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Difference Between Network and Internet

Network Vs. Internet: In this tutorial, we will learn about the network and the internet and the main differences between them based on the various features. By IncludeHelp Last updated : June 12, 2023


In today's digital age, connectivity plays a crucial role in how we access and share information. Understanding the fundamental differences between networks and the internet can greatly impact our decisions when it comes to selecting the appropriate technology for various purposes.

This tutorial will explore the key characteristics of networks as a collection of connected computer systems, and contrast them with the vast global infrastructure that is the Internet.

By knowing an understanding of these distinctions, you'll be better equipped to navigate our interconnected world.

What is a Network?

A network, in the context of computing, refers to a collection of interconnected computer systems that share resources and data within a specific environment. These systems work together to accomplish common goals, such as sharing files or accessing shared printers, through established communication protocols.

Networks can be built using different topologies – physical arrangements of devices – such as star, ring, bus, or mesh configurations. Each topology has its advantages and drawbacks depending on factors like scalability requirements and available resources.

Moreover, creating an efficient network involves the implementation of various networking protocols that govern how data is transmitted between connected devices. For instance, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is commonly used in today's networks to ensure reliable data exchange among multiple nodes.

What is an Internet?

The Internet is a vast global network that connects millions of computers across the world. It allows users to exchange information, communicate with others, and access resources from anywhere.

From email correspondence to online shopping and social media, the Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. Its architecture is based on complex protocols like TCP/IP, DNS, ISP, Firewall, modem, and Ethernet among others that allow seamless data transfer between different networks.

As professionals rely on the internet more than anyone else for work-related tasks such as communication and research; keeping up with new developments in technology helps them to remain at a competitive advantage in their respective fields.

For novices too understanding how they can use the internet as an interactive platform for learning or entertainment purposes will greatly enhance their quality of life.

The Key Differences Between Network and Internet

Networks are smaller and private, while the internet covers the world and is accessible to the public. Understanding these differences is crucial in selecting the appropriate technology for different purposes.


The main difference between a network and the internet is their scope. Networks are smaller and private, meaning that they are limited to a specific geographical area or organization. This makes them an ideal option for personal or business use, where individuals can connect and share data with each other within a defined space. On the other hand, the internet has global reach and is accessible to anyone with an internet connection anywhere in the world.

For example, think of a small office setting up its internal communication system using LAN (local area networking) technology. The office can establish connections between devices like printers and scanners to enable easy sharing of resources among its employees without any external interference as it would not be available publicly on the internet.

Understanding this fundamental difference enables us to select appropriate technologies for different purposes while considering factors like privacy requirements, data exchange needs in confined settings vs worldwide public availability necessitating security measures making sure only authorized parties can access certain types of information being shared over networks used privately within constrained local areas such as offices compared against those available globally through publicly reachable locations like websites serviced via Internet usage technologies meant for wider audiences beyond restricted settings but instead rely partly on superior routing protocols ensuring efficient transmission speeds while maintaining top-level security features preventing intrusion attempts during browsing sessions.


One of the key differences between a network and the internet lies in their respective functions. Networks are primarily utilized to share files and resources within a group of computers, while the internet is optimized for communication, information sharing, and accessing online services.

For example, an organization may use a local area network (LAN) to enable employees to share files or print documents using a centralized printer. On the other hand, individuals can access email services or social media sites using the internet from almost anywhere in the world.

Let's see the difference between a network and the internet in a tabular format:

S.No. Network Internet
1 Network is a collection of connected computer systems in a shared environment. Internet is a global network of interconnected computers accessible to the public.
2 Networks are smaller and private. Internet covers the world and is accessible to everyone with an internet connection.
3 Networks are primarily used for file and resource sharing within groups or organizations. Internet facilitates communication, information sharing, and accessing online services on a much larger scale.
4 LAN, MAN, WAN, and PAN are the main types of networks. WWW (World Wide Web) is the type of Internet.


A network is made up of connected computer systems in a shared environment meant for file and resource sharing, while the internet is a global network of interconnected computers intended for communication, information sharing, and online services.

Networks are primarily used for personal or business purposes on a smaller scale while the internet serves various functions such as communication, commerce, and entertainment on a much larger scale.

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