The Internet and the Web

1. The Internet:
In simplest terms, the Internet is a global network comprised of smaller networks that are interconnected using standardized communication protocols. The Internet standards describe a framework known as the Internet protocol suite. This model divides methods into a layered system of protocols.

These layers are as follows:

  1. Application layer (highest) – concerned with the data(URL, type, etc.). This is where HTTP, HTTPS, etc., comes in.
  2. Transport layer – responsible for end-to-end communication over a network.
  3. Network layer – provides data route.

The Internet provides a variety of information and communication facilities; contains forums, databases, email, hypertext, etc. It consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies.

2. The World Wide Web:
The Web is a subset of the Internet. It’s a system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML, or “HyperText Markup Language”, which supports a number of features including links and multimedia. These documents are interlinked using hypertext links and are accessible via the Internet.

To link hypertext to the Internet, we need:

  1. The markup language, i.e., HTML.
  2. The transfer protocol, e.g., HTTP.
  3. Uniform Resource Locator (URL), the address of the resource.

We access the Web using Web browsers.

Difference between Web and Internet:

Internet Web
The Internet is the library, and the Web a collection of books. The Internet also consists of databases, email, forums, etc. The Web is a subset of the Internet. The Web is a large portion of the Internet, but it isn’t all of it.
The Internet is a network — a way of transporting content. The Web is what lets us use that content. The Web is ideally a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. The Web is a collection of Internet servers that can host HTML formatted documents. A collection of pages of information connected to each other around the globe. Each page can be a combination of text and multimedia.

URI stands for ‘Uniform Resource Identifier’ — it’s like an address providing a unique global identifier to a resource on the Web. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the most commonly used form of a URI.

A URL consists mainly of two parts:

  1. The protocol used in transfer, e.g., HTTP.
  2. The domain name.

Who governs the Internet?
The Internet is not governed and has no single authority figure. The ultimate authority for where the Internet is going rests with the Internet Society, or ISOC.
ISOC is a voluntary membership organization whose purpose is to promote global information exchange through Internet technology.

  • ISOC appoints the IAB- Internet Architecture Board. They meet regularly to review standards and allocate resources, like addresses.
  • IETF- Internet Engineering Task Force. Another volunteer organization that meets regularly to discuss operational and technical problems.

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