The internet is the largest network of computers in the world. It is thousands of computers connected to each other. The internet is also called the World Wide Web or Cyberspace. It started in the 1960ís (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 4). Even until today, no one owns it and no one regulates it.
The internet has a lot of special characteristics to make it work. Computers work together to transfer information back and forth. A router regulates the traffic on the internet (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 15). If it fails, it will find a new route around. High speed lines carry information on the internet. Packets break down information into smaller pieces. When you pay for the internet, exchanging information is free of charge. There are no long distance charges when you send or receive information on the internet.
To hook up to the internet, a computer with a modem and an available telephone line will be needed. An Internet Service Provider will be needed to install the software. Some providers are America Online, Prodigy, Earthlink, and Microsoft Network. Most services charge $9.99-$19.99. Going online is easy. Just start the internet program and type in the ID and password that you have chosen. Then click on the sign on button and wait a minute until youíre online.
To explore the web, a browser is needed. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the most popular ones. The Internet Service Provider will provide it for you. If you have a web address, you could just type in the address and it will allow you to view websites. If you donít have a web address, you could use the search vehicles. Some popular search vehicles include Excite, Yahoo, Lycos, and Alta Vista.
There are free programs available on the internet. Most Internet Service Providers will supply you with the programs you need. It is also availabe at the computer store if you want to purchase them. Three types of programs will be needed for the internet (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 22). A connection program is to manage the transfer of information on the internet. The popular ones are Trumpet Winstock and Internet Jumpstart Kit (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 22). The e-mail program allows you to communicate with people around the world and a browser will allow you to view and explore information on the internet.
E-mail is a popular feature and is widely used by everyone. Eudora is the most popular e-mail program. People could exchange messages around the world. It is fast, easy, inexpensive, and it saves paper. It can contain as much text and the messages are not charged by weight (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 48). There is no charge for sending or receiving E-Mail. Although E-Mail can be a fun form of entertainment for many people, there are also some disadvantages to it. According to industry experts, itís not as private as many think it is (Sporich, Brett, 1996, A13). There is no controlled security when sending e-mail over the internet. ďThereís nothing to prevent someone or some business from eavesdropping on what most people believe are private conversations,Ē said A. Michael Noll, professor at USCís Annenberg School for communications.
The internet allows you to do some online shopping. You could order goods and services on the internet. There are several shopping malls that lets you browse through products and buy them (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 102). There are products like antiques, books, cars, clothing, computers, and flowers. It also has food, games, office supplies, paintings, programs, music, and much more. You can view thousands of products around the world. The products are delivered to you when you buy over the internet (Maran & Mohan, 1995, 103).
The internet is useful and convenient. It is a good way to advertise products. Companies can make product information available twenty four hours a day without the expense of printing, mailing, or keeping staff on the customer service lines (Kaplan, Karen, 1996, D7). It is also a good way to advertise your company. By designing a web page, consumers can view your products and company without leaving their homes.
The internet is also used as an online trading tool. Now people can use their computers to trade stocks and mutual funds (Peltz, James, 1996, D1, D6). For about ten years