Course Details


Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes

 with  Mung Chiang
You pick up your iPhone while waiting in line at a coffee shop. You google a not-so-famous actor, get linked to a Wikipedia entry listing his recent movies and popular YouTube clips of several of them. You check out user reviews on Amazon and pick one, download that movie on BitTorrent or stream that in Netflix. But suddenly the WiFi logo on your phone is gone and you're on 3G. Video quality starts to degrade, but you don't know if it's the server getting crowded or the Internet is congested somewhere. In any case, it costs you $10 per Gigabyte, and you decide to stop watching the movie, and instead multitask between sending tweets and calling your friend on Skype, while songs stream from iCloud to your phone. You're happy with the call quality, but get a little irritated when you see there're no new followers on Twitter. You may wonder how they all kind of work, and why sometimes they don't. Take a look at the list of 20 questions below. Each question is selected not just for its relevance to our daily lives, but also for the core concepts in the field of networking illustrated by its answers. This course is about formulating and answering some of these 20 questions.


  1. What makes CDMA work for my smartphone?
  2. How does Google rank webpages?
  3. How does Netflix recommend movies?
  4. Why do AT&T and Verizon Wireless charge me $10 a GB?
  5. How does traffic get through the Internet?
  6. Why doesn't the Internet collapse under congestion?
  7. Why is WiFi faster at home than at a hotspot?
1 Student
Pace Finished
Institution Princeton University
Provider Coursera
Language English
Hours 3-5 hours/week
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3 years ago
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Anonymous completed this course.
dropped this course, the topic sounded exciting but at some point I lost focus...
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