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What Is Isp - What Exactly Is an ISP?

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You may have heard the term ISP and are wondering, “What is ISP?” ISP is an acronym that stands for internet service provider.

An internet service provider is simply a company that provides access to the internet to a group of users. Most usually, this service comes in the form of a for profit business. The ISP will provide the technology and infrastructure to allow users to access the web. In exchange, the users will pay a fee for the services. This fee is most usually paid on a monthly or yearly basis.

Internet service providers can provide their services through a number of very different technologies. The most popular of these technologies currently are dial-up internet access, DSL internet access, and cable internet access. Typically, an ISP will only provide internet access via one of these technologies. However, some companies do implement more than one.

Dial-up internet access gets its name from the fact that dialing a phone number is used as part of accessing the internet. To use a dial-up internet connection, a phone line must be connected to an internet modem designed for dial-up. Such modems sometimes exist preinstalled in computers. This is, however, becoming less and less common. If one is not, one can be installed. A modem can also be used as a peripheral piece of hardware connected to the computer via a cable. When the dial-up modem attempts to connect to the internet, it will do so by calling a specific number reserved for that ISP.

While dial-up ISPs were once popular, especially during the 1990’s, they are now seen as rather archaic and as a very poor internet service choice. This is because of the limits of the technology. For one, due to the fact that the modem must maintain a phone call to access the internet, no incoming calls can be received while the computer is connected to the internet. Secondly, dial-up is extremely slow by current standards. Due to the limits on how a dial-up ISP sends information through traditional telephone lines, downloading one megabyte of information can take up to five minutes.

DSL internet is a form of internet access that gained popularity during the waning popularity of dial-up internet. DSL stands for digital subscriber line. DSL technology was in fact grandfathered from dial-up internet and uses much of the same means for transferring information. However, the technology is a vast improvement upon the capabilities of dial-up.

For example, DSL ISPs like dial-up ISPs both use a modem to connect to the internet. However, a DSL modem most usually also has the ability to transfer information via a WIFI connection. WIFI is a term that stands for wireless fidelity. A WIFI connection allows a computer to connect with an internet modem wirelessly. Using a WIFI connection, a computer no longer needs to be directly connected to a modem as had been the case with dial-up.

DSL ISPs also implement telephone lines to transmit information. However, due to the design of DSL technology, phone calls can be made and received while the computer is connected to the internet. This is possible because telephone signals and internet signals are separated into different frequencies sent down a telephone line. Telephone calls will be sent at a relatively low frequency. Internet signals will be sent at a higher frequency. This way, one will not obstruct the other. Due to the design of the technology, DSL ISPs often offer internet access as a package that also includes telephone service. DSL internet also uses telephone lines in a way that allows it to be nearly 35 times faster than dial-up.

Lastly, cable internet access is another very popular choice offered by ISPs. Instead of using a telephone connection to provide internet access, a cable ISP uses a cable line. Cable ISPs, in fact, often use the same cable lines that provide cable television. For this reason, cable television and cable internet is often offered as a single package.

Like DSL, phone calls will not be interrupted while connecting to the internet with a Cable ISP unlike with a dial-up ISP. Cable internet also offers one big advantage over DSL, and that is speed. Cable internet can sometimes be three times faster than a DSL ISP. However, during peak usage, download speeds can slow down.

Today, DSL and cable ISPs are the most popular choices among consumers. However, new technologies are always emerging while other ones improve. As was the case with dial-up internet, the way people connect to the internet can change very quickly.

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