ISP (Internet Service Provider)

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ISP stands for “Internet Service Provider”, which is a company that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet for both individuals and organizations. ISPs can also provide additional services, such as email services, domain registration, internet transit, and web hosting. Every device that is capable of connecting to the Internet needs an ISP for an active Internet connection. Some ISPs are bundling their solutions with other offers, such as cable tv to attract more customers.

How does an ISP work?

There is a hierarchy among ISPs. On top, there are Tier 1 ISPs. Tier 1 ISPs have access to all the networks on the Internet using only network peering agreements. Some of the Tier 1 ISPs are Vodacom, Bharti, Deutsche Telekom, British Telecommunications, and Verizon. These ISPs sell access to Tier 2 ISPs that sells internet access to companies and individuals. Tier 1 ISPs can also sell internet access directly to customers. There are also second intermediary ISPS, also known as Tier 3 ISPs, that purchase network bandwidth from Tier 2 ISPs and sells it to customers. ISPs use various technologies to establish connectivity, such as cables, satellites, fiber optics, and other mediums.

Types of ISP Offerings

There are several types of ISPs depending on the technologies they use. One of them is dial-up, which uses an existing phone line to connect to the internet. It was very popular during the early days of the internet but it is very slow compared to other solutions. Another type is a broadband internet, which can be accessed through options like a phone or cable company. Another popular type is DSL, which stands for digital subscriber line. DSL uses a broadband internet connection that uses a dedicated line and a modem.

The most popular type nowadays is Fiber. It is one of the fastest solutions available. It uses fiber optic cables instead of copper wires. Although it is not common yet, there are some ISPs that are working on satellite technologies to provide internet connection. It completely eliminates the need for the cables, however launching satellites requires a significant investment and technology.

Examples of ISPs

Some of the most popular ISPs are Viasat, HughesNet, Google Fiber, TDS Telecom, Consolidated Communications, Rise Broadband, Earthlink, Optimum, WOW, Windstream, Mediacom, Sparklight, Suddenlink, Cox, Frontier, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, CenturyLink, AT&T Internet, Xfinity, BT, and Sky Broadband.

Which Internet service provider in the 1990s was the largest?

AOL was the biggest ISPs in the late 1990s and had more than 30 million members. Along with AOL,, DELPHI, and Earthlink were also very popular.

How do you find out your ISP?

The easiest way to find out your ISP is to use some of the online tools. You can easily visit or to learn about your internet service provider within seconds.

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