Monday, October 11, 2010
Internet café or cybercafé is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee. These businesses usually provide snacks and drinks, hence the café in the name. The fee for using a computer is usually charged as a time-based rate.
Internet cafés are located worldwide, and many people use them when traveling to access webmail and instant messaging services to keep in touch with family and friends.
Apart from travelers, in many developing countries Internet cafés are the primary form of Internet access for citizens as a shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software.
A variation on the Internet café business model is the LAN gaming center, used for multiplayer gaming. These cafés have several computer stations connected to a LAN. The connected computers are custom-assembled for gameplay, supporting popular multiplayer games.
This is reducing the need for video arcades and arcade games, many of which are being closed down or merged into Internet cafés. The use of Internet cafés for multiplayer gaming is particularly popular in certain areas of Asia like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and The Philippines.
In some countries, since practically all LAN gaming centers also offer Internet access, the terms net cafe and LAN gaming center have become interchangeable. Again, this shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software, specially since games often require high end and expensive PC's.
There are also Internet kiosks, Internet access points in public places like public libraries, airport halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing.
Many hotels, resorts, and cruise ships offer Internet access for the convenience of their guests; this can take various forms, such as in-room wireless access, or a web browser that uses the in-room television set for its display (usually in this case the hotel provides a wireless keyboard on the assumption that the guest will use it from the bed), or computer(s) that guests can use, either in the lobby or in a business center.
As with telephone service, in the US most mid-price hotels offer Internet access from a computer in the lobby to registered guests without charging an additional fee, while fancier hotels are more likely to charge for the use of a computer in their "business center."
For those traveling by road in North America, many truck stops have Internet kiosks, for which a typical charge is around 20 cents per minute.
Internet cafés come in a wide range of styles, reflecting their location, main clientele, and sometimes, the social agenda of the proprietors.
at 10:13 PM