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VoIP is maturing into a competitive alternative to traditional telephone service. Theoretically, a natural disaster would not affect more than one availability zone. October 25, at 4: Today the initial WiMax system is designed to provide 30 to 40 megabit-per-second data rates. While online gaming has been around since the s, modern modes of online gaming began with subscription services such as GameSpy and MPlayer. Internet access was once rare, but has grown rapidly.

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Examples range from CBeebies , through school and high-school revision guides and virtual universities , to access to top-end scholarly literature through the likes of Google Scholar.

For distance education , help with homework and other assignments, self-guided learning, whiling away spare time, or just looking up more detail on an interesting fact, it has never been easier for people to access educational information at any level from anywhere.

The Internet in general and the World Wide Web in particular are important enablers of both formal and informal education. Further, the Internet allows universities, in particular, researchers from the social and behavioral sciences, to conduct research remotely via virtual laboratories, with profound changes in reach and generalizability of findings as well as in communication between scientists and in the publication of results. The low cost and nearly instantaneous sharing of ideas, knowledge, and skills have made collaborative work dramatically easier, with the help of collaborative software.

Not only can a group cheaply communicate and share ideas but the wide reach of the Internet allows such groups more easily to form. An example of this is the free software movement , which has produced, among other things, Linux , Mozilla Firefox , and OpenOffice.

Internet chat, whether using an IRC chat room, an instant messaging system, or a social networking website, allows colleagues to stay in touch in a very convenient way while working at their computers during the day. Messages can be exchanged even more quickly and conveniently than via email.

These systems may allow files to be exchanged, drawings and images to be shared, or voice and video contact between team members. Content management systems allow collaborating teams to work on shared sets of documents simultaneously without accidentally destroying each other's work. Business and project teams can share calendars as well as documents and other information. Such collaboration occurs in a wide variety of areas including scientific research, software development, conference planning, political activism and creative writing.

Social and political collaboration is also becoming more widespread as both Internet access and computer literacy spread.

The Internet allows computer users to remotely access other computers and information stores easily from any access point. Access may be with computer security , i. This is encouraging new ways of working from home, collaboration and information sharing in many industries. An accountant sitting at home can audit the books of a company based in another country, on a server situated in a third country that is remotely maintained by IT specialists in a fourth.

These accounts could have been created by home-working bookkeepers, in other remote locations, based on information emailed to them from offices all over the world. Some of these things were possible before the widespread use of the Internet, but the cost of private leased lines would have made many of them infeasible in practice. An office worker away from their desk, perhaps on the other side of the world on a business trip or a holiday, can access their emails, access their data using cloud computing , or open a remote desktop session into their office PC using a secure virtual private network VPN connection on the Internet.

This can give the worker complete access to all of their normal files and data, including email and other applications, while away from the office. It has been referred to among system administrators as the Virtual Private Nightmare, [94] because it extends the secure perimeter of a corporate network into remote locations and its employees' homes.

Many people use the World Wide Web to access news, weather and sports reports, to plan and book vacations and to pursue their personal interests. People use chat , messaging and email to make and stay in touch with friends worldwide, sometimes in the same way as some previously had pen pals. Social networking websites such as Facebook , Twitter , and Myspace have created new ways to socialize and interact.

Users of these sites are able to add a wide variety of information to pages, to pursue common interests, and to connect with others. It is also possible to find existing acquaintances, to allow communication among existing groups of people. Sites like LinkedIn foster commercial and business connections.

YouTube and Flickr specialize in users' videos and photographs. While social networking sites were initially for individuals only, today they are widely used by businesses and other organizations to promote their brands, to market to their customers and to encourage posts to " go viral ".

A risk for both individuals and organizations writing posts especially public posts on social networking websites, is that especially foolish or controversial posts occasionally lead to an unexpected and possibly large-scale backlash on social media from other Internet users. This is also a risk in relation to controversial offline behavior, if it is widely made known. The nature of this backlash can range widely from counter-arguments and public mockery, through insults and hate speech , to, in extreme cases, rape and death threats.

The online disinhibition effect describes the tendency of many individuals to behave more stridently or offensively online than they would in person. A significant number of feminist women have been the target of various forms of harassment in response to posts they have made on social media, and Twitter in particular has been criticised in the past for not doing enough to aid victims of online abuse.

For organizations, such a backlash can cause overall brand damage , especially if reported by the media. However, this is not always the case, as any brand damage in the eyes of people with an opposing opinion to that presented by the organization could sometimes be outweighed by strengthening the brand in the eyes of others. Furthermore, if an organization or individual gives in to demands that others perceive as wrong-headed, that can then provoke a counter-backlash.

Some websites, such as Reddit , have rules forbidding the posting of personal information of individuals also known as doxxing , due to concerns about such postings leading to mobs of large numbers of Internet users directing harassment at the specific individuals thereby identified.

In particular, the Reddit rule forbidding the posting of personal information is widely understood to imply that all identifying photos and names must be censored in Facebook screenshots posted to Reddit. However, the interpretation of this rule in relation to public Twitter posts is less clear, and in any case, like-minded people online have many other ways they can use to direct each other's attention to public social media posts they disagree with.

Children also face dangers online such as cyberbullying and approaches by sexual predators , who sometimes pose as children themselves. Children may also encounter material which they may find upsetting, or material which their parents consider to be not age-appropriate.

Due to naivety, they may also post personal information about themselves online, which could put them or their families at risk unless warned not to do so.

The most popular social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, commonly forbid users under the age of However, these policies are typically trivial to circumvent by registering an account with a false birth date, and a significant number of children aged under 13 join such sites anyway.

Social networking sites for younger children, which claim to provide better levels of protection for children, also exist.

The Internet has been a major outlet for leisure activity since its inception, with entertaining social experiments such as MUDs and MOOs being conducted on university servers, and humor-related Usenet groups receiving much traffic. Another area of leisure activity on the Internet is multiplayer gaming. While online gaming has been around since the s, modern modes of online gaming began with subscription services such as GameSpy and MPlayer.

Many people use the Internet to access and download music, movies and other works for their enjoyment and relaxation. Free and fee-based services exist for all of these activities, using centralized servers and distributed peer-to-peer technologies. Some of these sources exercise more care with respect to the original artists' copyrights than others.

Internet usage has been correlated to users' loneliness. Cybersectarianism is a new organizational form which involves: Overseas supporters provide funding and support; domestic practitioners distribute tracts, participate in acts of resistance, and share information on the internal situation with outsiders.

Collectively, members and practitioners of such sects construct viable virtual communities of faith, exchanging personal testimonies and engaging in the collective study via email, on-line chat rooms, and web-based message boards.

Cyberslacking can become a drain on corporate resources; the average UK employee spent 57 minutes a day surfing the Web while at work, according to a study by Peninsula Business Services. Carr believes that Internet use has other effects on individuals , for instance improving skills of scan-reading and interfering with the deep thinking that leads to true creativity.

Electronic business e-business encompasses business processes spanning the entire value chain: E-commerce seeks to add revenue streams using the Internet to build and enhance relationships with clients and partners. While much has been written of the economic advantages of Internet-enabled commerce , there is also evidence that some aspects of the Internet such as maps and location-aware services may serve to reinforce economic inequality and the digital divide.

Author Andrew Keen , a long-time critic of the social transformations caused by the Internet, has recently focused on the economic effects of consolidation from Internet businesses.

Telecommuting is the performance within a traditional worker and employer relationship when it is facilitated by tools such as groupware , virtual private networks , conference calling , videoconferencing , and voice over IP VOIP so that work may be performed from any location, most conveniently the worker's home. It can be efficient and useful for companies as it allows workers to communicate over long distances, saving significant amounts of travel time and cost.

As broadband Internet connections become commonplace, more workers have adequate bandwidth at home to use these tools to link their home to their corporate intranet and internal communication networks.

Wikis have also been used in the academic community for sharing and dissemination of information across institutional and international boundaries. Queens , New York has used a wiki to allow citizens to collaborate on the design and planning of a local park. The Internet has achieved new relevance as a political tool. The presidential campaign of Howard Dean in in the United States was notable for its success in soliciting donation via the Internet.

Many political groups use the Internet to achieve a new method of organizing for carrying out their mission, having given rise to Internet activism , most notably practiced by rebels in the Arab Spring. Many have understood the Internet as an extension of the Habermasian notion of the public sphere , observing how network communication technologies provide something like a global civic forum.

However, incidents of politically motivated Internet censorship have now been recorded in many countries, including western democracies. The spread of low-cost Internet access in developing countries has opened up new possibilities for peer-to-peer charities, which allow individuals to contribute small amounts to charitable projects for other individuals. Websites, such as DonorsChoose and GlobalGiving , allow small-scale donors to direct funds to individual projects of their choice.

A popular twist on Internet-based philanthropy is the use of peer-to-peer lending for charitable purposes. Kiva pioneered this concept in , offering the first web-based service to publish individual loan profiles for funding.

Kiva raises funds for local intermediary microfinance organizations which post stories and updates on behalf of the borrowers. Kiva falls short of being a pure peer-to-peer charity, in that loans are disbursed before being funded by lenders and borrowers do not communicate with lenders themselves. However, the recent spread of low-cost Internet access in developing countries has made genuine international person-to-person philanthropy increasingly feasible. In , the US-based nonprofit Zidisha tapped into this trend to offer the first person-to-person microfinance platform to link lenders and borrowers across international borders without intermediaries.

Members can fund loans for as little as a dollar, which the borrowers then use to develop business activities that improve their families' incomes while repaying loans to the members with interest.

Borrowers access the Internet via public cybercafes, donated laptops in village schools, and even smart phones, then create their own profile pages through which they share photos and information about themselves and their businesses. As they repay their loans, borrowers continue to share updates and dialogue with lenders via their profile pages.

This direct web-based connection allows members themselves to take on many of the communication and recording tasks traditionally performed by local organizations, bypassing geographic barriers and dramatically reducing the cost of microfinance services to the entrepreneurs. Internet resources, hardware, and software components are the target of criminal or malicious attempts to gain unauthorized control to cause interruptions, commit fraud, engage in blackmail or access private information.

Malicious software used and spread on the Internet includes computer viruses which copy with the help of humans, computer worms which copy themselves automatically, software for denial of service attacks , ransomware , botnets , and spyware that reports on the activity and typing of users. Usually, these activities constitute cybercrime. Defense theorists have also speculated about the possibilities of cyber warfare using similar methods on a large scale.

The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet. Computers communicate over the Internet by breaking up messages emails, images, videos, web pages, files, etc. Packet Capture Appliance intercepts these packets as they are traveling through the network, in order to examine their contents using other programs. A packet capture is an information gathering tool, but not an analysis tool.

That is it gathers "messages" but it does not analyze them and figure out what they mean. The large amount of data gathered from packet capturing requires surveillance software that filters and reports relevant information, such as the use of certain words or phrases, the access of certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with certain parties. Some governments, such as those of Burma , Iran , North Korea , the Mainland China , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates restrict access to content on the Internet within their territories, especially to political and religious content, with domain name and keyword filters.

In Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, major Internet service providers have voluntarily agreed to restrict access to sites listed by authorities. While this list of forbidden resources is supposed to contain only known child pornography sites, the content of the list is secret.

Many free or commercially available software programs, called content-control software are available to users to block offensive websites on individual computers or networks, in order to limit access by children to pornographic material or depiction of violence.

As the Internet is a heterogeneous network, the physical characteristics, including for example the data transfer rates of connections, vary widely. It exhibits emergent phenomena that depend on its large-scale organization. An Internet blackout or outage can be caused by local signalling interruptions. Disruptions of submarine communications cables may cause blackouts or slowdowns to large areas, such as in the submarine cable disruption. Less-developed countries are more vulnerable due to a small number of high-capacity links.

Land cables are also vulnerable, as in when a woman digging for scrap metal severed most connectivity for the nation of Armenia. In , researchers estimated the energy used by the Internet to be between and GW, less than two percent of the energy used by humanity. This estimate included the energy needed to build, operate, and periodically replace the estimated million laptops, a billion smart phones and million servers worldwide as well as the energy that routers, cell towers, optical switches, Wi-Fi transmitters and cloud storage devices use when transmitting Internet traffic.

This article incorporates text from a free content work. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see Wikipedia: Adding open license text to Wikipedia.

For information on reusing text from Wikipedia , please see the terms of use. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the worldwide computer network. For other uses, see Internet disambiguation. Not to be confused with the World Wide Web. An Opte Project visualization of routing paths through a portion of the Internet. List of countries by number of Internet users and List of countries by Internet connection speeds.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. Global Internet usage and English on the Internet. Internet censorship , Culture of fear , and Mass surveillance. Computer and network surveillance. Signals intelligence and Mass surveillance. Not classified or no data. Internet censorship and Internet freedom.

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Routledge, , pp. Archived from the original on 20 October With this high speed service plan anyone can perform and work with all kinds of Internet applications.

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