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World Wide Web and The Internet

The Internet

The Internet

The internet is a massive interconnected collection  of WANs and LANs). It is partly mesh and partly hierarchical in its setup. The is no agreed setup for the Internet, it has just grown organically.

The internet is a massive connected network (WAN) made up of smaller WANs and LANs. A the center of the diagram you can see the central backbone of the internet, a mesh of connected routers.

You can edit your own diagram of the internet and networks at

Just choose New Diagram > Network and pick one of the options.

The World Wide Web

The World Wide Web

The WWW is a massive distributed application that is hosted on the Internet. The world wide web is made up primarily of web pages, most importantly these pages contain hyperlinks which direct access to other websites, hosted anywhere on the internet. These links join the pages of the internet and therefore form a web of interlinked pages.

Each web-page on the web can be thought of as a joint and each hyperlink on a page is a strand connecting the page to other pages around the web. Because we don’t have to type in the name of each page every time we go to a new page, we can just click on a hyperlink, we are able to browse the web.

Why was the World Wide Web created?

The Internet was a breakthrough in communication and networking, but it has a number of limitations.

All data was stored on servers and if you wanted to retrieve data or search for information then you needed to connect to a specific server. Each server was separate from other servers and there was no easy way of searching the Internet as a whole. Also the server connections were via a terminal and therefore images and music could not easily be displayed.

Tim Berners-Lee developed a system whereby users could browse servers and move seamlessly from one Internet server to another without have to manually connect and disconnect. He also developed the first web browser that allow web page contents to be displayed.




Network Hardware


The Internet is made up of millions of LANs and WANs, connected together in a semi-mesh format.


Routers are devices that act as nodes in the Internet’s network. They are found in both the backbone of the Internet, as well as in the outlying networks. They are responsible for finding the fastest and most effective route to a destination server.


Gateways are devices that connect networks of different technologies (such as your home network and your ISP’s network). Your home router is usually also the Gateway.


Servers are computers designed with a special purpose in mind ( as opposed to a general purpose desktop computer).

There are different types / functions of servers on the internet:

  • File Server
  • Application Server
  • Web Server
  • Domain Name Server
  • Proxy Server

These roles my be performed by a single machine or multiple machines