ISP or Internet Service Provider is a business organization which provides access to the use of the internet. Any form of organization, like commercial entities, community-owned, non-profit, or privately owned, can be ISPs. Typical internet services which an ISP can provide are the following: internet access, internet transit, domain name registration, web hosting, Usenet service, and collocation.
The internet is composed of a network of networks, so that any ISP may connect to a larger network and become affiliated or become a part of that network. Most large communications companies function as ISPs, but they, too, are interconnected with other prestigious, networks, globally.
There are many classifications of internet service provider (ISP): access providers, mailbox providers, hosting ISPs, transit ISPs, virtual ISPs, free ISPs, and wireless ISP.
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An access provider gives internet access by using different forms of technologies, such as computer modems with acoustic couplers, telephone lines, television cable (CATV), wi-fi, and fiber optics, which can help connect the users to their network. For small businesses, access providers may also service the following: dial-up, DSL,asymmetric digital subscriber line,cable modem or Integrated Services Digital Network. Access providers may cater these different technological services to medium-to-large business – higher-speed DSL, Ethernet, metropolitan Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet, Frame Relay, ISDN Primary Rate Interface, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and SONET (synchronous optical networking).
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Mailbox providers are organizations that provide services for hosting electronic mail with the right to use storage for mail boxes. Mailbox providers can be access providers, depending on the kind of technology they offer. Basically, mail providers offer email services, which employ the sending, receiving, accepting, and storing of emails for the users.
Services, such as email, web-hosting, online storage services, as a virtual server, cloud services, physical server operation, are forms of business services of hosting ISPs.
It is called transit ISP because this type of provider has to pay an upstream ISP in order to access internet to their customers.
Virtual ISP functions more as facilitators as it operates by availing of the services of another ISP, which mainly acts as a service wholesaler, and, thereby, allowing access of the customers of the virtual ISP to their services and infrastructures. Virtual ISP has similar operation arrangements as that of virtual network operators or competitive local exchange carriers.
Free of charge services are provided by free ISPs, but they profit from advertisement displays while the users are connected and are using the free service. Free ISPs operate as non-profit organizations and are run by a staff of volunteers.
The network operating wireless ISPs is based on wireless technology. Such technologies that may be referred to are the following: commonplace Wi-Fi wireless mesh networking, or proprietary equipment designed to operate over open 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 4.9, 5.2, 5.4, 5.7, and 5.8 GHz bands or licensed frequencies such as 2.5 GHz (EBS/BRS), 3.65 GHz (NN) and in the UHF band (including the MMDS frequency band) and LMDS.