We are going to look at some of the Free Stuff on the Internet, but to start the discussion of Free Stuff on the Internet we need to start with, just what is the Internet?
When you go on the Internet, your computer joins a large network of computers. This network allows the computers to all talk to each other. Every computer is called a host; a host can provide information (server) or just display information from another host. Normally you are just displaying information from another host but if you are connected to the Internet you could be a server. This network is built on the telecommunications foundation. The wires originally intended to deliver telephone conversations now connect the computers on the Internet. These wires have been upgraded over the years to allow for better communications but it is the same network. Companies called ISP’s (Internet Service Providers), these companies have connections to the Internet that are about 1,000 times faster than even your broadband Internet connections, normally they have redundant connectsions as well. These high speed connections cost the ISP’s thousands of dollars a month. Not all of their customers will use all of the speed of their Interconnection at one time they can share this very high speed connection between thousands of users. Because of the money involved you can see there is no such thing as a free Internet connection. There are schemes for municipalities to supply free broad band connection for their community, but someone has to pay in the end, the city or through advertisements. At this time most people pay for their Internet connection, either directly or as part of their rent. So your Internet connection is not free so when do we get to the free stuff.
Now that you are connected to the Internet you can now get the free stuff. Your ISP usually provides some services like a personal home page, one or more e-mail accounts, but you can use any web site or service on the Internet. You probably have an e-mail address with your ISP, but you can setup another e-mail account. You may use a public Internet connection, such as a public library or Internet Cafe but you can still get a free e-mail account that can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet.
Now we are started we are connected to the Internet so we can start discussing some of my favorite free things on the Internet.