How the internet works: Understanding networks.

For this week’s assignment, I performed a traceroute on three sites I visit regularly from all the places I regularly connect to the internet. A traceroute is a computer network diagnostic tool that displays the route that packets take across an IP network. The route is recorded as the packets are received from each successive host (remote node).

To start, I examined the route the packets take to get the servers that host bit.ly, a website that is popular for generating short urls. I had noticed a few years ago that .ly is the internet country code domain for Libya, which seemed unusual to me. When I investigated further, I read this article that lays out the implications of adopting a domain name that’s associated with a country with an authoritarian or unstable government.

I traced the packets’ route, which revealed that the packets jumped from U.S. servers to a Swiss server in Zurich, and back to the U.S. See the journey here: