Internet is a short form of the technical term internetwork,[1] the result of interconnecting computer networks with special gateways or routers. The Internet is also often referred to as the Net.

The term the Internet, when referring to the entire global system of IP networks, has been treated as a proper noun and written with an initial capital letter. In the media and popular culture, a trend has also developed to regard it as a generic term or common noun and thus write it as "the internet", without capitalization. Some guides specify that the word should be capitalized as a noun but not capitalized as an adjective.[2][3]

The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used in everyday speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same. The Internet establishes a global data communications system between computers. In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.[4] In addition to the Web, the Internet also powers a multitude of other services, including (among others) email, file transfer, newsgroups, and online games. On the flip side, Web services can exist apart from the internet, such as on a private intranet.


  1. "Internet, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Draft ed.). March 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2010. "Shortened < INTERNETWORK n., perhaps influenced by similar words in -net" 
  2. "internet or Internet", Word Reference Forum, 6 October 2005
  3. "7.76 Terms like 'web' and 'Internet'", Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago, 16th edition
  4. "Links". HTML 4.01 Specification. World Wide Web Consortium (HTML 4.01 Specification). Retrieved on 13 August 2008. "[T]he link (or hyperlink, or Web link) [is] the basic hypertext construct. A link is a connection from one Web resource to another. Although a simple concept, the link has been one of the primary forces driving the success of the Web."