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INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS

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Communication is the most popular use of the Internet, with email topping the list of all the technologies used. Some of the types of communication technologies used also include email discussion groups, Usenet news, chat groups, and IRC. These are unique to networked computer environments and have come into wide popularity because of the Internet. Other technologies, including video and audio conferencing and Internet telephony, are also available on the Internet. They require more multimedia capabilities of computer systems and are more taxing of network resources than the others. They also are adaptations of other technologies to the Internet. Most of the technologies that are unique to the Internet require communication to be done in text—letters with some symbols and punctuation. Communicating effectively involves taking the time, except in informal communications, to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation and writing an appropriate message. When replying to a message include the pertinent parts of the message and use an appropriate and interesting subject header in any case.


E-MAIL

E-mail or Electronic mail is a paperless method of sending messages, notes or letters from one person to another or even many people at the same time via Internet. E-mail is very fast compared to the normal post. E-mail messages usually take only few seconds to arrive at their destination. One can send messages anytime of the day or night and it will get delivered immediately. You need not to wait for the post office to open and you don’t have to get worried about holidays. It works 24 hours a day and seven days a week. What’s more, the copy of the message you have sent will be available whenever you want to look at it even in the middle of the night. You have the privilege of sending something extra such as a file, graphics, images etc. along with your e-mail. The biggest advantage of using e-mail is that it is cheap, especially when sending messages to other states or countries and at the same time it can be delivered to a number of people around the world.

Features of E-mail:

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• One-to-one or one-to-many communications

• Instant communications

• Physical presence of recipient is not required

• Most inexpensive mail services, 24-hours a day and seven days a week

• Encourages informal communications

Components of email

An email message consists of three components, the message envelope, the message header, and the message body. The message header contains control information, including, minimally, an originator's email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually descriptive information is also added, such as a subject header field and a message submission date/time stamp.

Components of an E-mail Address

As in the case of normal mail system, e-mail is also based upon the concept of a recipient address. The email address provides all of the information required to get a message to the recipient from anywhere in the world. Consider the e-mail ID john@hotmail.com In the example above, “john” is the local part, which is the name of a mailbox on the destination computer, where finally the mail will be delivered. Hotmail is the mail server where the mailbox “john” exist, .com is the type of organization on net, which is hosting the mail server.

There are six main categories

.com - Commercial institutions or organization
.edu - Educational institutions
.gov - Government site
.mil - Military site
.net - Gateways and administrative hosts
.org - Private organizations

Guidelines for using e-Mail safely

•Use e-mail filtering software to avoid spam so that only messages from authorized users are received. Most e-Mail providers offer filtering services.

•Do not open attachments coming from strangers, since they may contain a virus along with the received message.

•Be careful while downloading attachments from e-Mails into your hard disk. Scan the attachment with updated antivirus software before saving it.

•Do not send messages with attachments that contain executable code like Word documents with macros, .EXE files and ZIPPED files. We can use Rich Text Format instead of the standard .DOC format. RTF will keep your formatting, but will not include any macros. This may prevent you from sending virus to others if you are already infected by it.

•Avoid sending personal information through e-Mails.

•Avoid filling forms that come via e-Mail asking for your personal information. And do not click on links that come via e-Mail.

•Do not click on the e-Mails that you receive from un trusted users as clicking itself may execute some malicious code and spread into your system.

INSTANT MESSAGING (IM)

Instant messaging (IM) is a form of communication over the Internet, that offers an instantaneous transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver. In push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients, instant messaging basically offers real-time direct written language-based online chat. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet. It may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers. More advanced instant messaging allows enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or video calling, video chat and inclusion of hyperlinks to media.


INTERNET CHAT

Online chat/Internet chatting may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet, that offers an real-time direct transmission of text-based messages from sender to receiver, hence the delay for visual access to the sent message shall not hamper the flow of communications in any of the directions. Online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat or may be a feature of a Web conferencing service.

Internet with Telephone

Internet telephony refers to communications services —voice, fax, SMS, and/or voice-messaging applications— that are transported via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network (PSTN). The steps involved in originating a VoIP telephone call are signaling and media channel setup, digitization of the analog voice signal, encoding, packetization, and transmission as Internet Protocol (IP) packets over a packet-switched network. On the receiving side, similar steps (usually in the reverse order) such as reception of the IP packets, decoding of the packets and digital-to-analog conversion reproduce the original voice stream. Even though IP Telephony and VoIP are terms that are used interchangeably, they are actually different; IP telephony has to do with digital telephony systems that use IP protocols for voice communication, while VoIP is actually a subset of IP Telephony. VoIP is a technology used by IP telephony as a means of transporting phone calls


Skype

Skype is a proprietary voice-over-Internet Protocol service and software application originally created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, and owned by Microsoft since 2011. The service allows users to communicate with peers by voice, video, and instant messaging over the Internet. Phone calls may be placed to recipients on the traditional telephone networks. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are charged via a debit-based user account system. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including file transfer, and videoconferencing. Competitors include SIP and H.323-based services, such as Empathy, Linphone, Ekiga as well as the Google Talk service.

Skype has 663 million registered users as of September 2011. The network is operated by Microsoft, which has its Skype division headquarters in Luxembourg. Most of the development team and 44% of the overall employees of the division are situated in the offices of Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.

Unlike most VoIP services, Skype is a hybrid peer-to-peer and client–server system, and makes use of background processing on computers running Skype software; the original name proposed – Sky peer-to-peer – reflects this. Some network administrators have banned Skype on corporate, government, home, and education networks, citing reasons such as inappropriate usage of resources, excessive bandwidth usage, and security concerns

Features of Skype

• Calls between Skype and landline/mobile phone numbers

• Subscription calling plans

• Voicemail

• Video calling and screen sharing

• SMS text messaging

• Wireless hotspot network access


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