The internet and World Wide Web

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Web Science[1]

The internet[edit]

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing.[2]

There are many different Network Protocols used on the internet. A small sample can be seen below:


Please click here for more examples of network protocols. You need to understand (and the whole point of this page) is to burn into your brains the world wide web is only a small part of the internet. It happens to be the most visible part of what we might call the internet. But there's a lot more.

The world wide web[edit]

The World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or the Web) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser computer program in 1990 while employed at CERN in Switzerland. The Web browser was released outside of CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public on the Internet in August 1991.[3]

So the web is only one part of the internet. It happens to be a highly visible part of the internet, though.

Web pages are primarily text documents formatted and annotated with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). In addition to formatted text, web pages may contain images, video, audio, and software components that are rendered in the user's web browser as coherent pages of multimedia content. Embedded hyperlinks permit users to navigate between web pages. Multiple web pages with a common theme, a common domain name, or both, make up a website. Website content can largely be provided by the publisher, or interactive where users contribute content or the content depends upon the user or their actions. Websites may be mostly informative, primarily for entertainment, or largely for commercial, governmental, or non-governmental organizational purposes. [4]

What is the difference between the internet and the www[edit]

The Internet, linking your computer to other computers around the world, is a way of transporting content. The Web is (a protocol) that lets you use that content…or contribute your own. The Web, running on the mostly invisible Internet, is what you see and click on in your computer’s browser.

The Internet’s roots are in the U.S. during the late 1960s. The Web was invented 20 years later by an Englishman working in Switzerland—though it had many predecessors.

To keep things “interesting,” many people use the term Internet to refer to both.[5]

Do you understand this?[edit]

A friend tells you they are going to on the internet. They then spend 4 hours looking at pictures of kittens and puppies using a web browser. You pause, not wanting to be "that person" who must correct them. However you can't help yourself. Explain to your friend the differences between the world-wide-web and the internet.


These standards are used from the IB Computer Science Subject Guide[6]

  • Distinguish between the internet and World Wide Web (web).


  6. IB Diploma Programme Computer science guide (first examinations 2014). Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom: International Baccalaureate Organization. January 2012.