What is an ISP?

While talking about the Internet, if someone mentions their ‘provider’, they are generally talking about their ISP. An Internet Service Provider, commonly called an ISP, is a company that helps you connect your devices to the internet.

The ISP is your gateway to the limitless opportunities of things you can do on the internet. He is the link between your devices, like mobile phones, computers, wireless printers, and many more, to the millions of servers located all around the globe. It is these servers that help you do all sorts of things on the internet, be it shopping, binge-watching your favorite shows and movies, conducting research, and more. These servers are where the data is stored, which you eventually access from your devices.

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Let’s understand with an example:

Let’s say you are sending an official email from your laptop at your home to your boss. Now you would think that the mail is getting directly delivered to your boss but it is not. The mail you have sent first goes from your laptop to your ISP’s server. Then, from there it is sent along to its destination via other servers on the internet.

Of course, as this entire process is ‘electronic’, the transmission is instantaneous.

Every home and organization which is connected to the internet has an ISP. However, the good news is, we all don’t need to have the same internet provider. Also, unlike having to pay extra to communicate with someone who has a different telephone operator, we don’t have to pay anything extra to communicate with someone who has a different ISP.

Types of ISP:

There are broadly 5 types ISPs as shown below:

types of internet services provider (ISP)
  1. Access Provider: An access provider is an ISP that helps an individual or an organization to have access to the internet. This could be through different types of broadband connections. 
  2. Mailbox Provider: A mailbox provider is an organization that provides email hosting services to its customers. It implements email servers that help send, receive, accept, and store email for other organizations or individual customers, on their behalf.
  3. Hosting ISP: A hosting ISP offers various hosting services like website hosting, e-mail hosting, cloud services, etc.
  4. Virtual ISP: A virtual ISP, also known as Affinity ISP, is an ISP that resells the resources of other existing ISPs under its brand name.
  5. Free ISP: Free ISPs are the ones who provide their services for no charges.

Connection Types:

Different ISPs have been using different technologies for data transition over a long period of time. Some of these technologies are:

We have talked about these in more details in a separate blog, do check it out!

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