The Internet has changed the way people communicate with each other. You can access and use various services related to information and communication on the Internet. In this section we will look at the components that make up the World Wide Web, often referred to simply as the Web, and explain different methods that you can use to communicate over the Internet. The Internet is used for many different purposes by many different people, from leisure to business use. What we will look at is the different categories of use and explore them further.
Arguably the most common use of the internet is web browsing. Browsing the web using software called a browser. Well-known browsers include Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox . Traditionally web browsing was a one way process, in that the user would search for and read information, with little interaction. Such websites were used for research purposes, to read news and to learn new things. However as the World Wide Web grew and evolved, the one way process of simply receiving information changed. Now the web is used to carry out e-commerce (such as shopping or internet banking) as well as for downloading music or software. The web now incorporates all sorts of social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter. Browsing has become a very common pastime for individuals, but it requires a degree of skill to be able to obtain the information that you need.
In summary the web can be used to:
- Perform banking transactions such as viewing details of your bank account and transferring money from one account to another.
- Communicate with people all around the world instantaneously. The messages you sent over the Internet can reach any part of the world in just a few seconds.
- Obtain the latest information on events occurring around the globe. Many leading news channels use the Internet as a medium to provide updated news.
- Search for information on any topic, such as history of computers.
- Study any course of your choice and also take exams online.
- Entertain yourself by listening to music, playing games, watching movies, and sharing pictures.
- Buy and sell products, such as books and electronic goods, by specifying your credit or debit card details.
Communication is another area where the Internet is used frequently – it is low cost, effortless and fast.
When you send an e-mail, it is sent instantly and if the recipient is also online it will be delivered instantly. If they are not online, then it will be delivered the next time they go online and open their e-mail.
With the advent of smartphones such as Blackberry and iPhone, e-mail can now be sent and received on the move, revolutionising both business and leisure uses.