Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What is an ISP?

Many people are unsure just what exactly an ISP is, or of the different ways in which they can obtain internet access. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a business or organisation that provides access to the internet. As well as providing access to the internet users rely on ISP’s for domain name registering, and email. At the dawn of the internet ISP's were ran by telephone companies, but now anyone who has the skills to do so can start their own ISP, which means much more choice (and perhaps confusion!) for the consumer.

ISP’s provide different ways of accessing the internet, from slower dial up services to faster broadband connections. Both have their merits although as online media more popular broadband is increasingly favoured. However dial up ISP are preferred by many loyal users and can be accessed from any landline in the world.

Generally an ISP charges a monthly fee to a customer, dependant upon the speed of the service, and other extras offered, although free ISP services are available. Check out Which ISP? for a list of free providers.

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