Category Archives: Free Learning

New Tools Allow Users to Decide Where Their Online Traffic Goes

Category : Free Learning , General

The beauty of the internet is that people have access to so much information from around the world. Data from millions of websites is readily available within a few seconds. Not only is the data accessible from computers, but smartphones and tablets too.

But being able to access all this data on the smallest of devices also means that a user’s data is being transmitted through various countries. Many countries and individuals are concerned about where their data is going or passing through.

New tools make it possible to decide how that data is transmitted.

Region-Aware Networking

It all started from a study by researchers at Princeton. They wanted to see where data passed through when it originated in different parts of the world. Their research revealed some very interesting facts.

For instance, the research showed that a lot of the internet routing paths that go from countries such as Brazil, Kenya and India are going through the United States and Europe.

To properly understand the issue, they came up with a tool that is known as Region-Aware Networking. It is shortened as RAN. With RAN, a user or organization should be able to reroute their network traffic so that it is not passing through specific countries or regions.

Popular Sites Have Common Hosting Countries

The issue is that many of the most popular websites on the world wide web are hosted on servers in the United States or European countries. Even when these sites are accessible around the world, it is done through contracts with the content distribution network.

It is why the RAN was not as successful at rerouting in certain situations. While it worked most of the time, it was not able to reroute much of the traffic when accessing popular websites from the US or Europe.

Research Using VPNs

The researchers wanted to find out more information about this traffic dependency in various parts of the world. They used virtual private networks, or VPNs, to access websites as if they were in different countries. For instance, they would use a VPN from Brazil, India, Kenya or some other country to access the same 100 popular sites.

The data they found showed how much certain countries are dependent on services in the United States and Europe. For instance, around 84 percent of the traffic from Brazil for popular websites was passing through the United States.

Countries such as India and Kenya had a lot of traffic going through Britain. Traffic from Kenya was also going through South Africa and Mauritius very often.

RAN Does Help

While the RAN tool developed by the team is not perfect, it did help avoid certain routes. For instance, without the tool around 50 percent of the routes from Kenya were going through Britain. The tool ensured that 97 percent of the routes were not going through Britain to access the popular websites.

RAN is the type of tool that would be useful for individuals or organizations who do not want their data bound by the laws of the country where it passes through – such as the United States.


Using Free Resources to Learn Coding

Category : Free Learning , General

Getting into programming is a lot easier than most other professions. While a lot of skill and learning is required to become a competent programmer, much of it can be learned individually.

Courses and teachers can help, but there are many great programmers who are completely self-taught. And with so many great resources available online, learning programming has never been easier.

 

Free Programming Resources

The two best free resources for programmers are Code Academy and FreeCodeCamp. These two websites offer programmers the chance to learn and hone their skill for free.

Not only do the sites offer many great courses that programmers can use to their advantage, but they can also put programmers in touch with small businesses, organizations and nonprofits that may require their services.

Individual Learning

There are ups and downs to individual learning. The biggest benefit is that a person is not tied to a particular course or college. It is not about learning in a classroom environment, but individually through various exercises. And it can be done anywhere; someone could be sitting at a coffee shop for a few hours and taking a few tutorials on how to code.

And it does not even require a particularly powerful computer, as almost every modern laptop should be good enough to run basic coding programs.

There are now web apps for coding, which make it even easier to learn and experiment with different types of code.

Taking Free Courses

After completing a lot of the free tutorials and guides that are available on the above mentioned site, future programmers can also look at free college-style courses. These courses are available through different institutes and universities.

The reason why free courses are so great is because they add structure to learning. A course requires various steps to complete and can help to direct a new programmer’s education in the right direction.

Applying for Jobs and Freelancing

One way to get into professional coding is to look at freelance opportunities. While it can be hard to find the ideal clients, it does offer the opportunity to test newly learned skills on real world situations.

A client may ask for a basic website edit. Such a project would require coding knowledge. When someone has completed many different courses and found themselves comfortable in a few programming languages, they will be ready to move onto the next level.

Freelancing is also helpful as it is a way to add experience to one’s resume. Being able to show real work was completed for various clients is a huge advantage. And when someone works on the website or blog of a major client, being able to add the client’s name to a resume is a major positive.

Patience and Self Motivation

If there are two skills that every programmer must possess they are patience and self-motivation.

Patience is needed for the moments where a lesson may not be easily understood. It is so easy to give up, but programmers must persevere until they fully understand the lesson.

And self-motivation is necessary because programming is such an isolating profession, especially for those who are trying to learn on their own!