Internet Service Provider – What is an ISP?
Internet Service Provider – ISP. In short, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that provides customers with access to the Internet. ISPs can provide access in a number of ways, such as dial-up, DSL, Cable modem, Satellite, and Fiber optic. Different technologies have different limitations and speeds. Most ISPs also provide email accounts and sometimes webspace to their subscribers.
How Does Internet Service Provider (ISP) Work?
In order for an ISP to offer service to its customers, it must connect its network to the Internet backbone. This connection can be made in several ways including copper wires (dial-up), fiber optic cables (fiber), or coaxial cables (cable). The type of connection used by an ISP will usually dictate the types of services that the ISP can offer to its customers as well as the maximum speed that its customers will be able to receive. For example, copper wire (dial-up) is much slower than fiber optic cable (fiber) but fiber infrastructure is also more expensive to build and maintain. Therefore, ISPs that use dial-up tend to be less expensive for consumers but also offer slower speeds. On the other hand, ISPs that use fiber can offer very fast speeds but are often more expensive.
In order to connect their networks to the Internet backbone, ISPs must first establish peering relationships with other providers of transit service. Once these relationships are established, the ISP can then exchange traffic with these other networks without having to pay anything for the privilege.
In addition to connecting their networks to the Internet backbone, ISPs must also purchase IP addresses from a regional internet registry (RIR). An IP address is a unique number that is assigned to each device that is connected to the Internet.IP addresses allow devices to communicate with each other and are essential for the proper function of the Internet.
Nowadays we take our access to the internet for granted but there was a time not so long ago when only academics and scientists had this privilege. In order for us regular folk to get online, we need an internet service provider or “ISP”. But what exactly is an ISP and how do they work? Let’s take a closer look.