Internet or World Wide Web: What's the Difference?

The World Wide Web is turning 25 this week. Here's how it started, and why it's often confused with the internet. (Yes, the internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing.)

Eric Escobar
3-minute read
Episode #234

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while working at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland. It was a way of accessing files that allowed you to click on links to other referenced files; these files were called hypertext files. Today, this seems trivial—that if you click on a link , it would take you to a new place—but back then it was revolutionary.

Today, this seems trivial—that if you click on a link, it would take you to a new place—but back then it was revolutionary.

If you've ever typed www into a browser, that's just an abbreviation for World Wide Web. If you've ever typed HTTP, then that stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. And HTTPS? That's HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Berners-Lee invented the world's first web browser or way of viewing these hypertext files in 1990. Then on August 23, 1991, it was available for the public outside of CERN to use. This is why unofficially, August 23, 2016 is the public web's 25th birthday!

Since then, the World Wide Web has exploded from academia and military use to providing over 1 billion web pages, and over 1 billion active users on the internet at any given time. At this current point in time more than 10 percent of the world’s population is on the internet! This article includes some fun facts and statistics about the birthday of the World Wide Web). 

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Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.