What is an ISP? What does an ISP do?

Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the company you pay fees to for access to the internet. An ISP provides you with Internet access to companies, families and even mobile users. An ISPs use fiber optics, satellite, copper wire and other forms to provide Internet access to its customers.

How an ISP works?

To connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) , you need a modem and an active account. When you connect a modem to the telephone or cable outlet in your house, it communicates with your ISP. The ISP verifies your account and assigns your modem an IP address. Once you have an IP address, you are connected to the Internet.

You can use a router to connect multiple devices to the internet. Since each device is routed through same modem, they will all share the same public IP address assigned by the ISP.

For example, you’re using a laptop at home to access this page on XYZ.com. Your web browser first uses the DNS servers that are setup on your device to translate the “XYZ.com”, a domain name for IP address that it associated with it. The IP address you want to access is then sent from your router to your ISP, which forwards the request to the ISP that XYZ.com uses.

ISPs act as hubs on the internet since they are often connected directly to the Internet backbone. Because of the large amount of traffic ISPs handle, they require high bandwidth connection to the Internet. In order to offer faster speeds to customer, ISPs must add more bandwidth to their backbone connection in order to prevent bottlenecks. This can be done by upgrading existing or adding new ones.

Some specific types of ISPs include hosting ISPs, like ones that host email or online storage and free or non-profit ISPs, which provide internet access for free but usually with advertisements.

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