Magazine article Real Estate Issues

Real Estate Begins to Go Online

Magazine article Real Estate Issues

Real Estate Begins to Go Online

Article excerpt

You have to live under Plymouth Rock not to be subjected to the technohype published about The Internet over the past year. To keep things in perspective, keep in mind only one in ten households has a personal computer and of these only one in four use a modem. For those non users ask yourself, what am I missing and is there anything on the Info Highway, or IWAY, that I can use as a real estate practitioner?

Background On The Internet.

Internet is a widely misunderstood buzzword. It is not a single network, but rather the interconnection of thousands of separate networks using a common "language" to communicate with one another. The system was developed by the U.S. Defense Department years ago to connect government agencies and research sites at colleges and universities around the United States. It has grown to include thousands of companies and millions of individuals around the world.

Access to The Internet is probably the biggest hurdle for users to overcome. Most computer hackers outside the government and academic communities subscribe to a commercial online service such as America Online, Compuserve, GEnie, Prodigy, Delphi, Netcom and, coming in mid 1995, the Microsoft Network. Each of These organizations offers a variety of individual services including E-Mail, Newsgroups, Bulletin Boards, News, Live Chat, etc., and each currently is in a race to provide complete access to The Internet. Complete access includes E-Mail, File Transfer Protocol, Newsgroups, Mailing Lists, Telnet and World Wide Web. More about these functions later.

Until recently, most commercial services provided only E-Mail and Newsgroups. The access point on the commercial services is called a gateway to The Internet. Typically, there is a basic monthly charge of about $10 per month. Some of the services charge extra for Internet access. Most of the online services have local access numbers in urban and suburban areas.

Things to watch for when signing up for service include available local access numbers, additional Internet and E-Mail fees, hours allowed online for the basic charge, Windows interface and Internet gateway capabilities including FTP, WWW and Telnet. To get started, do some comparative shopping. Contact:

America Online (800) 827-6364

Compuserve (800) 848-8990

Delphi (800) 695-4005

GEnie (800) 638-9636

Prodigy (800) 776-3449

Netcom (800) 353-6600

Once you sign on and explore a service's local databases, message boards and special interest groups, you'll want to enter the gateway to The Internet. …

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