What is ISP and its Types?

What is ISP and its types

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Almost everyone in the modern world uses the internet. To set up an internet connection, we have to go through certain initial steps that are mandatory. You might already be familiar with terms like Wi-Fi, and modem but ISP maybe something new to you. So, what is ISP? We will be discussing the same in this article along with its types. You will also get to know about Who was the first ISP, Types of Internet Connections, the Advantages and Disadvantages of ISP, and the List of ISP.

So, without much ado, let us start our reading journey!

What is ISP?

  • The full form of ISP is Internet Service Provider. The name itself describes what it is all about. It is about providing internet services to its customers. Thus, ISP is a company that provide internet services to its users. In return the users are liable to pay either a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to get benefits of its services. The fee range varies depending upon the usage of data or the data plan opted by the user. ISP subscription or membership is mandatory to avail the facilities of ISP.
  • ISP performs more than one Other than providing internet connection to the user, it also provides various internet services like Web hosting; cloud computing; telephone, television, email services; Web design and development; domain name registration etc.
  • After you have paid for the services of an ISP, you can perform multiple activities by setting up an account in your device. Be it social networking, web browsing, shopping or watching videos, the Internet Service Provider can provide you all.
  • An Internet Service Provider is also known as an Internet Access Provider because it helps you access the internet. It is also often termed an “online service provider” since it provides various online services.

Who was the first ISP?

The first Internet Service Provider to be introduced in 1974 was Telenet. It was the commercialized version of the ARPANET which was the first public packet-switched computer network that preceded internet. The internet gradually came to be seen as a commodity to be utilized by consumers. This period was followed by another Internet Service Provider that soon was adopted by many. It was “The World”. The technologies developed over the period and in the current phase, the major ISPs are Google Fiber, Jio, AT & T etc.

Types of ISP

Access Provider ISP

As the name suggests, Access Provider ISP grants better access to internet facilities for a user. The services can be dispensed through any of these below listed medium:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Cable modem
  • Telephone Line
  • Fiber optics
  • Digital Subscriber Lines
  • Integrated Services Digital Network
  • Dial-up

Access Provider ISP provide other internet services apart from the usual internet connection. These services include email, web hosting services, high-speed networking etc.

Mailbox Provider ISP

Mailbox Provider ISP are companies that host domain mailboxes to receive and store all mails.

Hosting ISP

The facilities provided by ISP companies include:

  • Email service
  • Web hosting service
  • Cloud service
  • Physical server operation services
  • Virtual server

Transit ISP

Transit ISP is also known as Hosting ISP and it offers e-mail, web hosting services like virtual machines, cloud services etc.

Virtual ISP

Virtual ISP provides internet services to users from another ISP that offers a better connectivity. However, the ISP uses its own company name although it utilizes the ISP of another.

Free ISP

Free ISP justifies its name by providing free internet services to the user. However, advertisements are displayed by ISP companies.

Wireless ISP

A Wireless ISP uses the wireless network system with wireless network technology to provide internet services. A user can connect to the internet via his laptop, smartphone etc through wireless connections like hotspots, Wi-Fi etc. There is no need of connecting the device with the modem. Majority of users use a wireless connections in India. As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, February data, the total wireless subscribers in India is 1,141.53 million.

Types of Internet Connection

Dial-up Connection

  • Dial-up is used to connect a device to the internet with a pre-located telephone line acting as a medium. First, one must set up the dial-up connection through a Modem Internet Service Provider to have access to the internet.
  • The modem interface therefore acts as a medium between the device and the telephone line that will enable dial-up calls to the user’s home landline. Whereas the time taken for the setup by the cable internet service provider takes quite a few seconds, the connection speed is quite slow.


  • The full form of ISDN is Integrated Services Digital Network. It establishes internet connectivity through phone lines that transmit digital signals instead of analog ones. There are two techniques to deliver ISDN services and they are- 1. Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and 2. Primary Rate Interface (PRI)
  • BRI ISDN are typically used in homes and small-scale enterprises. It consists of 2 bearer channels that provide an aggregated data rate of 128 Kbps. It also consists of 1 data channel that transmits data packets.
  • The PRI ISDN have 23B channels with an operating capacity of 64kbps and a D channel with the same capacity. Thus, their total transmission rate is 1.54Mbps.

Digital Subscriber Line

  • Digital Subscriber Line can be termed as an upgraded version of the dial-up connection as it provides better internet than the other. One can also call it a form of broadband connection that takes place through a telecommunication line.
  • Many phone companies provide DSL connections. Once you have installed a digital subscriber line, you can keep your internet connection open for the purpose of transferring the connection and be able to use the phone line to receive voice calls through a wired telecommunication line.

Cable TV Internet Connections

  • Cable TV internet connections utilizes cable TV lines to grant internet access. Coaxial cable is used to provide high-speed data services as compared to a common telephone line.
  • The cable operator provides a cable modem to experience its benefits. The cable modem functions in dual mode by providing not just internet access but also TV signals.
  • There is a fixed set of bandwidth that a Cable TV Internet Connection can share with users. Therefore, the data transfer capacity is dependent on the number of users accessing the internet simultaneously.

Satellite Internet Connection

  • Satellite Internet Connection provides high-speed internet access and is divided into two types- one way connection and two-way connection. In one-way connection, we can download data through satellite connection but regarding upload we will require dial-up connection over telephone line.
  • In two-way connection, both downloading and uploading occurs through satellite services. There is no need to have internet access through dial-up connection.

Broadband Connection

  • Broadband provides high-speed internet connection. It makes use of telephone lines that are already been installed to provide internet services. Broadband is comparatively superior to a dial-up connection. Thus, a broadband connection provides you an easy access to internet via a telephone network.

Advantages of ISP

  • ISPs are highly reliable, efficient and provides enhanced availability.
  • Many companies provide high-speed internet services that have better latency and are extremely helpful for users wanting to stream videos over the internet or play games.
  • Internet Service Providers normally provide secure connection that acts as a defence against malicious attacks or viruses. They also use the latest software patches to provide a far better experience for the users.
  • The user only needs to have the proper setup, subscription of a plan for an internet facility from an ISP. The rest of the technicalities are taken care by the Internet Service Provider. A user need not spend their bucks on a web service as the ISP will sort that out.
  • As long as the device is running and a proper set up is available, an ISP will be able to operate fully.

Disadvantages of ISP

  • In this modern-day world of cut-throat competition, every ISP is trying to take over the other. While the list of services offered are increasing with rapid advancement, prices are soaring as well. The problem lies when ISP violate the trust that consumers place on them. There have been instances of inflated pricing and data losses reported by consumers.
  • If an ISP hosts too many websites on a shared server, many problems crop up. The service performance becomes poor as the quality of customer’s data get affected. In such a scenario, one gets to experience slow download speed and websites do not perform optimally.
  • If ISP gets blacklisted, it poses a problem for the user.

List of ISP

The list of ISPs or the some of the popular examples of ISP are as follows:

  • Reliance Jio
  • Airtel
  • Vodafone Idea
  • BSNL
  • Hathway

Final Thought!

Knowing about “what is ISP” is particularly important when you want to avail an internet service. The information provided in this article about ISP might help you in framing the choice that suits your specific needs. Also, the types of internet connection make you aware that there are more options available out there than the ones you already knew. Which do you think is the best Internet Service Provider? Also, apart from broadband connection, which type of connectivity would you normally choose and why?

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