on it. I don't use MS Edge lots but when I do I want to be "safe" or as safe as possible. :)
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