Photo by Sander Weeteling on Unsplash

What happens when you type in your browser and press Enter

Going to a website goes through several steps, starting from typing the URL. When you hit enter after typing in “”, your browser looks up the domain’s IP with its domain name via the DNS (Domain Name System). Once your browser finds the domain name and it’s IP, it sends a HTTP request to the server via TCP/IP. Your browser then should get a HTTP response back from the server, and if it comes back as 200 (if the page loads), then all the data from that webpage you requested should be displayed onto your browser.


  1. Application Layer: This is a standardized data exchange layer. The protocols include HTTP, FTP, POP3, SMTP, and SNMP. It is just a way to exchange data in a uniform way on the internet.
  2. Transport Layer: This layer is for maintaining end-to-end communications across the network. It handles the communication between client and servers.
  3. Network Layer: This layer connects networks and deals with transporting packets. The protocols used here are the IP and ICMP (used for error reporting).
  4. Physical Layer: This layer operates only on a link that connects the host to the network. Protocols used here include Ethernet for local networks and address resolution protocol (ARP).




Web Server:


How does all of this connect? A very simple explanation would be that when you type in “” in your browser: your browser first looks up the domain via TCP/IP then DNS, then sends a HTTP request to that domain’s webserver. The webserver then looks up the requested URL and if is there, it grab the file and send it back as a HTTP response. This response then goes back to your network and onto your browser to display it’s content.


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