Internet is a network of networks. Millions of computer all over  the world are connected through the internet. Computer users  on the internet can contact with one another anywhere in the  world. If a computer is connected to the internet, one can  connect to millions of computers. It is very much similar to the  telephone connection where one can talk with any person  anywhere in the world. 

On the internet, a huge resource of information is accessible  to people across the world. Information in every field starting  from education, Science, Health, Medicine, History and  Geography to business, news, etc. can be retrieved from the  internet. One can also download programs and software  packages from the internet. 

Due to the tremendous information resources the internet can  provide, it is now indispensable to every organization and  personal activities. 

Some of the popular services of the internet are: 

  1. E-mail: Sending and receiving mail electronically. 
  2. File Transfer: Transferring files from one computer to another. 3. WWW (World Wide Web): Retrieving information residing on the internet  servers in the form of websites. 
  3. Chat: Exchanging views or communicating information instantly.

The development of internet started when US Defense  Department set up the ARPANET (Advanced Research Project  Agency Network) to have a failure proof communication  network for defense department of US. 

This architecture was later adopted by an educational institute  for an exchange of views among research scholars and then, it  was thrown open to the public. Since 1994, the internet has  grown by leaps and bounds driven by cheaper cost, easier to  use and increase in information.

What are the Applications of Internet?

1) On-line communication: 

Computer users around the world use the E-mail services to communicate with each other  extensively. 

2) Feedback about products: 

Commercial organizations are also using the internet to gather information about the satisfaction  of existing products and market opportunities of new products.

This is usually accomplished by  putting up an interactive survey application by the organization on a WWW site on the Internet

3) Product promotion: 

Several commercial organizations are effectively using the internet services for promoting their  products by the use of different social networks. 

4) Customer Support Service: 

Many organizations are also using the internet to provide timely customer support.

5) On-line shopping: 

The Internet has also facilitated the introduction of a new market concept, which consists of virtual  shops. These shops remain open 24 hrs all the year round and are accessible to make purchase all  around the world. 

6) On-line journals and magazines: 

There are many WWW sites on the internet, which consists of an electronic version of many  journals and magazines. 

7) Real-time updates:

It helps to provide news and other happenings that may be on-going in different parts of the word  but with the use of the internet, we come to know about the real-time updates in every field be it  in business, sports, finance, politics, entertainment and others very easily.

Many time the decisions  are taken on the real-time updates that are happening in the various parts of the world and for this,  the internet is very essential and helpful. 

8) Research: 

In order to do research, we need to go through hundreds of books as well as the references and that  was one of the most difficult jobs to do earlier.

Since, the internet came into life, everything is  available in just a click. The user just has to search for the concerned topic and will get hundreds  of references that may be beneficial for the research and since, the internet is here to make research  activity easy and hence, public user can take a large amount benefit from the research work that  have been done. 

9) Education: 

Education is one of the best things that the internet can provide. There are a number of books,  reference books, online help centers, expert`s views and other study oriented material on  the internet that can make the learning process very easier as well as a fun to learn. 

10) Financial Transaction: 

It is a term which is used when there is an exchange of money. With the use of internet in the  financial transaction, the work has become a lot easier. Payments, Funds transfer, banking  transactions can be done through on-line banking service. 

11) Entertainment: 

The Internet is also used for entertainment. Such as chatting with friends, sharing videos, watching  movies, listening music, live telecast of sports and other events, playing games, etc.

12) Job Search: 

Using internet, searching job has become an easier task. There are an endless amount of websites  on the internet that provided news about a vacancy in various post as required. 

13) Blogging: 

There are many people who are very much interested in writing blogs and for them the internet is  the best place. They can not only write blogs as per their wish but can also publicize their work so  that their work reaches to most of the people and they get appreciated. 

Positive and Negative Impact of Internet

The positive impacts of internet to the society, organization and individual are:

  1. Faster, cheaper and easier medium of communication.
  2. Information sharing and browsing.
  3. File transferring facility.
  4. Reach to the worldwide viewers.
  5. Effective, easier, faster and cheaper promotion of product or service.
  6. Better customer support and customer relationship management (CRM).
  7. Online services like banking, shopping, education, etc.
  8. E-mail communication for sending and receiving an electronic document.
  9. Enhanced collaboration between different organizations.
  10. Effective Supply Chain Management (SCM).
  11. Electronic payment system using credit /debit cards, ATM, online payment, electronic cheque,
    smart card, electronic purse, etc.
  12. Newsgroups for instant sharing of news and feedback system.
  13. Creation of new job opportunities related with the internet.
  14. Source for entertainment.
  15. Social networking for instant touch with friends and relatives.

Misuses of Internet / Negative impacts of Internet

The negative impacts of internet to the society, organization and individual are:

  1. It is the most common medium for spreading malicious software like virus, worm, etc.
  2. It has increased piracy.
  3. Pornography (uploading, publishing, viewing sexual contents in the form of text, image, audio
    and video).
  4. Stealing, modifying or destructing data.
  5. Piracy of software, audio, video or other intellectual contents.
  6. Hacking of organizational system, website, database etc.
  7. It is also used to harass people by sending insulting comments, making vulgar cartoons,
    blackmailing, etc.
  8. Unemployment problem for the individuals not having knowledge about the Internet.
  9. It has increased digital divide.