Most Internet users don’t stop and think about how the web works.  They just turn on the computer, fire up a browser, and start surfing all that amazing content.  But if you’ve worked in web development, online marketing, or any tech-related field, you know there’s a lot more that goes into it.

And YouTube is the same way.  Most users get frustrated if a video pauses to buffer and load, simply assuming YouTube is having glitches.  But there are a host of spots along the path all those bits and bytes travel—between the user’s browser request for the video and the actual video playback—that we don’t often stop and think about.  As with most web services, there is a lot going on behind the scenes that users (myself included) often take for granted.

Time Warner Cable decided to help demystify how YouTube works and created this amazing infographic.  Check it out:

Infogrphics are all the rage right now, with good reason.  They present useful and informative content in an animated, easy-to-follow manner.  And this is one of the best I’ve seen.

The next time you have a client that’s having trouble grasping how YouTube actually works, you might consider sharing this with them.  They’re likely to say, as I did, “Wow… I had no idea it was that complicated.”

Here’s the original Time Warner article about the infographic, and you can view and download it in multiple sizes on their Flickr page.