The advent of the internet has changed the way human beings operate in this world. This technology has literally taken over the world and is being applied in more and more aspects of day-to-day life. However, there is a common misconception about the internet and the ‘Web’ – with many people using them interchangeably.
It should be noted that technologically, they are two different things. The internet was developed in the 1960s and is an enormous interconnected global network of billions of computers, servers and hardware devices. Any computer or internet-enabled device can connect to another computer anywhere in the world via this internet while using a valid IP address.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, the internet was made available to the public, from where it grew exponentially, year on year. More and more people were hooking onto the internet using the earlier dial-up connection system followed by faster technologies that included ADSL, cables and fiber optics. As of now, the internet has become a giant spider-web of uncountable interconnected networks. The interesting thing is that no entity owns the internet. However, there are some technical rules regarding hardware and software standards that need to be followed by all invested organizations that use the internet.
The Web or World Wide Web (www) was invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and represents the largest bank of information known to mankind. It covers almost any topic under the sun. You can view this information as web pages but will need to connect to the internet first through a web browser. Some commonly used web browsers including Chrome, Microsoft Edge (Internet Explorer), Firefox, Safari, etc.
The Web can also be said to be any information on your browser that begins with ‘http’ or ‘https’. Or you could say that any information or pages available on your browser is part of the Web. In the real sense, the internet is needed to deliver the content that you see on your browser; this makes the Web a subset of the internet. You could also say that the internet is the infrastructure while the Web is a service availed from this infrastructure. And if you want to really bring out the differences between the Web and the internet, then think of the internet as a bookshop and the Web as the collection of books present in this shop!
So, to put it simply, if you want to access Web information on the World Wide Web, you will first need an internet connection.