What is the Internet & the Web? | Internet vs Web

What is the Internet & the Web? | Internet vs Web

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The terms Internet and Web are often used interchangeably but they are not same. Although exchanging these two terms do not make that much difference in the meaning, you should know the exact difference between them.

What is the Internet?

The Internet (Interconnected Network) is referred to as “a globally connected network of system or computer that uses standardised computer protocols such as TCP(Transmission Control Protocol) / IP(Internet Protocol) to link the communicating devices worldwide.”

In simple terms, the internet is a collection of millions of computers that can communicate with each other as long as they are inter-connected.

The medium used for the connection can be wired (Ethernet), wireless (WiFi) or fibre-optic technology.

Internet Services

Internet is the most cost-effective means of communication. It provides other services such as:

  • Email
  • Chat
  • Financial services
  • Social Networking
  • Instant Messaging
  • Online gaming
  • Live audio and video streaming
  • Online shopping
  • VoIP
  • WWW

How did the Internet start?

The first attempt was made to build the computer network for communication back in the 1960s known as ARPANET, initiated by the federal government of the United States. Its primary purpose was to serve as a backbone for interconnection for regional and military networks in the 1980s. As time progressed, the old system was replaced with new networks operated by commercial internet service providers.

What is WWW (World Wide Web)?

The Web is defined in W3C’s Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume I as follows: “The World Wide Web (WWW, or simply Web) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI).”

The World Wide Web, commonly known as the Web, is an information system which includes websites, web pages and documents that are identified by Uniform Resource Locators(URLs) and accessible by using a web browser.

In short, the resources of the World Wide Web are accessible over the internet through a web browser.

How the Web was invented?

The World Wide Web was invented by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. Later he developed the first web browser at CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. However it was released to other research institutes starting from January 1991 and then to the general public in August 1991.

Functioning of the Web

The web uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol(HTTP) to transmit data and share information. The web pages are one of the web resources that are formatted in a language known as HTML(Hypertext Markup Language). This formatting allows hyperlinking to navigate to other web pages.

The web runs on top of the Internet and functions as an application layer protocol.

Internet vs Web Comparison

A globally connected network of system. An information space which includes web resources.
Uses TCP/IP protocol to link the communicating devices. Uses HTTP protocol to transfer data and share information.
The medium used for connection can be wired, wireless or fibre-optic. Web resources identified by URL’s and accessible by a web browser.
Invented by US federal government in the1960s which was called ARPANET back then. Invented by English scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 at CERN laboratory.
Functions as an Internet Layer protocol in TCP/IP model. Functions as an Application layer protocol in TCP/IP model.

For more information about the difference between the internet and the web, you can refer to this page.


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