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What is internet and World Wide Web?

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In today's digital age, terms like 'Internet' and 'World Wide Web' (often referred to as 'WWW' or simply 'the Web') are commonly used interchangeably. However, there's a distinctive difference between the two. This article aims to shed light on the true definition of the Internet and how it differs from the World Wide Web.

What is the Internet?

The Internet, short for "Interconnected Network", is a vast global network of computers and servers that communicate with each other using a set of standardized protocols, primarily the Internet Protocol (IP). It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connectivity between computers.

Imagine the Internet as a sprawling city's infrastructure: roads, highways, traffic lights, tunnels, and bridges that allow vehicles to move from one place to another. The vehicles represent data packets, and the roads and pathways signify the connections. Key Points about the Internet:

Massive Network: Connects millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks.

Data Transmission: Allows for the transmission of data through various mediums such as copper wires, fiber-optic cables, satellite links, and wireless connections.

Protocols: Primarily relies on TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) for communication.

What is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web, or simply 'the Web', is a vast system of interlinked hypertext documents and multimedia content that is accessed via the Internet using web browsers. Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 while he was working at CERN.

Think of the Web as the buildings, houses, offices, shops, and entertainment venues in our city analogy. It's where all the activities happen and where the content resides. When you're using a web browser to view websites, you're accessing the World Wide Web. Key Points about the World Wide Web:

Web Browsers: Applications such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge are used to access the Web.

URLs and Domains: Web content is located through URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) that often begin with "http://” or “https://".

Web Servers: Websites are hosted on these, and they serve up web pages upon request.

Hyperlinks: Allow for navigation between web pages.

Languages: The Web relies on languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Differentiating the Two

AspectInternetWorld Wide Web
NatureAn infrastructure of interconnected networks and systems.A vast collection of documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.
ExistencePreceded the WWW. It has been around since the 1960s.Came into existence in 1989 as an application built on top of the Internet.
UsageBeyond just web browsing, it facilitates various services like email (SMTP), file transfers (FTP), online gaming, VOIP calls, etc.Specifically related to websites and web pages accessed through browsers.
ProtocolsRelies on TCP/IP for communication.Utilizes HTTP/HTTPS for accessing web data.

While the Internet and the World Wide Web are closely intertwined, they are distinct entities. The Internet is the foundational infrastructure, while the Web is a high-profile service accessed via the Internet. Understanding the difference helps us appreciate the vast capabilities of the online world and how far technology has come in connecting us globally.