Can the whole internet be turned off and on?
I was thinking what if the internet just randomly broke down and took 6 weeks to fix how much impact that would have on the world but then came to thinking is there even a mains to the whole internet or is there individual servers which we connect to through our internet providers,
- 8 months agoFavorite Answer
The Internet isn't something that can be shut down. No one particular company, organization, or country/entity owns the Internet. The Infrastructure is highly redundant so even if parts of the network go down, the data is routed to other places.
Countries have been known to cut off Internet access to their citizens, but they can't essentially "shut off" the entire Internet.
- ∅Lv 78 months ago
"the internet" is not a thing, but a concept.
it is an interconnected network of computers.
not just ISPs, but IXPs (of which there are hundreds of thousands) would ALL have to be shut down, which would pretty much take a worldwide EMP to accomplish.
- Markus ImhofLv 78 months ago
Since you already honored a "best answer" (thank you), this is pretty much pointless, but still - it isn't that easy or clear cut.
"The internet" relies on a number of root servers and services. If you could disable those (through technical or legal means), you would, for all practical purposes, switch off the internet. And exactly because they are vulnerable, there are multiple instances of these root servers, which usually also run on multiple physical machines in different parts of the world simultaneously.
In addition, there are a handful of choke points (a.k.a. internet exchange nodes) where inter-country and inter-continental (physical) networks are coupled to continental/local networks. Switch off the one that connects your country, and you basically have disabled access to any servers outside of your country.
Now, since all of the protocols and documentation are publicly available, nobody and nothing can stop anyone from setting up their own root service technically. Politically/legally is a different matter.