Optimizing the Internet Experience
Since the advent of the internet becoming user-friendly in the mid to late 90s, several technologies have been developed for it that have catered to the needs of those interested in the new data aggregation mechanism. Technologies such as improved internet speeds, WiFi standards, faster computers, and now the latest fad, smartphones are among them. Internet users have various needs depending on the individual and each type of need will require varying degrees of computer processing power and internet speed. Internet gamers, for example, generally require a great deal more of computer processing power and internet speed than one who simply wants to check E-mail or view YouTube videos. The following can be used as a checklist for optimizing the internet experience.
- Determine the needs of the user
- Purchase the recommended computer and ISP service
- Configure/maintain computer where necessary
Needs of the Internet User
Some of the most popular features and services available on the internet today are video gaming, writing/presentation/office software such as Microsoft Office 365, data backup/storage, E-mail, video streaming, social media, and good old fashion news. Not every internet user uses every one of these services, and whatever services one does use there are generally varying degrees of usage which require different levels of computer processing capability.
Lower Computer Processing Power
Logging onto the internet to check E-mail, for example, requires very little computer processing power and very little internet bandwidth (speed) — from home, an inexpensive desktop or laptop computer plus a dial-up internet service is all that would be required to access E-mail. If a smartphone is owned, E-mail could be accessed quite easily via a cell phone company internet service or free-public wifi, requiring no modifications or upgrades to the smartphone itself — accessing E-mail is not a hardware-intensive service requiring high-levels of processing power, therefore, if accessing E-mail on the internet is the only service an internet user wants, then purchasing a smartphone and cell phone data plan and/or using free public wifi will work fine as long as cellphone internet-service or public WiFi is readily available.
Higher Computer Processing Power
On the other end of the spectrum, internet gaming requires both a high degree of computer processing power and fast internet service. Many of the high-definition graphics gaming services available via the internet require that the computer being used is capable of rendering and processing the images, features, and functions, as well as sending/receiving data from the internet extremely fast — without the high-speed capability of the computer and the internet service, data could not be rendered across these sophisticated types of gaming systems — the gaming experience would be too slow for it to be worth playing, and many of the features would not work at all.
The Next Step
Once the needs of the internet user have been determined, the next step is to obtain a device and internet service suitable for rendering the desired internet services. The desired internet services will usually recommend minimum criteria by which one may satisfactorily use services — that is to say, hardware/software requirements and internet bandwidth (speed) requirements. When shopping for the computer, one should carefully determine whether the computer satisfies the criteria recommended by the online service provider, whether E-mail, gaming, data backup, Microsoft, or YouTube. Once the computer is obtained, the next step will be shopping for or locating an appropriate internet service with sufficient speed, whether it be a cell phone “data” plan, home-based high-speed internet, or a simple dial-up service.
Last of all, one might have to make some adjustments to the computer being used before using it for the purpose that it was purchased. Most new computers come with software preinstalled that can be irritating to deal with until it is uninstalled or configured in the desired way. Furthermore, any antivirus program installed on the device must be configured properly so that it doesn’t effectively take over the computer while running unchecked.