View Full Version : http and www. What's the dif?

mark c
25-09-2004, 02:09 PM
I had a look in the Search here for some info on this and found some but still a bit confused. Sometimes an url has www, sometimes it doesn't, like this forum.

Is this just because this in implicit? Some pal said he thinks http addresses are the internet and www are sites on the Web. I don't think so because the Web uses http.

Can someone clarify?

Thanks. :)

25-09-2004, 02:18 PM
pressf1.pcworld.co.nz is a subdomain. xxx.domain.co.nz is a domain as well. if there isn't a subdomain, you can use www (but most things will function without)

mark c
25-09-2004, 02:23 PM
Hmmm. Well thanks. So it's a matter of domain names and subdomains. OK

25-09-2004, 02:47 PM
when the internet was born in the 70s............

there was no WEB.

every thing was email and news groups.

email is sent with a system called SMTP and POP.
news is sent with a system called NNTP.

all of this travels over the internet.


ok so in the early 90s the web was invented, the WEB is everything that most people see in todays world. anything in a browser is WEB.
WEB traffic travels with a system called HTTP.

wen the web started out you just typed in the domain of the place you wanted to go.
eg http://ihug.co.nz

over time it was a nice thing to split up your domain and have a computer handel each part of the internet.
so you get www.ihug.co.nz which run web traffic
pop.ihug.co.nz which is the one side of the email system
smtp.ihug.co.nz which is the other side of the mail system.

now they could call the web server web.ihug.co.nz and it would work but it is some what of a standard to call your web server www.your domain.com


www is the type of traffic and http is how it travels. and the infrastructure that gets the data around the world is the internet.

mark c
25-09-2004, 02:53 PM
Thanks you very much robsonde. I've even printed it out for my pal.

Cheers :D

Graham L
25-09-2004, 04:44 PM
The common hostname "www" is a hint to people that this host is a www web site. It's not compulsory. It's just a hostname. You could have a web site on a host called "this_is_not_a_website.noddy.my.domain.org" and people could http://this_is_ ...[etc] . Names don't matter. Protocols do.

The "http:" in a URL is a directive to the system telling it what PROTOCOL is to be used when accessing the site. If you give it "ftp:" that indicates the FTP protociol is to be used. There are a number of others ...

You can telnet to a web site. :D

mark c
25-09-2004, 05:55 PM
OK thanks Graham L, still bit of a puzzle because I use Yahoo for my email right, and that's "www" (therefore http) not SMPT or POP. OK so that happens automatically below what I see displayed.

I kinda thought when i posted this question that it might be a bit like asking "what's the difference between an orange and flying a helicopter?"

25-09-2004, 06:52 PM
but, when you view your emails on yahoo you are viewing them on the yahoo server!!!! You are not downloading them to your own computer so therefore, no POP.
Someone is bound to correct me if I am wrong.

mark c
25-09-2004, 07:42 PM
Sure theother1 but when I have downloaded emails to store them on my comp there's no mention of changing protocols. Maybe it just does it all for us. Eh? Like we go from the net to web and back and never notice. Still is bit of a puzzle tho. :D

25-09-2004, 07:49 PM
Because you never changed protocols.

Yahoo / Hotmail / Gmail webmail is http, its just web server traffic. Its not "email" in the traditional sense.

It never is or becomes POP server traffic.

mark c
25-09-2004, 08:10 PM
Hey thank you Godfather so is there anything that is still "traditionally" the internet that is not now sent through HTTP? Newsgroups?

The statement earlier that everything accessed by a web browser is therefore Web not internet struck me as odd (tho thanks for the help) because I only use a browser to access anything outside my computer.

I realise this could go on and on but I have checked this out thru various "Teach Yourself the Internet" kind of sites and "www vs http" in searches.

Maybe the distinction between internet and web is really academic to the point of irrelevance. Don't mean to be a nuisance but a pal posed this question to me and (for once) I couldn't answer. :^O

25-09-2004, 11:20 PM
Sorry but I really don't know what you want to know.

There are a number of protocols used to convey information.

Sounds like you use only http.
Because you only use a browser.
Not an email client, or an FTP client, or a news client.

But the data is all carried on (mostly) the same backbone of communications.

I think its all been covered above.
www is a part of a name basically. http is a protocol.

So is your question "why are some people called "Allan", while others are called "Mr"?

Terry Porritt
26-09-2004, 08:56 AM
>>>Maybe the distinction between internet and web is really academic to the point of irrelevance.

No, absolutely not. The 'web' is just a subset or part of the internet and which uses http as the communication protocol, just one amongst several.
There are lots of other protocols as has already been said. The World Wide Web just happens to be at this time the most commonly used feature because it has bells and whistles and gui's etc.

In the early days The Internet was all command line stuff, ftp, telnet, etc no pretty pictures, the early web was relatively crude and not many public sites, that was why MS thought there was no future in it, unlike Netscape and others who could see a potential.

mark c
26-09-2004, 09:49 AM
Ok thanks to you all, kind of got a grip on it now. Just had a ray of light beam down on me when i realized when I FTP something it's not from a browser, so it's not HTTP, it's FTP, and no it (the server I send stuff to) won't be prefixed with WWW.

Thanks for all your help, shall stop nagging about it now and go and tell my mate. :D