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  1. Information Technology As A Transformational Tool | Week 1
    4 Topics
    1 Quiz
  2. IT-Based Gadgets | Week 2
    3 Topics
    1 Quiz
  3. Internet | Week 3
    3 Topics
    1 Quiz
  4. World Wide Web | Week 4
    6 Topics
    1 Quiz
  5. Internet Environment | Week 5
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  6. Internet Environment II | Week 6
    8 Topics
    1 Quiz

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Lesson 3, Topic 3
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Types of Services Provided By The Internet

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There are four major services provided by the Internet.

  1. Communication services.
  2. File Access and transfer using FTP.
  3. Terminal Emulation services.
  4. www services.

1. Communication Services

(i) Email:

This allows you to communicate with friends, family, and businesses all over the world. An email program enables you to send, receive and manage electronic messages (text, sound, video, and graphics). For an email message to be sent and received, the following must be in place: (mail server and mail client).

(a) Mail Server: This receives incoming messages and delivers outgoing messages. It operates like a traditional post office. It allocates a certain amount of storage to hold mail for registered users. The area of storage allocated to you is your mailbox. You can retrieve your mail by supplying your user name and password. This is to protect your e-mail from unauthorised access.

(b) Mail Client: This is a program that enables you to read and compose email messages and to send emails to and access emails from the server. An example of a mail client is Outlook Express of Ms-office.

Differences Between Emails and The Traditional Postal Mails (Post Office) Email

  • Email is much faster
  • It can be sent to another user in any part of the world in a matter of minutes.
  • Sending an email is free apart from the fee the subscriber pays to the ISP for Internet access or the air time you pay at a cyber cafe.
  • You can send as many emails as you like at your convenience – morning, afternoon or night.
  • It can be received anywhere and at any time
  • You can attach pictures and graphics
  • You cannot send parcels or postal orders using email.

Traditional Post Office

  • Mails delivered by the traditional postal system are slow – it takes up to two weeks, months, or thereabout to deliver.
  • It takes months to be delivered
  • You pay a lot of money depending on the exchange rate if the letter is going overseas.
  • The more letters you send, the more money you pay. You can only send letters during working days, not during holidays.
  • There is a particular place to go and receive it – P.M.B 5013, P.O. BOX.
  • You cannot attach pictures and graphics while sending the letter/mail
  • You can send parcels when using the traditional post office.

Sending and Receiving Mails

To be able to send and receive an email, each user must have an email address consisting of two parts separated by the ‘@’ symbol.

The first part is the username and the second part is the domain name (the name of your ISP) for example, [email protected].

The mail client folder looks something like this:

Inbox: this displays information about emails you have received

Outbox: This displays information about emails that have not been sent.

Sent: this displays information about emails

Deleted: This displays information about emails you have removed from your inbox but have not yet sent to the recycle bin.

Draft: this displays information about emails you are still working on.

(ii) Electronic Discussion Forums:

(i) Mailing list: This is a group of people using email to communicate their views on common issues or interests e.g professionals in education, sports, health, etc. It is an effective way of communicating to a wide audience. As a member, you can send just one message to the group administrator who forwards it to all members of the group.

(ii) Newsgroup: This is another way of using email to communicate on common issues. Most newsgroups are open to everyone. The difference between a newsgroup and a mailing list is that a subscriber to a newsgroup posts a message to an electronic bulletin board on the Internet rather than sending it to an administrator. The bulletin board is your own email. The other newsgroup users can read the message from the board by clicking on it and receiving it as an email. Because most newsgroups are not moderated, students must be careful when selecting a newsgroup to share ideas with other Internet users. For you to be able to read and post messages to newsgroups, your computer must have newsreader software.

(iii) Chat room:

A chat room is a group of people with common interests communicating with one another interactively in real-time. For example, a chat room for teenage girls might discuss fashion, music, or the latest movies whereas a chat room for teenage boys might discuss football, video games, wrestling, etc. Some of the different ways of chatting include:

(a) Text-based Chat: when you enter a chat room you can see a string of comments being typed by other individuals in the room in real-time. You can type out your own comment and everybody will be able to read what you say.

(ii) Internet Relay Chat (IRC): This is a variety of text-based chat where each chat room (channel) is dedicated to a specific topic and users are not allowed to discuss topics unrelated to the channel’s purpose, for example, once you access IRC, you find out what topic is discussed on a particular channel and how many people are participating.

(iii) Instant Messaging: This enables you to chat privately with another person in real-time. You do not enter a chat room, but you talk to the person directly.

(iv) Multimedia Chat: This enables you to use the microphone in a computer to talk to another person anywhere in the world in real-time. If you have a webcam connected to your computer, you will also be able to see each other. At present, the quality of video chat is low and the images are blurred due to the constraint of local telephone lines which may not have the capacity to transmit clear images and sound in real-time.

(2) File Access and Transfer USING FTP

The acronym FTP stands for ‘file transfer protocol’. It is a set of rules for communicating over the Internet. It enables you to find an electronic file stored on a computer somewhere else on the Internet and download it. Downloading means taking a file from a server or computer on one part of the Internet and copying it to your computer or another storage device. It also enables you to upload files. (send files to other computers on the Internet.)

(3) Terminal Emulation:

This enables you to connect your computer to a remote host and use the services available as if your computer were a terminal of the remote host. It effectively makes your computer part of a LAN, even if you are very far away from the network.


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