If you work with computers or spend a lot of time on them, then you've probably heard of the term internet service provider or ISP. But what exactly is an ISP?
An ISP is a company that provides an internet connection to homes, businesses, and other organizations. They may also include services such as an e-mail account, domain name, web hosting, and browser package.
An internet service provider is different than a WiFi provider. The ISP delivers an internet connection through cable, DSL, fibre, or satellites. Whereas WiFi allows a wireless internet connection through devices via a modem. There are a few ISPs, but the most common ones are DSL and cable. Some rural communities use dial-up, which uses a telephone connection.
Until the 1980s, the internet was limited to government agencies and university departments. You could only access the internet through a dial-up connection at that time, which made things tricky for multi-person households because nobody could use the phone and be on the internet at the same time.
Dial-up connections were also much slower than today's modern internet connections. A short video on dial-up would take hours to download. And those who are old enough to remember the dial-up days will never forget the sound dial-up makes when connecting to the internet.
There are many internet service providers, and some provide more than the internet. Some provide cable, cellular, and home phone services as part of a bundle that includes the internet.
The biggest internet providers in Canada are Bell and Rogers. Smaller companies also provide internet services at smaller costs than the more prominent ones.
Whichever company you go with depends on your needs and area. Some providers may not be available in rural areas.
Remember, you must have an anti-virus program to protect your computer if you plan on doing anything related to the internet. The best way to protect yourself is to look for the little lock symbol next to the search bar. And never click on any links that you're unsure of.
The lock symbol indicates the website you are viewing is secure. It also means the website is safe. Also, look for the https:// in front of the website.
For more information on internet service providers or anything else computer related such as websites, The Computer Geek has you covered. Visit our website or call us at (905)426-1784. We are available seven days a week, including holidays.
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