How Do You Spell Internet — a Quick Spelling Guide

In reality, the Internet is not owned by anybody or any organization, and no one has complete authority over the Internet. 

The Internet relies on a physical infrastructure to connect networks to other networks and is more of a notion than an actual material object. Everyone who uses the Internet, in theory, owns it.

Let’s start by dispelling certain Internet-related misconceptions: 

  • The Web is not the Internet. 
  • Internet is not a cloud. 
  • The Internet is not a mystical being.

The Internet may appear to be something automatic that we take for granted, but there is a complex system at work behind the scenes.

As early as 1849, the term ‘internetted’ meant interconnected or interwoven. The term Internet most frequently refers to the worldwide system of interconnected computer networks. It can also apply to any collection of smaller networks.

close up photography of mining rig
Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

WWW vs. Internet: What’s the Difference?

The World Wide Web is a software-based virtual system that is used to access the Internet.

Internet Protocol (IP) is a collection of rules governing data delivery. This operates in tandem with the transmission control protocol (TCP), which separates Internet traffic into packets for efficient transit. 

On the other hand, Hypertext Send Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol used to transfer data across the web. It specifies the instructions and services used to transmit website data.

Pronunciation and Root Word of Internet

How do you spell internet? We pronounce and spell internet as In·​ter·​net | ˈin-tər-ˌnet. Its formation is from two root words: inter- “between” + network (n.).

How Do you Spell Internet? With a Capital ‘I’?

To distinguish the Internet as the global network from any general interconnection of smaller computer networks, the “I” is capitalized. 

The capital “I” on the Internet represents the network’s perceived stature and formal acknowledgment as a distinct entity.

The capitalization of the Internet and the web has been a source of contention for decades. As early as 2004, some magazines stopped capitalizing Internet, whereas several dictionaries continue to do so today. 

Commonly, both “Internet” and “internet” refer to the network. Historically, “Internet” was written with a capital letter as a proper noun. 

Currently, the Internet is a general word, similar to “electricity” or “water supply,” and is often written as “internet.”

In some ways, capitalizing “Internet” has always been a bit of an aberration. This is because it is not a proper noun like a company name or an official location name. 

The name internet (short for internetwork) originally referred to any network of interconnected computers. Therefore, the capital “I” served to differentiate the global network from other internets. This difference is now obsolete, as “internet” is rarely used in its original definition.

The capitalization of “Internet” reflected the prevalent practice of capitalizing on freshly invented or unfamiliar terminology. Once a term becomes commonplace and familiar, there is a tendency to eliminate the initial capital letter.

How do you spell internet? Capital I or small i? Either way, anyone goes! Just be sure to stay consistent with the one you choose.

Check out these examples

  • You can check the Internet. (more traditional)
  • You can check the internet. (more recent)

Synonyms of Internet

  • ARPANET, infobah, nonline, network, The Net
  • cyberspace, National Information Infrastructure, W3
  • hyperspace, information superhighway
  • Information highway, World Wide Web, The Web

With or without the article?

The definite article is used when “Internet” is used as a noun to describe the network we use:

correct: I really love the Internet!

Wrong: I really love Internet!

There are situations when the term “Internet access” is reduced to “Internet” without an article:

correct: Do you have Internet?

Wrong: Do you have the Internet?

The second line is illogical; one cannot own the Internet but can have Internet access.

Should it be “on” / “in” the Internet?

The preposition is yet another source of confusion. ‘On’ the Internet, rather than ‘in’ the Internet, is how we refer to something that’s a part of the Internet.

(Correct) The article is not on the Internet.

(Wrong) The article is not in the Internet.

To Wrap Up

WWW and Internet are not the same. The distinction between the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet is sometimes overlooked due to the terminology’s frequent interchangeability.

Now you know all that pertains to the Internet regarding spelling, grammar usage, and rules. Nowadays, internet browsers are an essential part of any user’s technology setup, and many people prefer to use the internet browser, hence its importance.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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