What is the difference between internet, browsers, search engines and websites?


Real Conversation: This web content can be confusing. And it’s really important that we all understand how it works, so that we can be as informed and empowered as possible. Let’s start by breaking down the differences between the Internet, browsers, search engines, and websites. Many of us confuse these four things and use them interchangeably, although they are different. In this case, the old “information highway“The analogy is helpful.

Let’s start by breaking down the differences between the Internet, search engine, and browser. Many of us confuse these three things.

In this case, the old analogy of the “Internet highway” is useful.

The the Internet

The Internet is the highway system, bridges and tunnels of the highway. It is the technical network and infrastructure that connects all online computers and devices across the world. Being connected to the Internet means that devices, and whoever uses them, can communicate with each other and share information.


The browser is the car that takes you everywhere. You enter a destination in the address bar and zoooom: your browser takes you anywhere on the Internet. Firefox is a browser – a browser designed specifically for people, not for profit.

Search engines

Search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo are the compass and the map. You tell a search engine an idea of ​​where you want to go by typing in your search terms, and that gives you some possible destinations. Search engines are websites, and they can be apps too. More information on the applications later.

Websites and the Web

In fact, you are driving along the Internet highway, stopping at whatever cities, shops, and roadside attractions you like, i.e. websites. Websites are the specific destinations that you visit on the Internet. This is the content – web pages, websites, documents, social media, news, videos, images, etc. that you visualize and experience via the Internet. The “web” (which is the abbreviation for “world wide web”, hence “www”) is the collection of all of these websites.


Any program that you download and install on your device is an app. Browsers are applications. Some websites, like Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and The New York Times, for example, double as apps, so you get the same or similar content on the app as you get on the corresponding website.

The key thing to remember about apps, especially social media apps, is that although they are accessible through a connection to the internet (the infrastructure), the content they contain does not represent the entire web. . It’s just a slice. Additionally, not everything posted in an app is necessarily publicly available on the web.
The web is the greatest software platform ever, a great equalizer that works on any device, anywhere. By design, the Web is open to everyone. Learn more about Mozilla’s mission to keep the Internet open and accessible to everyone.

Do you know anyone who confuses these things? It is easy to do !
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Rosemary S. Bishop