What’s the difference between the Web and the Internet? 

The terms are often used interchangeably, and sometimes amusingly mashed together as The Interweb. But they are distinct, though complementary, things. The Internet is the basic infrastructure that transfers any data (email, Skype calls, web pages, instant messages, streaming video etc.) across the globe. The Web uses the Internet to deliver rich content: web pages with laid out text, pictures, video clips and even games.

While the Internet transfers the content, the Web is responsible for formatting it, determining when and where to deliver it, how to display it and how users can interact with and navigate it. In short, the Web and your web browser ensure that data from the Internet appears as your Facebook page, Google search results, YouTube clip or Tweet on your screen.

A good way to think about the difference between the Internet and Web is like the telephone system and the fax. The Internet is like the telephone system, it’s job it to transfer raw data. The Web is more like the fax, it defines how to format and display more sophisticated content, much like how fax machines scan documents, images and forms, transfer them using the phone and then print them on the other side. Disclaimer: Analogy strictly for people who remember the ’80s 😉 

This post comes from my mate Ben, who happens to have been one of the lead engineers on Amazon Cloud! Thanks Ben.