An Internet Service Provider, ISP, is a company that provides a gateway to the Internet for individuals and companies. In its simplest form, connecting to the Internet requires a telephone line to dial up an ISP using a computer and modem. The ISP then provides the route onto the Internet.
Choosing an Internet Service Provider requires a simple first step. Ask yourself: “What do I want to use the Internet for?" If you can answer this, you can then start to work out your requirements.
Answers to the question “What do I want to use the Internet for?" can include:
- How much will I use the Internet each month?
- What time of day will I use it?
- Do I need web space?
- Is customer support important to me?
- How many e-mail addresses will I need?
- Can the ISP support online payments?
- How much does it cost?
Another question to ask is “How long has the ISP been in business?” This might not seem important but in this industry ISP’s come and go quite regularly. Running an ISP requires extensive computer knowledge, experience and quality hardware, not to mention a reliable line into the Internet, plenty of good modems and adequate customer support.
Different types of Internet service
Dial-up: connects to the ISP using a modem. This is the most basic, slowest and cheapest option.
DSL: popular high speed internet service. It uses a regular telephone line to connect to the Internet, however it is faster that dial-up and allows you to access the Internet and use the phone at the same time.
Cable: high speed Internet service that uses your TV cable.
Satellite: It connects to the Internet using a satellite dish. It is more expensive than other options but allows people leaving in isolated areas to access the Internet.
Wireless: Connect to the Internet while you are away from home. Allows people to travel with their laptops and access the Internet from hot spots worldwide.
The next step should be to start calling the Internet Service Providers in your area or visiting their websites for more information. A good way to find out about a particular ISP in your area is to ask people who use it or try it yourself. On the Internet there are good ISP's directories that you may want to visit as well.
The author is Ronald Vyhmeister, visit his website at High Speed Internet Providers (http://www.allisp.info ). Feel free to use this article in your website or newsletter, but keep this author box with live links.