The World Wide Web is often thought of as being analogous to the Internet but it is actually just one part of it. The Web refers to a "web" of interconnected documents that are stored on computers connected together by the Internet.
The Internet began life as a network of US military computers in the late 1960s, before being joined to academic and then commercial organisations. But the history of the Web begins in 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, devised a means by which the information stored on the ever-expanding Internet could be easily shared.
One key invention of Berners-Lee was HTML, a simple code in which web pages are written. The Web has grown at an exponential rate partly because of the ease with which web pages can be created with this code. More importantly, the World Wide Web became free to anyone, and it remains a non-proprietary technology that can be adopted without licensing restrictions.
In Britain at least, the Internet has been accepted with both fear and fascination. The possibilities that it offers - entertainment and shopping websites, email, file sharing - continue to captivate, yet its darker side - hacking, online crime - means that for many the Internet is something to approach with caution.