It is becoming increasingly common for the terms internet and the web, WWW to be mixed up. But it’s like saying Great Britain is in England. In this article, we are here to sort out the terminology and their differences.
The Internet and Word Wide Web are not the same thing. It’s not even synonymous.
However, mixing the concepts together has become commonplace. Saying that you should go online or check the web can mean the same thing. But sometimes it can be misinterpreted and sound wrong.
Of course, the concepts can be mixed up in most contexts and no one will care. But if you talk about history or technical things and want to be correct, then you should know the difference.
So what is the internet?
A well-established definition is that the internet is a global network that consists of networks. The common language of the network is TCP / IP.
The Internet is not a thing or a singular. There is no center or anything that represents the internet. There is no single laboratory that has built the internet. Internet is an abbreviation for internetworking or “interconnection of computer networks” which is a term still used among network engineers.
The first global networks began to appear in the 1950s. One such historical network was ARPANET, an American university project largely funded by the military and launched in 1969.
The term internet began to be established in the mid-1970s and then described a network of computers that talked to each other.
However, there are those who claim that the term was used already during the Victorian era when networked telegraphs slammed as the industrial revolution spread.
Anyone who goes online in 2012 can refer to everything from checking email, accessing browsers, using an app on a smart phone to being connected to a torrent client.
When the internet and the World Wide Web are mixed up, for example, calendar synchronization or error reporting of programs that go via the internet but not via the web or any web browser is omitted.
Something that is not internet is intranet. There are different types of such geographically limited networks. These can be networks for an entire country, such as in North Korea, or even more limited local area networks, LANs, which can be found in schools or workplaces, for example.
The World Wide Web, also known as the Web or WWW is seen as a program that uses the Internet. The software in browsers, which enables the web, is based on a link system abbreviated http, hypertext transfer protocol.
If the internet is the ocean, then the world wide web is a massive fleet of ships and submarines that take people through the ocean.
The web has been around since 1989 when Tim Berners Lee and others at CERN launched the world’s first web page that was linked by hyperlinks.
At the time, Usenet and FTP were an equivalent option. Today, these Internet tools are mostly used to manage large files.
Without the web, however, the internet would still exist. But then the internet would mostly look like a home screen on an Iphone with individual apps for each purpose.
So on the web you will find everything that you can see through a web browser. But for example Outlook, apps for smartphones, FTP servers and Usenet do not go via the web.
Simply put, the web illustrates information available on the internet.