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Push Versus Pull Technology Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 20th, 2019

The internet is a very complex communication platform. The current form of the internet is the product of multiple innovations from various people. The internet still has many technological gaps despite its current complex form. Therefore, the number of business applications as well as the tools and protocols that guide the operations of the internet will keep on increasing.

In the context of communication protocols, technology falls within two broad classes. The two classes are Push Technology and Pull Technology. This paper examines the background, current uses, and future applications of these two technologies.


The term “Pull Technology” refers to the communication model where end users initiate requests for data. Usually, the data sits in remote servers. On the other hand, “Push Technology” refers to the communication model where servers initiate the transfer of data to end users.

In this case, the user is a passive recipient of information sent from the servers. The servers use filters to distinguish between different pools of information relevant to specific users.

Push Technology

Background to the Technology

Push Technology applications avail the information in remote facilities to users. A remote server uses filters to distinguish between the kinds of information sent to each user. This model is similar to the operations of television and radio broadcast systems.

The main difference between traditional applications of Push Technology and the internet is that internet Push Technology can allow for two-way communication between a server and a receiver. For instance, a receiver can make further inquiries based on the information received passively from a server. This is not possible with radio and television.

Current Uses of Push Technology

Some examples of current applications of Push Technology include online advertisements, chat, email system, and RSS feeds. Internet search companies such as Yahoo and Google use advertisements to raise revenues to fund their operations.

When a user opens a webpage, it usually has adverts from various companies related to the content on the screen. Search engine companies display advertisements without any specific request from the users.

Internet chat is the second example of the application of Push Technology. When a person initiates internet chat with someone else, the receiver has no control over the information he receives via the service. Chats usually pop up when someone tries to make contact from a remote location.

The receiver can only react by responding or shutting down the chat service. In recent times, VoIP has become an integral part of online chat. This application uses voice rather than text as the main chat medium. Such applications will increase in number in the future.

The third example of a Push Technology application is email. Email makes it possible for internet users to communicate by sending messages to each other. Senders can send any information they please if they have the email address of a recipient. Many Internet users receive spam mail from people unknown to them in addition to emails from familiar sources.

The fourth application of push systems in business is the use of RSS feeds. RSS feeds came up to enable registered people to receive notifications regarding the availability of certain types of content. RSS feeds enable such people to get alerts about recently published articles and blog posts on topics of interest to them. This helps them to keep in touch with development in fields of interest.

Future Uses of Push Technology

Push Technology applications will remain an important part of the online experience of many users. The main areas where Push Technology will remain important include online advertising, surveillance systems, and security applications.

The current success of online advertising makes it easy to predict its continued use. Internet giants such as Google and Yahoo have proved that it is a viable business model. Facebook joined these ranks and is now experiencing good returns from its online advertising programs. These examples show that advertising will remain a major application of Push Technology.

Secondly, surveillance systems will use Push Technology to collect information about activities in various places. A very modest example is the use of nanny cams to monitor household activities. The nannies are unaware that they are under surveillance by remote servers. On a different note, facial recognition software running on clandestine platforms will pick out wanted persons using webcams.

Thirdly, more security applications will rely on push systems. Already, many facilities use biometrics to authenticate requests to get access to sensitive areas. In the future, such systems will become more common. Banks will deploy Push Technology to authenticate requests to withdraw funds from automated teller machines, and even institutions such as schools will use them to sift out students from intruders.

Pull Technology

Background to the Technology

Pull Technology emerged when it became apparent that internet users wanted to control their access to information. In this regard, early forms of the internet gave users the ability to search data repositories, initially for research. This is still the predominant form of internet usage today. Users go to web addresses where they believe they will find useful information.

The central aspect of Pull Technology is that it gives users discretion and control over where to look for information. This is different from traditional media such as radio and television that provide information based on the aggregate needs of viewers and listeners.

Current Uses of Pull Technology

Some of the current uses of Pull Technology are as follows. When advertisers are trying to reach global audiences, or scattered customer bases, they place content that potential customer will look for online.

When these potential customers type the keywords related to their interests, search engines find the sites that contain such content. Pull Technology works when advertisers and people seeking to reach a wide audience place content on websites that matches the needs of internet users.

Secondly, internet search engines work based on Pull Technology. Almost all internet users go to a search engine first to find sites of value to them. Search engines make it possible for them to find the information they need based on their requirements. Google is the leading search engine today. However, Yahoo and Bing are also important players in the global internet search industry.

The third application of Pull Technology is in companies with restricted repositories. Many companies have confidential documents on their intranets. Such companies allow only their employees to get access to such repositories. For instance, a company like Apple has many projects going on at any time.

Its product development teams do not communicate with people outside the company regarding Apple’s ongoing projects. At various points, these employees need information in the repository to carry out their functions.

For instance, a project administrator may need the company’s budgets in order to prepare tender documents. In this case, the administrator uses Pull Technology to get access to the information in the repository. This is a common use of Push Technology in many corporations.

Future Uses of Pull Technology

Pull Technology will be around for a long time to come. Internet users need to have control over the content they view online. The future applications of Pull Technology are as follows.

First, Pull Technology will remain a source of influence over the content people develop for websites and blogs. When people publish their articles online, they expect to find an audience for it. Search Engine Optimizations helps them to prepare content that interested persons can find through search engines. While these activities are already part of business today, they will become even more important to businesses in the future.

Secondly, ecommerce will spur the further development of Push Technology. Ecommerce usually requires the active participation of the users. When buying something online, an internet user must go through a deliberate purchasing process. This means that the demand for Push Technology will grow with time as more people start participating in ecommerce.

Thirdly, more devices are becoming part of the internet. Futuristic dreams of controlling gadgets in the home from remote locations are becoming viable with time. Soon, it may be possible to turn off a refrigerator remotely via the internet. There are many internet-ready gadgets in the market already.

They include printers, scanners, and cameras. It is just a matter of time before ordinary household gadgets become part of the internet. The significance of these developments in light of Push Technology is that people will need a means of controlling these devices remotely.

While a refrigerator may only need a thermostat to turn on or off, it requires an intelligent mind to raise its temperature from -50 to -10 in response to environmental changes. Someone on a long vacation will be able to turn off his refrigerator when winter starts. This example illustrates the technological direction the internet will take in the future, as more devices become part of the internet.


The future of the Push and Pull Technologies will follow different paths, depending on the specific applications in question. Push Technology will become more important to law enforcement agencies such as local police and counter terrorism units across the world. Espionage will depend on clandestine applications based on Push Technology to increase the accuracy of intelligence gathered for business or law enforcement purposes.

Secondly, the future of Push Technology is also bright because of the increasing sophistication of internet users across the world. Users will keep on demanding better content and greater control over their online activities. In this regard, more content of this nature will be available online as time moves on.

The third expectation is the convergence of the two technologies in more applications across the internet. Today, Google search results display both the results of a search and adverts related to the search. While the user initiates the search process, the search engine provider uses the opportunity to place adverts on the screen. The simultaneous application of both technologies will become more common.

Works Cited

Cardoso, Gustavo. From Mass Communication to Networked Communication: Thoughts 2.0. Lisbon: Lisbon Internet and Networks, 2009. Print.

Holmes, David. Communication Theory: Media, Technology, and Society. London: SAGE, 2005. Print.

Kull, Katrin. The Model of Internet-Based Marketing Communication. Tallinn: Tallinn Technical University, 2003. Print.

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