Difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web

August 5, 2016 by Editorial Team

It’s a common misconception that the Internet and the World Wide Web are two synonymous terms. Although these are different concepts, both are pretty closely tied to each other.


The Internet is a massive interconnection of computer networks on a global scale. It uses what is called the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol suite (or TCP/IP) to connect your laptops, desktops, smartphones, and other devices all over the world.

Any device can communicate with any other device anywhere in the world as long as both are connected to the Internet. It is an almost endless source of information and services where nearly everything in the world is digitally represented in one way or another. Email, online TV, telephone services, and the interconnected web pages and resources called the World Wide Web are some of the many services the Internet can offer to its users.

Over 190 countries are connected to the Internet, and there are at least 3 billion Internet users all over the world – that’s about 40 percent of the world’s population! China has the highest number of Internet users, followed by the U.S. and India.

The Internet is decentralized, which means it is not regulated and there is no central governance. A host, or a computer accessed by other remote computers for data access, is independent; it can choose which Internet service provider to use for whatever online services it wants.

Internet vs World Wide Web

One of the ways to access information on the Internet is via the World Wide Web, or simply the web. The web is considered the primary tool used by billions of people to send, receive, and interact with data over the Internet. It has also served as the driving force that ushered in the Information Age in the 21st century.

At the bare bones level, the web is an enormous collection of text documents along with other web resources linked to URLs created using HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Web pages can also contain videos and images provided by a web browser. A website is a group of web pages sharing a common theme, domain name, or both.

The web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 in Switzerland. He also created the first web browser and used a NeXT computer as the first web server. The very first website contained details of his project and was published on December 20, 1990. The web was officially launched on August 6, 1991, and it was accessed by new users after August 23, now considered “Internaut” (like what an astronaut is to outer space) Day.

Internet vs World Wide Web

What is the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web? The Internet is a colossal interconnection of networked computers made up of millions of public and private networks. The World Wide Web, on the other hand, is an array of text documents and web resources created using various programming languages.

The linked computers in the Internet communicate with each other using the Internet protocol suite. The web uses HTTP and TCP/IP to communicate and transmit data – TCP/IP is actually one of the most basic protocols used in the Internet.

Comparison Chart

InternetWorld Wide Web
A vast interconnection of networked computers and devicesHuge collection of text documents and web resources
UnregulatedSome regulations in place
Uses the Internet protocol suite for communicationsUses TCP/IP to link websites


Here is a short clip highlighting the differences between the Internet and the Web.