Internet Facilities and Services

The Internet makes it possible to communicate and share information in a number of ways. Two of the most popular uses of the Internet are electronic mail and the World Wide Web. We can also find several other useful services like Instant messaging, video conferencing, FTP, newsgroups, etc.


WWW stands for the World Wide Web which is sometimes called as w3 or Web is the most popular and powerful application on the Internet. It was originally created to build the infrastructure for sharing documents on the Internet.

Since different types of computers will access these documents, it was decided to have a standard structure for them. This standard was called HTML (HyperText Markup Language). Today the web is a huge collection of documents stored on computers around the world.

You can learn about WWW in next lessons.


If you are a user of the Internet, you can get an address called the email address. Then others can send you messages to your email address and you can read them when ever you want.Email is now an essential communication tools in business. With e-mail you can send and receive instant electronic messages, which works like writing letters. Your messages are delivered instantly to people anywhere in the world, unlike traditional mail that takes a lot of time.

Email is free, fast and very cheap when compared to telephone, fax and postal services.


Chatting is a method of communication and is a very popular activity that people engage through the Internet. When two or more people are online (i.e. they are connected to the Internet at the same time), they can exchange messages as a private group or in an open chat room where anyone else can participate with or without their permission. Email based communication is considered as the asynchronous method of communication where participants do not want to be online. Whereas, chatting is considered to be synchronous method of communication and it opens a direct interactive environment.
Earlier, chatting was done using simple text messages since it didn’t take much time for the transmission. With the development of the Internet speed and band-width, people can now do chatting using audio and video streams just like in a real-time communication. Irrespective of the medium of chatting, it is almost free except the charges to access the Internet.

Video conferencing

It is usually a bi-directional communication between two or more parties using video streams and special hardware in a real time communication. Since video stream requires better (bandwidth) and faster (speed) connection, it is not a very popular way of communication on the Internet in early days.

Video conferencing is more than mere communication and it may involve more collaborative activities. Video conferencing tools provide additional facilities for active collaboration, for example white boards.
Examples for video conferencing include MSN messenger for video conferencing or Microsoft Netmeeting.


When you want to send a message to one or very few individuals you can send it by email. However, if you want to start a discussion based on these messages, emailing is not the best option. Newsgroups serve this purpose and it provides an interface for such discussions. Simply, you can send a message to a newsgroup and then all people who are in this group can see your posting and reply to it. Such replies also appear in this newsgroup.
It also can be considered as an electronic bulletin board. Usenet is one such famous newsgroup but there are several others. Most of the time, these groups are based on some specific interest which is identified by the topic given to the group.


FTP which stands for File Transfer Protocol is a standard way to copy files from one location to another (i.e. from one machine location to another location in the same or different machine). You can use FTP to download files to your machine from a location in another machine.

However, you need to login into these machines in order to obtain the per-mission. There are some public locations on the Internet from which you can download files by just giving your identification information if you like.

In order to simplify the process of accessing files through FTP, there are several applications just like web browsers. Then, users do not need to know complicated commands and they can copy files or directories just like copying files on the desktop. We will be exploring these Internet services in detail in upcoming chapters.


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