They’re so intertwined with each other in our daily lives, it’s easy to think they’re the exact same thing, however, there are major differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web.
The Internet, a Network of Networks
The first difference is that the Internet is a hardware infrastructure, that means a gigantic network made up of billions of connected hardware such as computers, mobile phones and even satellites and all kinds of other devices. A network of networks.
Connected via cables and wireless signals this massive network was born in the 1960s as a military experiment in the U.S., trying to find a way to maintain communications in the case of a nuclear strike.
As time passed, academics got a hold of it and started using it to connect university mainframe computers. In the 80s and 90s, as personal computers became mainstream, more and more users plugged their devices into this massive network and it hasn’t stopped growing since.
Internet therefore is decentralized. No single entity owns it, no government or authority controls it.
The World Wide Web, a.k.a. The Information on the Internet
In order to access the World Wide Web you’ll need to log into the Internet, given that the web is simply the information-sharing portion of it, the name we give to all of the HTML pages we can find on the Internet.
The web consists of billions of digital pages viewable through a web browser – Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Safari… – all of them connected using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP, a coding language which allows us to access any public web site by clicking on a link or typing a URL, the unique address for each page on the internet.
Through the World Wide Web people everywhere in the world are able to access and share all sorts of information.
One cannot work to its full potential without the other, and although the web is one of the ways information can be disseminated over the internet, it is only a portion of it, meaning they are neither synonymous nor something to be confused. Now, can you tell the difference between them?