In some ways, the internet actually is a series of tubes. Some cell phone and internet companies might like you to think that your mobile internet connection is truly wireless — but in reality, your data is largely still just shooting through wires that criss-cross the Earth.
When you send a photo to a relative, write an email to a friend, or upload a video to Snapchat, your data travels huge distances in just seconds, largely because of a giant network of internet infrastructure that helps the world share its information.
Want to know more about how your favorite app or website makes it to the cell phone in your pocket? TIME explains in the video above.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Alison Roman Won't Sugarcoat It
- If Donald Trump Is Indicted, Here's What Would Happen Next in the Process
- The World's Greatest Places of 2023
- Exclusive: Effective Altruist Leaders Were Repeatedly Warned About Sam Bankman-Fried Years Before FTX Collapsed
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now
- Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's Surprising Second Act
- Gaslighting, Narcissist, and More Psychology Terms You're Misusing
- In This Texas County, There's No Such Thing as Moving on From COVID-19
- In Defense of Nora Ephron's Unfairly Panned Heartburn Movie
- Want Today's Top Headlines in Your Inbox? Sign Up for The Brief