Do You Use One Of These Top Internet Providers ?
Internet Providers (ISP) provide access to the world wide web (WWW) via your PC at home. This is provided by a cable modem or similar box that attaches to your computer and generates the connection via TC cable or telephone lines. There is high speed access which is the norm these days and then there is DSL and sometimes dial up internet (much slower).
Companies like AT&T in the USA and Rogers in Canada are examples of many of the companies that provide these services, and they are billion dollar organizations, so this is obviously a big industry to be in. They also act as the ISP for business and government in addition to home use.
In addition to broadband internet providers you now have mobile, wireless (also called Wi-Fi), internet service providers that are often the same companies. They provide web access to cell phones like the iPhone and for laptops and tablets. Hard to believe that technology has come this far in a few short years.
An internet service provider can be classified in the three general categories. An access ISP provides its users with direct access to the Internet with wired or wireless connections. A hosting ISP provides its users with storage space on its servers through Internet connections. A transit provider provides its users with high-speed access to an access ISP or hosting ISP. Many businesses offer services from more than one of these categories.
The Internet originated as a closed network for government organizations and some universities. These educational institutions began to offer www access to more of their members, resulting in the creation of commercial ISPs that charged a fee for the services. The first commercial ISP was The World, which began providing Internet access in 1990.
The technology used to connect users to the web may generally be classified into telephone services and broadband services. Telephone services use one or more telephone lines and are slower than broadband services. Telephone services include dial-up, Integrated Services Digital Network and Digital Subscriber Line services. Broadband services include any service that is faster than telephone services, and may use a range of specific technologies.
CenturyLink provides high-speed Internet service with a maximum download rate of 40 megabits per second and a maximum upload rate of 5 Mbps, depending on the specific package. CenturyLink’s service packages are generally classified according to the maximum download speed for each package. Four packages are currently available including 1.5 Mbps, 7 Mbps, 25 Mbps and 40 Mbps. All packages include 24 x 7 technical support.
Clearwire operates a high-speed operates a 4G network, a high-speed wireless network that covers more than 130 million people in the United States. This type of network is primarily used with mobile devices, where the device’s location changes frequently. The average download speed of this network is between 3 and 6 Mbps. Clearwire has also conducted technology trials in Phoenix, Arizona that have provided download speeds up to 90 Mbps.
Verizon is a telecommunications provider that also offers Internet service via DSL. It divides its Internet service packages into two tiers; high-speed Internet access and enhanced high-speed Internet access. The download speed of the high-speed Internet service ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 Mbps. This package also includes a wireless router, 9 email accounts and 10 Mb of web space. The enhanced service includes three packages with the following speed ranges: 1.1 Mbps to 3 Mbps, 3.1 to 7 Mbps and 7.1 to 15 Mbps. A user’s actual download speed is the highest optimized speed available at that location and time.
Dial-up service requires any telephone modem that dials in to the ISP before it can provide access to the Internet. It requires dedicated use of the telephone line and its speed is generally limited to 60 kilobits per second. Dial-up service is generally obsolete in the United States.
ISDN is one of the first methods of accessing the Internet that was specifically designed for that purpose. A basic rate ISDN line uses two channels that provide a combined speed of at least 256 Kbs. Primary rate ISDN uses 23 channels in the United States and provides a total speed of 1,544 kbs. The European version of primary rate ISDN uses 30 channels to provide a total speed of 2,048 kbs. Some ISDN protocols establish an always always-on connection, although the use of ISBN has been declining since the late 1990s.
DSL provides an always-on connection to the Internet through a telephone line. Unlike dial-up and ISDN, DSL does not require dedicated use of the telephone line. It uses frequencies that are well above the audible range, so regular telephone service and DSL may share the same line. The transfer speed of data on a DSL line can range between 256 Kbs to 20 Mbs, and may vary greatly depending on the line conditions and specific implementation.
Asymmetric DSL is a variation of DSL that has a download speed that is much higher than its upload speed. This is primarily an advantage for home users, who download more than they upload. ADSL is less desirable for businesses, which typically prefer high-speed transfer rates in both directions. The latest protocol for DSL is ADSL2+, which has a maximum download speed of 24 Mbs and a maximum upload speed of 3.3 Mbs.
Broadband internet providers for residential users typically use the same cable that delivers television programming. This is traditionally a copper coaxial cable or a fiber optic cable for new houses. Cable subscribers in a residential area typically use a cable modem termination system, in which all of the nodes for that area connect to the central office of the cable company.
The cable company may connect to the Internet by physical or wireless means. The primary physical method of connecting the cable company to the Internet is currently fiber-optic cable. Wireless methods include microwave transmissions to a satellite, which transmits a signal to an Earth-based receiving station. All types of Cable Internet access provide a continuous connection to the ISP.
A business with a dedicated node may achieve download rates up to 400 Mbps with cable. Residential users have to share their node with other users, and therefore achieve much lower rates. Residential users in some countries may get download rates as high as 100 Mbps. A download rate of 40 Mbps is generally the practical maximum in the United States, although most users are currently capped at about 7 Mbps by the ISP. The upload rate for many users in the United States is 384 Kbps and up to 20 Mbps for some configurations.
Cable television companies typically offer cable Internet access as part of a bundling plan that also includes services such as television programming or telephone service. These plans are usually priced so that cable Internet access is considerably more expensive when you buy it as a stand-alone service.
The primary purpose for this price scheme is to encourage customers to buy multiple services from the cable company at the same time.
Stand-alone Internet service often requires the cable company to install a filter at the customer’s residence that removes the signals for the television programming.
It’s always a good idea to do your research before making a choice.