Internet vs. Web: What's the Difference?

The web is just one part of the internet

People often use the terms internet and web interchangeably, but these are two different technologies. We looked at both technologies to help you understand the difference between the two.

The World Wide Web, or simply the web, is one part of the internet.

Internet vs Web
Internet
  • A global network of networks and computers.

  • The network infrastructure.

  • Information travels via network protocols.

  • Can access through a variety of ways.

Web
  • A collection of information accessed through the internet.

  • Information travels primarily through HTTP.

  • Uses browsers to access documents and web pages.

  • Navigation to other pages occurs through hyperlinks.

The internet is a global network of billions of servers, computers, and other hardware devices. Each device can connect with any other device as long as both are connected to the internet using a valid IP address. The internet makes the information sharing system known as the web possible.

The web, which is short for World Wide Web, is one of the ways information is shared on the internet (others include email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and instant messaging services). The web is composed of billions of connected digital documents that are viewed in a web browser, such as Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and others.

Think of the internet as a library. Think of the books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, audiobooks, and other media it contains as websites.

Both the internet and the web serve unique purposes but work hand in hand to provide information, entertainment, and other services to the public.

Internet Pros and Cons

Advantages
  • The network infrastructure for global information.

  • Provides data through numerous protocols.

  • Can use several protocols to access.

Disadvantages
  • Some protocols are complicated.

  • Some protocols aren't suitable for the novice.

The internet really is the information superhighway. It passes through various kinds of network traffic including, FTP, IRC, and the World Wide Web. Without it, we wouldn't have our favorite and most common way to access websites.

The internet was born in the 1960s under the name ARPAnet. It was an experiment by the U.S. military to find ways to maintain communications in the case of a nuclear strike. With a decentralized network, communications could be maintained even if parts were taken offline. ARPAnet eventually became a civilian effort, connecting university mainframe computers for academic purposes.

As personal computers became mainstream in the 1980s and 1990s and the internet was opened to commercial interests, it grew exponentially. More and more users plugged their computers into the massive network through dial-up connections, then through faster connections such as ISDN, cable, DSL, and other technologies. Today, the internet has grown into a public spiderweb of interconnected devices and networks.

No single entity owns the internet, and no single government has absolute authority over its operation. Some technical rules, and its hardware and software standards, are agreed upon by invested organizations, groups, businesses, and others. These groups help the internet remain functional and accessible. However, for the most part, the internet is a free and open broadcast medium of networked hardware with no single owner.

Web Pros and Cons

Advantages
  • Easy-to-use graphical interface.

  • Thousands of websites to visit.

  • Streaming videos and cloud storage are vital services of the web.

Disadvantages
  • Must use a web browser to view the web.

  • Many pages are filled with ads.

  • Computers can get infected from a website.

Most consumers are familiar with and comfortable with the World Wide Web. With its easy-to-use interface, it's the best way to get information in a few clicks.

The World Wide Web was born in 1989. Interestingly enough, the web was built by research physicists so that they could share research findings with one another's computers. Today, that idea has evolved into the greatest collection of human knowledge in history.

The credited inventor of the World Wide Web is Tim Berners-Lee.

You have to access the internet to view the World Wide Web and the web pages or other content it contains. The web is the collective name for all the pages, sites, documents, and other media that are served to visitors.

The web consists of digital documents, referred to as web pages, that are viewable through web browser software on devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. These pages contain many types of content, including static content like encyclopedia pages, but also dynamic content like eBay sales, stocks, weather, news, and traffic reports.

A collection of connected web pages that are publicly accessible and under a single domain name is referred to as a website.

Web pages are connected using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the coding language that allows you to visit any public web page. By clicking a hyperlink or entering a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the browser uses this unique address to find and access a web page. Search engines like Google make it easy to filter the billions of web pages now populating the web by locating the articles, videos, and other media you want to find based on your search criteria.

Final Verdict: You Can't Have the Web Without the Internet

Plain and simple, the internet allows access to the World Wide Web. Without it, we have no way of accessing the thousands of websites out there. For most online needs, however, the web is the easiest to use. Each serves an important purpose.