The Difference Between the Internet and World Wide Web

The Difference Between the Internet and World Wide Web
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Many people use the terms Internet and World Wide Web (aka. the Web) interchangeably, but in fact the two terms are not synonymous. The Internet and the Web are two separate but related things.

What is The Internet?

The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. Information that travels over the Internet does so via a variety of languages known as protocols.

What is The Web (World Wide Web)?

Web IconThe World Wide Web, or simply Web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol, only one of the languages spoken over the Internet, to transmit data. Web services, which use HTTP to allow applications to communicate in order to exchange business logic, use the the Web to share information. The Web also utilizes browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to access Web documents called Web pages that are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain graphics, sounds, text and video.

Difference between internet and www

Here is Vsauce. He is explaining the difference between the Internet and the www in the following video:

Internet vs. World Wide Web

The following table lists the major differences between the two terms.

Comparison chart of Internet and WWW
1. Internet originated sometimes in late 1960s. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989
2. Nature of Internet is hardware. Nature of www is software.
3. Internet consists of computers, routers, cables, bridges, servers, cellular towers, satellites etc. www consists of information like text, images, audio, video
4. The first version of the Internet was known as ARPANET In the beginning WWW was known as NSFNET
5. Internet works on the basis of Internet Protocol (IP) WWW works on the basis of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
6. Internet is independent of WWW WWW requires the Internet to exist
7. Internet is superset of WWW WWW is a subset of the Internet. Apart from supporting www, the Internet’s hardware infrastructure is used for other things as well (e.g. FTP, SMTP)
8. Computing devices are identified by IP Addresses Information pieces are identified by Uniform Resource Locator (URL)


For more details see The History of the Internet and The History of the World Wide Web.

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