The internet has become the biggest domain of information. Nowadays, an internet user has access to a wide variety of services such as electronic mail, file transfer, vast information resources, interest group membership, interactive collaboration, multimedia displays, real-time broadcasting, shopping opportunities, and much more. Some of the important services provided by the internet are discussed below.
1. World Wide Web:
The World Wide Web is one of the most popular services available on the internet. It is a subset of the internet and it presents text, images, animation, video, sound, and other multimedia in a single interface. Internet is the decentralized global network of computers that transfer information and the writing that makes all this possible whereas the web is a collection of documents or websites that users can access using the internet and a web browser. The web is a part of the internet and it refers to a system of internet servers that supports hypertext using a specific internet protocol called HTTP on a single interface.
2. Electronic mail (E-mail):
Electronic mail is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to communicate with other internet users around the world. E-mail overcomes most of the problems and delays of getting a physical document from one person to another. Each user of e-mail has a mailbox address to which messages are sent and the mailbox can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. E-mail can also be used to send an attachment along with the mail.
3. File Transfer Protocol (FTP):
FTP is a system of rules and a software program that enables a user to log on to another computer and transfer between it and his/her computer. FTP allows the user to get access to the files stored in the directory of the remote computer that is connected to the internet. Using FTP, one can upload and download files from the remote computer, if he/she has access permission on the remote machine. FTP sites can consist of hundreds to thousands of files with information on books, music, software, games, images, sounds, multimedia, courses work, etc. FTP can be done using the command prompt, browsers, and various GUI-based FTP software such as Cute FTP and WS-FTP.
The word ‘Telnet’ is derived from telecommunication and network and is a protocol that allows a user to log on to a remote computer. Telnet means connecting one machine to another in such a way that a person may interact with another machine.
5. Internet Relay Chat (IRC):
Internet Relay Chat is a service on the internet that allows people to communicate in real-time and carry on conversations via the computer with one or more people. It provides the user with the facility to engage in simultaneous online ‘conversation’ with others from anywhere in the world.
6. Chatting and Instant Messaging:
Chat programs allow users on the internet to communicate with each other by typing in real-time. They are sometimes included as a feature of a website, where users can log into chat rooms to exchange comments and information about the topics addressed on the site. A variation of chat is instant messaging where a user on the web can contact another user currently logged in and type a conversation. To avail of this internet service, the user must have software called instant messenger installed on the system. There are various products for instant messaging such as MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.
7. Internet Telphony:
Internet Telephony is the use of the internet rather than the traditional telephone company infrastructure to exchange spoken or other telephonic information. It consists of hardware and software that enables people to use the internet as a transmission medium for telephone calls. Some telephony applications are cool talk and net meeting.
8. Video Conferencing:
video conferencing enables direct face-to-face communication across networks. A video conferencing system has two or more parties in different locations, which have the ability to communicate using a combination of video, audio, and data. In the form of meetings, participants in remote locations can view each other and carry on discussions through web cameras, microphones, and other communication tools.
The following five elements are common to all video conferencing endpoints
- Camera: The camera captures live images to sent across the network.
- Visual display: It displays the images of the people taking part in the video conference.
- Audio system: It includes both microphones to capture audio from the end point and loudspeaker to play back the audio received from other end points across the network connection.
- Compression: Video system include technologies to compress and decompress video and audio data, allowing transmission across a network connection.
- User interface and control system: The user interface allows the users to control interactions, for example, placing calls, storing and adjust environment settings such as volume. video conferencing has many benefits such as teaching and learning.
9. Commerce through Internet:
Nowadays, various organizations offer the facility of online shopping online. This type of business model is known as electronic commerce or E-commerce. E-commerce refers to buying and selling goods and services online. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a computer-to-computer exchange of routine business transactions including payments, information exchange, and purchase order requests. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a technology that allows the transfer of funds from the bank account of one person or organization to that of another.
The increased use of mobile devices such as PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and mobile phones has created “Mobile Commerce”. Mobile commerce or M-commerce refers to transactions through a mobile phone network and data connection that result in the transfer of value in exchange for goods and services.
10. Newsgroups (usenet):
Newsgroups are international discussion groups that focus on a particular topic and helps in gathering information about that topic. The information or articles that make up the “news” are written by people interested in a specific topic. These articles are posted to the newsgroup so that others can read, reply and comment on them. To read and post articles in a new group, newsreader software such as Microsoft Outlook Express and Netscape News is required.
11. Mailing lists (list server):
The internet is home to a large community of individuals who carry out active discussions, organized around topic-oriented forums that are distributed via e-mail. This method of internet communication is known as a mailing list and it enables people with similar interests all over the world to communicate and share information with each other.
The mailing list groups are administered by a software program known as a list server. There are varieties of programs available such as Listserver and Majordomo.
The listserver watches for incoming mail on a certain mailbox continuously and forwards any message to a list of other addresses. Such a mailing list can bring together people with a common interest.
Also Read: Evolution of Internet