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. Well-known communications companies are also ISPs, and, at the same time, a part or interlinked with a bigger network company which is also into internet service.
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. Furthermore, for small businesses, the access providers may also provide the following services – dial-up, DSL,asymmetric digital subscriber line,cable modem or Integrated Services Digital Network. For medium-to-large businesses, which have more demanding requirements, access providers may further offer these technologies – 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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An organization which provides services for hosting electronic mail domains with access to storage for mail boxes is called a mailbox provider. A mailbox provider can also be an access provider, if it also offers similar services of access providers. The main function of mailbox provider is providing email service through the following processes: sending, receiving, accepting, and storing email 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.
The kind of business service provided by a transit ISP is interlinking first to an upstream ISP so that it can 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 ISPs operate by providing free of charge services, but earn through the various advertisements displayed on the screen while their users are availing of free internet service. Most free ISPs are run on a non-profit basis, which have volunteers to run the operation.
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.