Is The Internet The Same As the Web?

The internet and the Web work together to bring you information

Close up of woman's hands using multiple devices
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The Internet is a massive public spiderweb of computer connections. It connects personal computers, mainframes, cell phones, GPS units, music players, soda pop machines, homes, car alarms, and even dog collars. All of these computer connections exist for the sake of free information sharing.

The World Wide Web, or "web" for short, is the very large subset of the internet dedicated to broadcasting a massive collection of HTML pages that people and businesses create and post.

These pages are viewed by using free software called web browsers

Born in 1989, the Web is based on hypertext transfer protocol, the language which allows you and me to "jump" (hyperlink) to any other public web page. There are more than 90 billion public web pages on the Web, and over 300 billion private ('invisible') web pages.

Together, the internet and the web combine to give you the information you need in an easy-to-read way.

More About How The Internet Works

Built with the same freedom-of-messaging motivation as HAM radio of the 1970's, the modern internet is a daily tool for millions of people to trade signals with each other.The internet (or 'Net') is built on a chaotic mishmash of hardware, governed by minimal standards and even fewer rules.

Thousands of different software packages broadcast on the Net, connecting millions of users each day. At one point, the internet was nicknamed "The Information Superhighway", a term which has now become grossly inadequate to describe the sheer magnitude of the internet's reach.

The internet's hardware is vast: it is a chaotic combination of high-speed optic fiber, regular network cables, wireless routers, and satellite connections. No single organization owns the internet's hardware. No single organization governs its use. The Internet truly is a marvel of free broadcasting and amateur publishing.

Anyone can use the Internet. As long as you have a computer, cell phone, or other internet-enabled device, you simply find a free or paid place to connect. Once you are connected (sometimes called 'logged on'), you can broadcast and receive all kinds of signals.

Short Version: Who Invented the Internet?

A computer scientist named Tim Berners-Lee invented the modern-day world wide web but it was really an organization called Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) that developed the concept of packet switching which ultimately led to the creation of TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol). Out of that grew today's internet, an interconnection of computer networks.

The Military Connection To The Internet

The internet is a massive hardware combination of millions of personal, business, and governmental computers, all connected like roads and highways. The Internet started in the 1960's under the original name "ARPAnet". ARPAnet was originally an experiment in how the US military could maintain communications in case of a possible nuclear strike. With time, ARPAnet became a civilian experiment, connecting university mainframe computers for academic purposes.

As personal computers became more mainstream in the 1980's and 1990's, the Internet grew exponentially as more users plugged their computers into the massive network. Today, the Internet has grown into a public spiderweb of millions of personal, government, and commercial computers, all connected by cables and by wireless signals.

No single person owns the internet. No single government has authority over its operations. Some technical rules and hardware/software standards enforce how people plug into the Internet, but for the most part, the Internet is a free and open broadcast medium of hardware networking.