Is the Internet nothing but a globally scattered interconnected routers, and that the connections between them could be via any of Leased Line, X.25, Frame Relay, ATM, MPLS, or Ethernet?

  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Dec 17, 2020 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


An internet (lower-case "i") is a network of networks. The Internet (upper-case "I") is the largest internet (network of networks). The networks comprising the Internet connect to each other by agreement of the network owners (companies) using BGP as the routing protocol. IP stands for Internet Protocol.

Layer 3 of the OSI model (IP) is the lowest layer that the Internet cares about. That means that any layer-1 or layer-2 protocols (PPP, ethernet, token-ring, FDDI, ARCNET, ATM, frame relay, HDLC, etc.) may be used on or between (or required, depending on the contractual arrangement between companies) any of the individual networks.

Each company (ISPs included) can directly connect to any other company with which it contracts, and the companies can change to which other companies they connect. In one sense, the Internet is simply a large collection of connection contracts.


... nothing but ...

No, definitely not.

Of course, the Internet is held together by routers, but those routers require a global numbering plan (like unambiguous public addresses), agreed-upon protocols (like DNS, SMTP, HTTP) and procedures to exchange information about each others' networks (like BGP), and some more "glue" (like centralized root DNS servers). All of those together make up the Internet.

  • Actually I mean the Internet physical infrastructure. I already know about protocols. What is not very clear to me is the actual setup of the facilities that make up the Internet.
    – Noob_Guy
    Mar 8, 2020 at 14:37
  • As Ron has pointed out, the Internet consists of the networks of the various ISPs and other companies that are peering which each other. Setups can vary extremely. Roughly, the Internet is physically held together by routers and links between them.
    – Zac67
    Mar 8, 2020 at 15:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.