The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link several billion devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions 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. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing and telephony.
The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks. This work, combined with efforts in the United Kingdom and France, led to the primary precursor network, the ARPANET, in the United States. The interconnection of regional academic networks in the 1980s marks the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet. From the early 1990s, the network experienced sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to it.Internet Technology Matters | Internet Society | Terminology of Internet
The Internet, referring to the specific global system of interconnected IP networks, is a proper noun and written with an initial capital letter. In the media and common use it is often not capitalized, viz. the internet. Some guides specify that the word should be capitalized when used as a noun, but not capitalized when used as a verb or an adjective. The Internet is also often referred to as the Net.
Historically the word internet was used, uncapitalized, as early as 1883 as a verb and adjective to refer to interconnected motions. The designers of early computer networks used internet both as a noun and as a verb in shorthand form of internetwork or internetworking, meaning interconnecting computer networks with gateways.
The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably in everyday speech; it is common to speak of "going on the Internet" when invoking a web browser to view web pages. However, the World Wide Web or the Web is only one of a large number of Internet services. The Web is a collection of interconnected documents (web pages) and other web resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs. As another point of comparison, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is the language used on the Web for information transfer, yet it is just one of many languages or protocols that can be used for communication on the Internet. In addition to the Web, a multitude of other services are implemented on the Internet.
The term Interweb is a portmanteau of Internet and World Wide Web typically used sarcastically to parody a technically unsavvy user.