An Internet service provider (ISP) is a type of company that provides the capability to access the internet. There are different forms of Internet service provider or ISP such as commercial, community-owned and privately owned. It is necessary to carefully choose the type of Internet service that these companies offer. There are many ways from which you can connect to the internet but it depends whether it is available in your area. At present, most ISP’s use dial-up or DSL, cable television line or satellite connection to connect to the internet.
Before the Internet service providers were introduced to the market, there was limited access to the internet and only those who had an affiliation to a participating university or government agency had the privilege. It was in the late 90’s when the number of Internet service providers had significantly increased to approximately 10,000 around the world, with more than half of it is located in the U.S. Most of the Internet service providers back then were small companies that made a contract for internet services from larger ISP companies such as America Online and offered their services to clients and businesses. AOL became the leading provider for ISP’s around the world. At around the same time, many state-owned ISP’s in Asia entered the business. The dial-up Internet service provider AOL had its downfall when customers shifted to broadband service for faster internet connection.
Dial-up requires that you have access to a land-line telephone service to connect to the internet. The normal download speed of 24-48 Kbps is a bit slow and it’s not recommended when downloading huge files over the internet or watching full HD videos on YouTube, but occasional users who only tend to check their emails regularly, browse web pages or visit social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter will be fine using dial-up connection.
Satellite uses wireless internet connection and is much faster than dial-up. Usually, the quality of the connection is affected by weather conditions. People who like to go online when DSL internet or Cable internet is not available in their area would consider the satellite as an alternative however; it lacks the ability to connect to streaming content such as YouTube videos and online radios.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or Cable internet is designed for those who are using the internet primarily for downloading huge amounts of data and media consumption such as video call, online videos and large files. The average download speed of DSL is 3 Mbps whereas cable internet is faster at 4-6 Mbps. On the other hand, high-end cable speeds average from 12-20 Mbps. Another option would be the use of mobile device technology such as cellular phone, tablet or laptop. For these devices to work, you need an ISP that offers a 2G, 3G and 4G wireless connection. Whilst these devices can be useful, they provide only a limited amount of data that you can use to surf the net but if the user is registered to a monthly unlimited data plan, he or she can enjoy web browsing for months using wireless internet.