I have come across both the phrases - 'on the internet' and 'over the internet.'

I'm pretty sure that both are correct but then which to use when?

Please note, I'm well aware of all over the Internet which I'm not concerned about.

  • 1
    This might just be a matter of personal preference, but it's hard to say for sure. For me, it might come down to which verb I'm using. I would probably say, "I found this on the internet," and maybe, "I got this over the internet, but I wouldn't correct someone that switched it around, or used the two terms more interchangeably.
    – J.R.
    Jan 11 '14 at 10:13
  • Indeed. I think at this stage of internet-based language use they are more less interchangeable. But @Maulik V try looking at the contexts in which each was used. Was "over" used more for downloading/retrieving/obtaining, for example, and "on" for activities performed online? Might be an idea to provide examples of contexts in your question.
    – nxx
    Jan 11 '14 at 13:33
  • 1
    I think it would come down to the basic sense of on vs. over. The on would give a sense of "being situated on*. The over might be better for the verbs that hint of a movement. Thus, found is likely to be used with on, whereas the use of over might go well with verbs like get, send, deliver, etc. But this is not clear cut. Jan 11 '14 at 15:13
  • so what does all over the internet mean?
    – Ooker
    Sep 4 '16 at 1:57
  • @Ooker all over is the phrase to emphasize its presence.
    – Maulik V
    Sep 7 '16 at 5:58

I would generally use "on the Internet" when I'm talking about the Internet as a location:

I found this picture on the Internet.

I would use "over the Internet" when I'm talking about the Internet as a means of content delivery:

I downloaded this picture over the Internet.

  • Cannot it be I downloaded this picture from the Internet?
    – Maulik V
    Jan 17 '14 at 8:39
  • Also, "to sell goods over the Internet"
    – learner
    Dec 3 '14 at 19:21

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