In this modern world, the Internet has become essential to living, working and easily communicating with people, whether in the next room or on the other side of the world. Some important services provided by the Internet have become commonplace, like email, the World Wide Web and easy, instant access to all types of information. These now common services allow people to become a part of the much bigger world. Communication, education, e-commerce and unlimited access to information found on the Internet provide innumerable benefits.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web and the Internet function together but are not the same thing. The World Wide Web functions as the part of the Internet accessible to users. The Internet serves as a vast electronic communications network and the World Wide Web makes navigation on the Internet easier by utilizing hypertext links and graphical user interfaces between different addresses on computers around the world. Think of the Internet as providing the foundation and structure while the Web uses the Internet to provide communications, information and access to all sorts of digital services.
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More commonly known as email, electronic mail started as an afterthought to the Internet. Today, email holds the number one position as the most popular service offered on the Internet. A protocol for sending, receiving and storing electronic messages, email has become the preferred method of communication. The U.S. Postal Service handles around 200 billion pieces of mail each year. Email service on the Internet handles around 247 billion emails every day.
Health Information Access
Individual computers may remotely access information stored on other computers or servers anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. The Pew Research Center estimates that 59% of adults go on the Internet to seek health information. 80% of caregivers have access to the Internet and use that access to health information to assist with their day-to-day job duties. Internet access to health information may improve quality of care, provide 24-hour access to medical or health information and allow more efficient handling of specific health issues.
The ability to do business without the usual constraints of time or distance make e-commerce one of the most important services provided by the Internet. With the single click of a mouse, online customers can purchase almost anything day or night from the comfort of their own home. Since human interaction and the need for an actual brick-and-mortar location do not figure into the e-commerce equation, doing business on the Internet does not cost as much. This levels the business playing field and allows small business to compete with large corporations.
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- Free Computer Tips: Services Provided by the Internet; August 2010
- Pew Internet: Health Information is a Popular Pursuit Online; Feb 2011
- eCommerce Education: eCommerce Benefits
- Diffen: Internet vs. World Wide Web
- MIT: The World Wide Web for the Clueless; 2004
- New Online Tips: What are the Various Services Provided by the Internet?; July 2009