What Is Web Protocol?

By Mia Hall

The term "web protocol" can cause confusion, as it can refer to the Internet in general or specifically to the World Wide Web--two separate entities that many people mistakenly think of as interchangeable.

Internet vs. the Web

The Internet works as a greater system of special networks, each with its own function and set of data transmission procedures. The World Wide Web represents one of the services offered through the international communication system known as the Internet. Additional services include email, instant messaging and file sharing.

Network Protocols

Internet network protocols refer to data transmission processes between computers, or routers, within a network. Data are broken down and portioned into message packets, a procedure that optimizes transmission speed. An additional part of a network protocol includes how the network router sends and receives message packets.

Web (Internet) Protocols

The standard network protocol of the Internet, TCP/IP, stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The Internet Protocol part of the standard refers to the addressing of data message packets. Additional protocols that operate within the TCP/IP framework include UDP, HTTP and FTP. Each has different functions and purposes that ultimately work together to provide assorted capabilities through what's currently known as the World Wide Web.