Topic 3


Most computers are connected to networks which usually involves the Internet. 

This means that computer manufacturers include all the hardware and software that you need for connection when you buy the computer. 

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Satellite communication

  • Used for communication across continents
  • Uses radio signals to send data
  • Data signals from one continent are beamed up to the satelitte in orbit and then sent back down to a satelittle dish in another continent
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  • Data travels through air rather than cables
  • Can access the internet on portable devices


  • Users can work where and when they want
  • You can work whilst on the move
  • Fewer/ no trailing wires to trip over
  • It is easier to keep a working area clean if there aren't as many wires in the way
  • No costs associated with sinking wires


  • Danger of hackers reading messages
  • There are areas where you cannot get a wireless network
  • There may be a danger to your health
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Connection Equipment- Modems

A modem is a device that allows a computer to be connected to the internet. 

Dial up- slow connection making use of a telephone lines

Cable/ Broadband- fast broadband connection 

Dial up is very slow and must be connected to a telephone line- meaning the phone cannot be used at the same time.

Broadband features:

  • Use a phone at the same time
  • Download files at high speed
  • Watch online videos
  • Use webcameras
  • Listen to online radio 
  • Watch TV programmes
  • Surf the Internet quickly
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Connection Equipment- Routers

A router is a device that enables a network to be connected to the Internet. 


  • Enables several computers to share the same Internet connection
  • Often allows wireless Internet connection
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Bluetooth is a method used to transfer data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices. It is used to transfer data between portable devices without the need for wires.

Examples of bluetooth are: wireless keyboards and mice (less clutter on desk); wireless headsets; sharing data; printing a picture from a camera phone; and listening to music using wireless headphones


  • no wires are needed, no clutter, easier to clean
  • Devices can be synchronised
  • It is easy to use- no hardware is needed and no software needs to be installed


  • Can only be used over short distances- uses low power radio signals
  • Relatively small bandwidth- which limits its use
  • There are health concerns
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Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

GIS is an ICT system that is used to capture, manage, analyse and display geographically referenced information. Satellite navigation systems and router finders are types of GIS. 

Uses of GIS: 

  • Determine how far it is from one place to another
  • See a bird's eye view of your house and surroundings
  • Plan the quickest route to school/ college
  • View the surroundings when you go to a new place or on holiday
  • Look at the surrounding area when you are thinking of buying or renting a property

Examples of GIS:

  • Satellite navigation systems- navigation instructions as you drive
  • Google Earth
  • Multimap- useful for maps and aerial views
  • Google glasses
  • The AA- useful for finding route details from one place or postcode to another
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GIS advantages and disadvantages


  • They reduce fuel consumption, which is therefore greener because you do not get lost
  • You can arrive at your destination without delay, as you can be warned of road works
  • You can save money by choosing the shortest route
  • You can choose a hotel by seeing how far it is from the beach


  • Satellite navigation systems can send you down very small and windy roads
  • They can be hard to use
  • The information is sometimes out-of-date
  • They can cause accidents if people start inputting data into them whilst driving
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