The Internet, sometimes also called just “the Net” or “website,” is a global network of computer networks – a vast system of interconnecting computers where users in any one computer system can, if they so desire, gain access to information from any other system (and often share that information with other users in the same system). Computers and the Internet have become the most popular forms of international communication and commerce. Within the Internet itself there are numerous programs and websites that offer free services for users; some offer gaming communities, file sharing or even real-time speech interaction. The Internet also provides a means for financial exchange by allowing individuals to transfer funds to one another through a process known as online banking. This technology is so pervasive that it is impossible to do virtually anything without having used the Internet in the process.
The very nature of the Internet – global connectivity – lends itself to the possibility of people across the globe communicating and engaging in business and monetary exchanges with one another. Though most people think of the Internet when they speak of social media, the fact of the matter is that the Internet is also an extremely powerful tool for research and for education. For example, though most people are familiar with Wikipedia and other encyclopedias that provide free online information about subjects as varied as the history of mankind to the latest scientific breakthroughs, the Internet has many other useful websites devoted to just about every topic you could possibly imagine. In fact, the amount of available knowledge on the Internet is so vast that millions of people are able to get access to the written works of the world’s greatest authors and scientists by using the resources the Internet provides.
The Internet also serves as a huge telephone network. There are many different technologies that allow individuals to communicate using their computers, either by speaking directly to each other or by typing letters into message boards that others may then read. This allows for news, weather, and sports updates, to be distributed world wide almost instantly. Telecommunication technology is used extensively throughout the world in order to facilitate communication within organizations and between people. No matter what field of study you are interested in, there is likely to be a website on the Internet that can help you do your research.