The difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web


I recently made a post linking in an article I wrote about the SAFE project and how promising it is. I also made a big mistake in referring to the SAFE network as the new Internet, it’s much more a new version of the World Wide Web, a browser on top of the Internet’s network infrastructure. I want others that may be in the same boat as myself to be aware of this, so I thought I would put my hand-up on this one (raised sharply off the mouse), in the hope that others will learn from my boo-boo.

Well, this could actually be the next big thing, as in the Internet 2.0.

I educated myself by reading the link below, which provided a succinct difference between the two. I am not technically aware in this area, so it might have felt like someone scraping a blackboard to the tech savvy on here, please forgive my ignorance.

The Internet is the WWW to the everyday person, so evidently that’s the category I fall under. We pay and talk about the Internet as if it is the WWW, “have you paid the Internet bill yet” - “did you read that on the Internet” - “buy it on the Internet”, and so on, you catch my drift.

So, I hope this reaches someone down the line who has the chance to save a wee bit (picking up the lingo) of embarrassment.



You may be overdoing the embarrassment here. I see SAFE as more new internet than new web.

The web is a particular set of protocols. To start http(s) but some others related to DNS also make it happen. Email has it’s own protocols so is different, though often accessed using the web just to confuse matters. So firstly, there is no clear point of distinction.

Secondly, SAFE goes way beyond what I would call the web. It is an entirely new set of protocols that re-implements things that are definitely not the web. So while it sits atop TCP/IP type stuff which is definitely ‘internet’, SAFE also implements things that are not really what you would call web, before we get to the part of SAFE which is much more web like.

I think it is fine to call it a new decentralised internet, and more accurate IMO than calling SAFE a decentralised web. I would say the DAT project is much closer to that, while SAFE does a lot more, including enabling you to create new non-web protocols on top of SAFE decentralised services (the internet layer).


Wow! That’s definitely enlightened me @happybeing and as I stated earlier, I fall short on the technical side, but I am learning as you’re sharing the wealth of knowledge. Everything will become clearer the more I study the project and I like the term. Thanks for your help. :smiley:


Not quite that either.

So what some call the internet is the infrastructure (wires/routers/etc), but that is not right either.

Repeating what @happybeing said the internet is made up of a number of systems with their own protocols and the Web is just one of them. Yes you can access email (gateway) on the web, but email is not part of the web. Nor is NNTP, NTP etc

SAFE has its own protocols and could provide replacements for most of the other systems except for a few like NTP at this time (pun intended)

But since a significant number view the WEB as the Internet then your mistake is understandable and unlikely to cause ripples in people who are not Internet literate but only WEB literate.


The plot thickens, thanks Neo. :smile:

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Hello. I have a very basic question that I’m having trouble understanding. I would really appreciate any input from members of this forum.

So far, what I’ve gathered from reading about SAFE network concept is that it is an autonomous network that is run using computing power from all of the devices connected to it. The fundamental principle being that each of us owns the data that we contribute.

Also, that it does NOT use blockchain technology, which is basically a public ledger. This is considered more appropriate for centralized entities, such as governments and banks, in order to promote complete transparency and provide an immutable record of transactions.

These two things distinguish the SAFE project from other popular cryptocurrencies out there.

My question is who actually owns the infrastructure(data lines, satellites, etc.) that the data will be transmitted over? If we are relying on big corporations or wealthy interests to provide an infrastructure for our network, that defeats the purpose of decentralization, doesn’t it?

  1. You can make it very difficult for these big corporations (or e.g. the Chinese government) to block only the unwanted traffic. If they block too much traffic, they will hurt themselves.
  2. Long term, there can be switched (partly) to Mesh networks.

So, in the short-term, as long as the powers controlling the infrastructure are relying on it to facilitate their own agenda the incentive exists for them to continue to invest capital in maintaining it? In which case, decentralized and private networks can sort of piggyback onto that infrastructure. Is that correct?

As a completely non-technical person, I don’t understand Mesh networks.


ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny
or in other words, form vs. function, i.e. structure determines potential nefarious business models for unethical intermediaries…or limits those models.
รูปแบบการเชื่อมต่อเครือข่าย (Network Topologies)


According to recapitulation theory, how does the development of the internet in an advanced form pass through stages represented by mature networks in more primitive forms?

Does the info graphic mean that the current network topology of the internet is Star?

at different points, there are different architectures. I lean more towards the non-technical, but I think what you say is accurate: the current internet is the one where middlemen sit in the middle and F the rest of us 100 different ways. The star topology would be fitting.

The basic infrastructure for routing packets is not being replaced by SAFE. The servers and data centres are the things that will be somewhat reduced/replaced by SAFE when it grows large.

For the ISPs and other networking companies they will simply continue to route packets. Theirs is a service to provide connectivity between the various computers of the world. Basically a commercial enterprise and if they make it difficult for us to use their service people will move to an ISP that works. Just like in the past 25-30 years these companies have had to change to suit the customer and often they have resisted this, but commercial pressure has forced them to change. For instance if people had not demanded faster connection speeds then we would all still be using dial up modems paying for each MB of data and each phone call.


@neo, the following leaves me in the dark a bit, can you help and comment on this?

Came across this article in German, starts with a question:

Vom Netz der Netze zur Content Delivery Plattform - ist das Internet noch zu retten?

Das Netz von Netzen wird abgelöst von einer Content-Service-Plattform. Das Internet wird fundamental umgebaut, die Netze konsolidiert und zu privaten Content-Zuspielnetzen. Ist das schlimm?

German has “zu retten” for “to save”, “schlimm” meaning “bad”. The cause of concern:

78 Prozent des Transatlantik-Datenverkehrs rauscht heute über Kabel von Content-Providern.

Points to a chart:

Used International Bandwidth by Source, 2002-2016


Where it says:

The amount of capacity deployed by content providers has outpaced all other customers of international bandwidth in recent years. Between 2012 and 2016 the amount of international capacity deployed by companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon has risen 13-fold to 179 Tbps. (In contrast, international capacity deployed by all other operators only rose threefold, to 272 Tbps)

Content provider networks have yet to displace internet backbones as the largest source of used international bandwidth, but their share of used capacity is rapidly gaining as internet backbone providers’ share wanes.

And also links to a presentation:

The Death of Transit and Beyond

It’s about architecture. And, in particular, about the evolution of network architecture in the Internet

Tends to:

Role Reversal

Service portals are increasingly located adjacent to users

And that means changes to the network

  • Public Networks no longer carry users’ traffic to/from service portals via ISP carriage services
  • Instead, Private Networks carry content to service portals via CDN services

This shift has some profound implications for the Internet

Implication being:

It’s not just the Death of Transit

It’s the re-purposing of the entire network

  • Service provisioning sits within cloud providers and distributed data centres
  • Edge computers are now acting as televisions into the clouded world of data
  • The distinction between personal and public data realms is disappearing into the realm of corporately owned private data empires

Making it look like this may fade into the background:

Internet Architecture (c1980’s)

“End-to-End” design:

  • Connected computer to computer
  • The network switching function was stateless
  • Single network-wide addressing model
  • Single network-wide routing model

So as to the development of the SAFE Network, any and what sort of fallout can we expect from this?

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Yes I had forgotten about the google fibre program.

At least they are not the majority (median) for internet users. Typically google is supplying the very high speed connections and as such they do not need to supply majority of connects to have the majority of bandwidth. Maybe 1/5 on average the connections per Tbps compared with service providers.

Now the issue google has is that if they restrict SAFE and other non-google traffic too much people will simply be leaving and the more they do the more that leave.

If USA keep up net neutrality (or near similar) then google will have to provide decent service for non-google services.

But hey it could be a concern in the future as the likes of google get more and more customers on their internet service provision. So again its important that SAFE is not delayed in implementation since it will take long enough as is.

So again I am confident that if the customers of internet connectivity service providers (ISP or content) are using (or demanding) a level of access that is possible but not given then those service providers will have to change or slowly die.

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I don’t have a position on it. Freeing or controlling the ISPs are both bad options. Just passing the info along…