The Web and the Internet: any difference?

The popularity of websites has led to many people using the World Wide Web (or the web) interchangeably with the word “Internet”. They are not synonymous; this article differentiates the two terms.


Computer Network is a collection of computers and other devices which are connected together for the purpose of communication and sharing of resources.

The Internet is a kind of computer network but it is a huge and a global one, as it connects millions of computers and other devices together, allowing them to communicate. It is important to note that the Internet has no central server that coordinates these connections.

The Web on the other hand, is a collection of documents (web pages with texts, links to images, audio or video) which are built on the Internet and allow users to interact with the documents as if they were all on a single computer. The web pages are commonly accessed via applications called browsers and are linked to each other via what is known as hyperlinks to form websites.

The computers on the Internet communicate using what is known as protocols (rules), for example the protocol used by web is HTTP while the protocol used by email is SMTP and so on.

As we can see, the web is just a portion of the Internet; built on the Internet just as the e-mail but the web is perhaps the most prominent and widely used part.

So from now on, stop saying “Internet” when what you really mean is the “Web”.

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