Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ways to Use Usenet

Usenet facility is the precursor of today’s online forums, which started out when Internet was in its infancy. Through its ‘Newsgroups’, many hot topics are discussed and insights on various topics are shared. It is still used today by millions of users worldwide. It was and is still used for file sharing, discussion on various topics, and is still popular among geeks as a forum. Many people don’t know that it is still around and its power can be harnessed to gain specialized data and information.

Using it

Usenet predates Internet technology and has been around since the 1970s. As a resource, it is still quite alive and kicking today, due to its huge amount of content in the form of binary files which can be downloaded quite fast and specialized newsgroups.

It is controlled by a decentralized set of connected servers that host newsgroups and data files. Be it any topic of your interest, it has newsgroups numbering in thousands, catering to it. It is not a peer-to-peer service, but a paid one. Here are some tips on using it for those of you, who want to connect to this enriching source of information.

Select a Service Provider
First and foremost, to use Usenet, you must connect to a service provider, who can grant you access to its resources. For that, you must have a registered account with one of them. Many Internet service providers offer accounts or you may gain access through third-party sources. Most of the service providers charge a monthly or yearly fee for access. The amount depends on the size of bandwidth you demand. The fees are quite nominal and affordable. ‘Giganews’ is one of the most popular service providers.

Get a Software Client
To access Usenet resources through your account, you need to get a special software, often known as a reader. This software connects with the various servers available on the Internet, to grant you access to its resources. These software programs are generally freely downloadable or available as shareware at a minimal cost. This software is analogous to a web browser that is used on the world wide web. Download a software that is compatible with your operating system. There are dedicated clients for each operating system which includes Linux, Windows Vista, and Macintosh.

Install The Reader
The next step is installing this software after downloading it. Make sure that the ‘download location’ that you select has enough storage space as Usenet files can be large.

Configuring the Reader
Once you have subscribed to a service provider, you must configure the reader, according to the user name, password, and server address provided to you by the service. This is an essential step as you cannot access Usenet, without a valid user name and registration.

Search and Subscribe to Various Groups
How can you use the newsgroups? Once you are logged in through the readers, portals of the Usenet world are open to you. You can download a list of group archives now and access a variety of such newsgroups according to your area of interest. The reader allows you to subscribe to any one of these newsgroups. Once you subscribe to any one of them, all the latest posts and developments on it are downloaded automatically to your computer.

To search and download files, use the installed client or reader. There are many free software downloads available on Usenet. Since downloads on this platform are not peer-to-peer based, but direct downloads from servers, the speeds are phenomenally fast. You need to download ‘.nzb’ files, which are similar to torrent files, to start a particular download.

Finding Positive Effects of the Internet

Internet, as we know, is a large network of networks, which communicate with each other by means of data packets. By definition, it is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the TCP/IP protocol to communicate. The Internet is regarded as the largest information base. And today, it has become an integral part of our lives. Its access methods have also evolved over time, starting from dial-up connections, slowly graduating to broadband, developing further into wireless access, and then to cellular technology. With the increasing and improving means of accessing the web, its use and popularity also grew. Owing to its easy availability, high access speeds, and the variety of services offered, Internet is the need of the day.

We depend on it in more ways than one. We access news websites to update ourselves about the current affairs, we rely on the communication platform it offers to communicate with the world. Be it using a social networking website to post what’s happening in our lives, or using an application like Skype or Viber to talk to our dear ones; web is the medium. Be it to access information or to entertain ourselves, Internet is our first choice. We use it to order food and we use it to shop
for clothes; we use it to read books and to play games. Right from money to medical help, everything is just a click away, thanks to the Internet. It has surely affected the society positively.

Positive Effects

The Internet can be looked at as the means to Access, Express, Impress, and do much more. It is a storehouse of information and perhaps the biggest knowledge base that is easily accessible to just anyone in the world. It gives everyone accessing it, a platform to share their views with the world. Right from personal information to huge employee databases, it can house any and everything. There is no restriction on the type of data that can be stored and accessed via the Internet; which is to say, the files can be of any type (text, audio, image, video, etc.) And the web is a big eCommerce hub; you can shop for just anything online.

The Internet is widely used to store and access information. Email accounts have such great storage capacities that they can store much more than just written communication. Then you have tools like Google Drive, which let you store gigabytes of information online. Cloud computing allows huge storage of data that can be accessed remotely. It relies of sharing resources, thus ensuring their optimum use.

Owing to the increasing volumes of useful information that the web hosts, it can be considered as a knowledge base. From craft ideas for kids, to spiritual guidance, there are several websites ready to help you for free. There are those which give DIY procedures, health tips, and investment advice, thus proving to be of help in daily living. You have a question? Search engines are here to answer. Type in a simple search query in one of them, and they will fetch you thousands of relevant results in microseconds. This increases the speed of information access, and makes it easy for anyone to find answers.

The Internet provides some of the most effective means of communication. Emails and instant messages have made online communication possible. Social networking and blogging websites, and discussion forums have proved to be the best platforms for expression. People in different parts of the world can collaborate over the Internet. They can exchange views, share information, and work together over the web. Professionals working at distant locations can collaborate their efforts, thanks to the Internet. It has brought the world closer, and made far-off places more reachable.

The web serves as the biggest source of entertainment these days. Songs, movies, and even episodes of TV series can be downloaded. Or they can be streamed and enjoyed online. Also, there are several online games that are a recreational means for many. Plus, there is entertaining content; gossip, controversies, stories, riddles, jokes, and more to browse through and be entertained. Some websites host fun activities like grooming a pet, painting pictures, solving puzzles, and so much more. There are portals offering you personality tests and quizzing you to let you know which cartoon character or celebrity you resemble. Fun!

The Internet has redefined business. Huge money transactions can be carried out online; that includes payment of bills, sale and purchase of commodities, and bank transactions. As consumers are turning to the Internet to buy goods, businesses are promoting themselves using the same medium. Fields like online marketing and internet advertising have boomed because of the growing use of the Internet. Products and services can be advertised more effectively over the web. Through tools like RSS feeds, newsletters, and online advertisements, the Internet has made it easier for the business to reach potential customers and also promote their brand.

When we talk of the positive effects of the Internet on different aspects of society, the education, health, and finance sectors are the first few things that come to mind. It was the development of the Internet that made online education and distance learning possible. Computer-aided education made learning fun. It brought interactivity in teaching methods and also helped teachers provide better education to the students. Thanks to the Internet, medical professionals can be reached faster, seeking opinions has become easier as medical reports and/or patient records can be sent over long distances in seconds. Similarly, financial advice is just a few clicks away, thanks to online services provided by professionals in the field. The most valuable gift that the Internet has given society is increased awareness. Due to the many web sources providing informational or educational content, a general awareness among people has increased.

Today, the Internet is a part of every sphere of life. It does have disadvantages, but its positive effects on society outweigh the negative ones, if it is used wisely. If exposed to the world wide web at the right age, children can benefit from it in several ways. If you know what to use it for, Internet is a good thing.

Using for Internet in Education

The fast and relatively low-cost access is one of the major benefits of Internet to people and students all over the world, as getting an Internet connection is easy. Communication and information are the two basic uses of the Internet. Information available on websites can be updated or modified at any time and for any number of times, which helps in learning and better understanding.

Using Multimedia
Arguably, it is believed that visual data has a greater impact on learning and memorizing than plain text. Therefore, images, graphics, animation, pictures, slides, documentaries, etc., have a greater appeal than a plain textbook. Using multimedia and Internet provides an opportunity for children to gain knowledge about a particular subject in depth. Students can now see actual photographs of rare bird species, or see animated graphics of a volcanic eruption to understand the concept in detail.

Online Learning
Another positive effect of Internet in education is the onset of distance education or online education (internet-based training (IBT) or web-based training (WBT). With this facility, you can take up short-term courses with the course material available online, attend virtual classes, learn, and appear for exams. One of the benefits of online learning is that people from any part of the world can gain knowledge on different subjects, complete courses, etc.

Easy Contact
Students can contact other students or their teachers via the e-mail if they have queries about any information. Sharing of information, discussions on a particular subject, etc., can be easily carried out using the Internet. At the same time, teachers can also contact parents and guardians easily using Internet.

School/College Projects
Using the Internet can be very useful for completing projects in schools and colleges. As the Internet is an ocean of information, covering nearly all subjects known to man, one can find information, research work, etc., required for one’s projects. Going through the information on the Internet is definitely faster than reading an entire book on the subject. Completing homework is also easier with the help of the Internet.

Encyclopedia
Sometimes, an encyclopedia may not always be available to students and they may have difficulty in gaining access to the books in the library. In that case, the encyclopedia of various subjects available on the Internet can be helpful. This is more useful for students who belong to communities not having English as their mother tongue.

News
All the latest news are constantly updated on the Internet on news websites. Students learning politics, can have an access to all the current affairs through the Internet. Historical accounts like speeches, biographies, archive videos and photographs, etc., are also easily available on the Internet in detailed and accurate versions.

Affordable Knowledge
Investing in research material may be tedious and unaffordable for some. But, now, thanks to the Internet, we have content websites, web encyclopedias, and dictionaries whenever we want them. Today, able as well as less-able students can benefit from the sea of knowledge on the Internet. University courses and learning is now easy for people belonging to all strata of the society with the help of online courses.

Easy Education System
Not only gaining knowledge, but, every part of the education system is simplified because of the Internet. You can now view your prospective educational institute, look up courses, enroll for online courses, take classes, research, see your results, and even look for job prospects on the Internet. Therefore, the scope of Internet in education is very wide and equal to all.

No Age Bracket for Education
Online courses provide an opportunity for people of all age groups to take up education of their choice, according to their liking and wish. Be it a student, a housewife, or a professional, they can just start up their computers, connect to the Internet, and take virtual classes. Therefore, people can now gain knowledge according to their need and time available. You are, now, never too old or too busy to learn something new.
With these points, we find that the importance of Internet in education cannot be denied, and hence, every student should be given access to the Internet for deeper understanding and knowledge of a subject. However, lots and lots of information can be termed as both, advantages and disadvantages of the Internet as students can also have an access to unwanted or unethical information and sites. Therefore, it is only wise for parents to make students understand what is good and what not for them, or keep a watch on their surfing (web browsing).

Lastly, although the Internet cannot replace books or classroom education, it is one of the best substitute for those who wish to gain deeper knowledge on literally every subject under the sun.

Tips on Choosing an Internet Service Provider

The Internet has become synonymous with owning a computer today, and honestly, any computer is quite limited without access to the web. The act of choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is something that gains prominence because of this fact, since there are so many options to pick from. Different ISPs will provide you with different Internet connection speeds, different features and most importantly, different prices. So you need to pick your ISP wisely after taking all your present usage needs and predicted future needs into consideration.

Dial-up connections are still around, but they are frustratingly slow. They are definitely cheaper than the costlier broadband connections, but then again, broadband connections are not over priced in any way. You must make a decision about which of these connections you want first, and it is strongly suggested that you opt for a broadband Internet connection, no matter what your needs are. The speeds that this connection offers are very high and webpages open instantly. Even if you are carrying out multiple downloads simultaneously, and are surfing the web at the same time, you will find that a broadband connection will not disappoint you in any way.

Choosing an Internet Service Provider

Once you have made this decision, you can go about locating a suitable ISP in your area. This is one of the most easiest things to do since the best service providers advertise their services extensively. You will find their number off the yellow pages, through a public helpline, through the Internet itself and even through their fliers and posters which you will see around your local neighborhood. You can then procure their number and contact them, and they will have your connection set up and ready within a few hours. You will need to purchase some hardware from them to maintain the connection, and these will be one time costs. The Internet plan that you pick will also dictate how much money you will need to pay, what your download and upload speeds will be and what your free download limit will be. Here are some tips which will aid you in picking the best ISP for your home or office.

  • If you are picking a dial-up connection be ready to wait longer for pages to load and for data to get downloaded. Even though the cost is lower, this waiting period makes this service frustrating.
  • If you are getting a broadband connection, make a choice between DSL and Cable. Cable connections are definitely faster than DSL, but they both offer similar features. Moreover, you can also use a wireless router and connect multiple devices to such a connection if you are installing it at your home.
  • People who do not have an ISP in their geographical region can opt for a satellite Internet connection. These are not as fast as broadband Internet connections, but the versatility that they offer is useful.
  • Decide on the speed that you need. Someone who carries out simple browsing and light usage will find that a 256 Kbps connection is satisfactory. For people who download a lot of movies and other content, a 1 Mbps connection will be beneficial. For serious gamers who play online games through the Internet, a 3 Mbps Internet connection will be the best option.
  • Some ISPs also offer other packaged services with their Internet services like a cable TV line, a phone line, etc. Decide if you want to avail these features as well because this could result in you saving some money and getting some good offers.
  • One suitable option is to consult a friend or a family member and ask them what ISP they subscribe to, and if they are satisfied with the services provided. Getting a favorable review is always a good way to pick an Internet service provider.

You must remember that not all ISPs are the same. Keep yourself updated with the news and be aware if any ISP is in it for the wrong reasons. Visit some public forums and read people’s reactions to a certain ISP before you sign up with them. An unreliable ISP can cause major disruptions in your home and work life, so you must learn all about searching for an Internet service provider with care and attention.