What’s the diff between the WWW and the Internet?

I was filling out a little form about my teaching ideas and I wanted to say something about teaching and the world wide web. Or, did I want to say the Internet? I didn’t want to make a mistake so I started to ask around because I remember hearing a few years back  that there was a difference.

Who else would you ask if you had such a question? Why, my Twitter PLN of course! I asked and the first comment that I received was this one: WWW is almost like the main street in the neighborhood. The Web is a PART of the Internet. I thought about that for a minute and then I received another answer: the WWW is a part of the Internet, which includes all interconnected data communications like e-mail, VOIP, chat, WWW, etc.

By now I was getting direct messages from other Twitterers to please post the answer because apparently I was not the only one who was confused about the difference.  I responded that I would post in my blog when I figured it all out.

The next reply was this: www is a subset of the Internet. Internet also contains e.g. email, usenet (aka newsgroups), etc.

All the while my husband is trying to explain this to me and he is getting quite discouraged at what is such a simple concept to him!

The next comment was this: U could name a directory whtever u want. Notice how Yahoo has groups.yahoo.com &mail.yahoo.com.

The final response that was twittered to me was one from my friend XOFR: Internet is the hardware network, began as the original ARPAnet.  WWW is the web page info (since 1991) that sits on the internet.

I also found a graphic while trying to create my own so that I could figure this out for myself:


Graphic: http://netforbeginners.about.com/cs/technoglossary/f/Faq1.htm

This is the first question that is asked on the web page:

Question: Are “Internet” and “World Wide Web” the same thing?

Answer: No, they are not the same thing. The Internet is to the World Wide Web as Europe is to France. One is the container, the other is an item within the container.

The final statement that I found on this website was this:

Contrary to popular misconception, the Internet and the Web are NOT the same. The Internet is the large infrastructure that CONTAINS the World Wide Web, along with many other protocol subnetworks.

Another point of note: it used to be said that “internet” had to be capitalized but apparently this has changed. And here I have been so careful to always capitalize it!

Hope this helps someone else with the same question!


1 Comment

  1. Another great Twitter response:
    I tell my kids, it’s the driveway(Internet) to the garage(WWW). The Internet is the connection to the info on the Web.

    The Internet is the connection, networks, servers, etc. The WWW is the actual pages of information

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