An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides access to the Internet.
Internet service providers can be either community-owned and non-profit, or privately owned and for-profit.
Access ISPs directly connect clients to the Internet using copper wires, wireless or connections. Hosting ISPs lease server space for smaller businesses and other people (colocation). Transit ISPs provide large amounts of bandwidth for connecting hosting ISPs toaccess ISPs.
Dial-up Internet access
This is the oldest method of providing access to the Internet. It uses a telephone line to perform a modem-to-modem connection. For that purpose, the user’s computer is attached to a telephone line enabled modem device, which dials into the node of the ISP and starts transferring data between the servers that store websites the user wants to see and their Internet connected device.
DSL, short for ‘digital subscriber loop’ or ‘digital subscriber line’, is an advanced version of the dial-up Internet access method. In contrast to dial-up, DSL uses high frequency to execute a connection over the local telephone network.
The cable Internet is among the most preferred methods for providing residential Internet access. Technically speaking, it represents a broadband Internet access method, using the high-bandwidth cable television network to transmit data between the global network and the households.
Wireless Broadband (WiBB)
This is a new-generation broadband Internet access technology, allowing the delivery of high-speed wireless Internet within a large area. Wireless broadband ISPs (WISPs) ensure connection speeds that come close to the wired broadband speeds provided by DSL and cable ISPs.
Wi-Fi (from Wireless Fidelity) has become one of the most widely distributed Internet access methods, with the growing usage of portable computers and Internet enabled mobile devices, such as smart phones, PDAs, game consoles, etc.
Another online data transmission method worth considering is ISDN or the Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN represents a telephone system network, integrating a high-quality digital transmission of voice and data over the ordinary phone line
Another Internet access type worth mentioning is Ethernet – the most widespread wired LAN (local area network) technology, also used in wireless LANs. The Ethernet technology may ensure various speed levels.