Internet Service Providers

An Internet provider is a company that provides access to the Internet. The range of services and the cost can vary widely depending on geographic location and the number of Internet providers in the area.

Once the computer is connected to the Internet the user is able to do many things. They can send and receive e-mail, chat with text or voice, browse the World Wide Web and perform countless other tasks with the appropriate software.

Some common ways of connecting to the Internet include:

  • Dial up Modem
  • Internet ready cable
  • Digital Subscriber Line
  • T-1 and T-3 Lines (Simply turning on the computer that is on a network at work or school connected to the Internet.)

The Internet today, which rocketed to prominence during the late 20th century, has become important in information, trade, and communication. One of the greatest things about the Internet is that nobody really owns it. It is a global collection of networks, both big and small. There are many types of computer networks including:

  • Local-area networks (LANs): The computers are geographically close together (that is, in the same building).
  • Wide-area networks (WANs): The computers are farther apart and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.
  • Campus-area networks (CANs): The computers are within a limited geographic area, such as a campus or military base.
  • Metropolitan-area networks (MANs): A data network designed for a town or city.
  • Home-area networks (HANs): A network contained within a user's home that connects a person's digital devices.

The Internet is simply a BIG bunch of these little networks connected together into a network of networks . These networks connect together in many different ways to form the single entity known as The Internet . In fact, the very name comes from this idea of interconnected networks.

Every computer that is connected to the Internet is part of a network. And every little net on the Internet communicates with every other little net using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) language and the TCP/IP set of rules (protocols).

Home computers may use a modem and dial a local number to connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Office computers may be part of a Local Area Network (LAN)), but most likely still connect to the Internet using an Internet provider that the company has contracted with. When a computer connects with the Internet service provider, that computer becomes a part of the ISP network. The ISP may then connect to a larger network and become part of their network. The Internet is simply a network of networks.

Actually, the Internet is a lot like the public switched telephone system, except that it carries tiny data packets instead of voices. Also like the phone system, the Internet covers the whole world; it's BIG business.

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