I understand the difference between Internet and WWW, that internet refers to whole network that binds all the machines (servers and clients or hosts) together and differentiates between each of them uniquely by their IP addresses whereas, WWW refers to:

The World Wide Web (WWW) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by URLs, interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet.

But then what else is left that doesn't come under WWW. Everything is accessed via URLs, be it webpages (HTTP), emails (SMTP), files (FTP), etc. and all this comes under web.

So what is it that WWW doesn't consist of?

Also, why do URLs such as https://www.google.com consist of both http (protocol) and www (web)?

  • You're using SMTP via a URL? I think you're confusing hostnames / DNS and URLs.
    – Run CMD
    May 7 '16 at 9:06
  • @ClassStacker can you please elaborate :D . May 7 '16 at 9:08
  • I can't say about the things I don't know cos Everything I know is from www and is in www
    – clhy
    May 7 '16 at 9:12
  • the definition you have for WWW is rubbish. Web is when the URL is http:// so excludes email and ftp or a vnc server or ssh
    – barlop
    May 7 '16 at 9:12
  • @barlop lol the definition is from Wikipedia :p . So if my URL is ftp:// then it's not web ? May 7 '16 at 9:14

With the evolution of the internet, the terms have become a little muddied.

When we think of "the web", we generally mean anything that can be accessed and consumed by a web browser. That isn't to say that is the only means for accessing it - look at Twitter and Facebook. A web browser might not even be the best way to access these services. But as the comments point out, you can access FTP via a browser and some browsers let you IRC and other traditionally non-web protocols.

And consider services a like WhatsApp - which originated as non browser services, but browser access was added later. The service is the same, but the means to access it alters over time.

So we might drop to protocol, and say "http" bases services are part of the web. But many aren't. http is such a ubiquitous protocol that I wouldn't be surprised if there are more non-web users of http than users of it.

Even SMTP might get encapsulated inside an HTTP service for a portion of its journey - it certainly doesn't become "web" at that point.

To clarify one point in the question - the use of www in a DNS name is meaning less. It conveys nothing about the service on the IP address it resolves to and is not a standard of any kind. It is just tradition to use it for websites, but there is nothing to stop it being used as a ftp, message, smtp or any other service.

So my answer is there is no hard and fast rule to describe what is the web part of the internet and what is everything else. Internet based services might be accessible via traditional web protocols using traditional tools, and they might not, and they might change over time. It is just the internet now and internet services are exposed via various and multiple protocols and access methods.

  • So basically what is HTTP protocol ? A set of rules that allows to me communicate with a server so that on my request it can send me back a valid html document. If this is the case then how do images, videos and other multimedia gets transmitted. How is html related to HTTP ? May 7 '16 at 9:41
  • http is a transfer protocol, so it's role is in having the endpoints agree a method of getting data from one place to another. It has a series of commands: GET, PUT, POST etc, and various request and response parameters. Beyond that, it doesn't much care what is transmitted - it can be binary.
    – Paul
    May 7 '16 at 13:18
  • HTML on the other hand is a document language. A way of adding semantics to words: "this is a header" "this is a paragraph" "this is a link" etc. HTML does not care how it gets from one place to another.
    – Paul
    May 7 '16 at 13:20
  • So the two are unrelated, except that they happen to be what websites use for transfer (http) and documents (html) most of the time.
    – Paul
    May 7 '16 at 13:22
  • you write "encapsulated inside an HTTP service" <-- encapsulation is a technical term related to protocols e.g. http encapsulated in another protocol.. better avoided if you don't mean to use it in its technical sense, which i'm pretty sure you don't here
    – barlop
    May 7 '16 at 19:53

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