Internet Service Providers

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Colloquially known as ISPs, Internet service providers are of course almost everywhere. They have to be. The Internet has in one short decade become an integral part of communications and both professional and personal life worldwide. There's no getting around it.

Internet Service Providers: An Introduction

The first ISPs were specialists offering expertise, powerful dedicated servers, and comprehensive redundant software systems. You were comfortable that your access to the Internet would be certain and that connections would stay connected. If you needed technical support, you'd not only get it, but the problem would be resolved.

The numbers of Internet users expands more than exponentially each year, however. This has put a burden on Internet service providers, many of which got into business not as well prepared as they might have done. In the last couple years, of course, cable television and telephone companies have also jumped into the fray. Their technology and equipment are the best that can be had, but their expertise in technical support for individual customers a bit more iffy. All you want is a reliable, secure, and speedy connection to the Internet. Is that too much to ask?

The burden is on you to research at CNet.com and TheList.com, compare Internet service providers, and decide. Are you prepared? You'll pay $10 or $25 a month for dial-up service and about $40 or $50 for DSL and broadband. Do you understand the difference between these connection types? How long has the ISP been in business? What's its hardware and software strength? Ask friends and colleagues and think about your needs. Will you need to connect when you travel? Are you buying for a home or a business connection? How many computers will connect? What security and antivirus safeguards will protect your system? These are critical questions.


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