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Jessica Deveney1,059 Points
I am using a mobile hotspot to connect to the internet. I am not sure how this fits into my data transmission picture!
I am curious whether my data has to travel through my phone before it is sent off to an ISP... or is my phone simply generating wifi and allowing my computer to directly communicate with an ISP? As I send data off, is it traveling as wifi all the way to an ISP, or is there some sort of receiver closer to my home that is connected to an ISP with cables?
Wesley Trayer13,812 Points
Your last idea was right. There is a receiver close to your home that sends the information back through cables to the ISP! It's a cellphone tower.
The data travels from your computer to the phone via wifi. Your phone then sends that data to a cell tower. Depending on how the cell site is set up, it may send that information using fiber, or copper, back to your cell phone provider's (Verizon/AT&T) switch or it is transmitted via microwave to another cell-tower which has a fiber backhaul to the switch. From there it is sent to the ISP's servers, which could be the same as your cell phone provider. The response information is then sent back along the same route.
Does this answer your question?