INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS
Connecting You To The World Wide Web
What Services ISP's Can Provide
The minimum services provided by ISP's include access to the Internet and email addresses. Depending on your ISP and the plan you choose with them, you may have unlimited access, or may be limited to a certain amount each month. In the early days of the Internet, it was often very expensive to have unlimited Internet access, compared to plans which limited your online time. Today, most ISP's have done away with their limited accounts and only provide unlimited access. The number of email addresses you are provided with also depends on the ISP. Some will only allow you to have one email address, so if your household consists of more than just you, there are sources for free email accounts, which are covered in a separate article. Many ISP's offer two or more email addresses for your use. You'll need to read the details provided by your ISP of choice to see how many email addresses you may have.
Other services provided by most ISP's include space for your own web site. You may be limited to a certain amount of bandwidth and server space, but if you only want a web site for your personal use, this should be enough. Again, check the details with the ISP you decide to go with to see what those limits are. You can get additional web space elsewhere, which is also covered in a separate article.
You'll also be considering the type of connection offered by ISP's. Your basic choices include dial up, cable, dsl, and satellite. Some ISP's will handle at least two of these connection types. Your choices are limited as to what is available in your area, your online requirements, and your budget. See the next paragraphs for more information on connection types.
Dial up connections:
Are usually the cheapest, although the slowest, connection type. Some areas may not have the fast types available to them. If you are on a tight budget, this is probably the plan for you. One of many drawbacks to dial up connections is that it ties up your telephone line. You cannot make or receive telephone calls while you are on the Internet. In the early days of the Internet, this was all that was available. If you live in a remote area, this may be your only choice. The other main disadvantage is that the connection speed is much slower compared to the other types.
DSL is sometimes more expensive than cable, so it pays to shop around for a good deal. Advantages of DSL is that it doesn't tie up your phone lines and your connection speed is much better than with dial up. You will need a DSL modem, available from most ISP's. Some will provide one free as part of your dsl plan.
Another option for high speed access and for not tying up your telephone lines, cable Internet is often available only through the same company which provides your cable service for television viewing. There are other options, which will be reviewed below. You'll also need a special modem, available through your cable Internet provider.
Satellite Internet service is the most expensive option, we've seen prices starting at about $50 a month, which is considerably higher than cable or dsl. Satellite Internet is fast, and is often available in locations where dsl or cable isn't available yet.
Some Sources for Internet Providers
Here are our picks for Internet providers, separated into connection type. We tried to select the top choices based on pricing and service. These are by no means all of the available ISP's. There may be some very good ones located in your area, but with the information we provide, you should be able to locate one just right for you.
Our top picks for dial up Internet Services include Juno, PeoplePC, NetZero,and AT&T Yahoo. Prices range from $9.95 per month (Juno & NetZero), to $15.95 for AT&T Yahoo. In addition to connection to the Internet, you can get some extras, too. All provide you with at least one email account, and in the case of AT&T Yahoo, up to 10 email addresses. Most of them have options to upgrade for a little more money, for more services. NetZero also offers a free plan, with a limit of 10 hours monthly for Internet access. Ten hours is a drop in the bucket for online time anymore, but if you need a backup for cable or for travel, this is an excellent choice.
Top picks for DSL ISP's include Verizon, AT&T Yahoo DSL, Qwest, and Earthlink. Prices range from $14,99 per month for Verizon or AT&T Yahoo, up to $36.99 per month for the fastest speed plan offered by Qwest. Additional features include email accounts, web space, spam filters, pop-up blockers, and virus filters. Of course you can expect speeds much faster than with dial up accounts.
Top picks for Cable connections include Comcast Cable, Adelphia, CoxCable, and RoadRunner. Most of these were offering promotional discount packages starting as low as $19.95 for the first 6 months at the time this article was written. Prices will be higher for cable, but well worth it if you value your online time and speed and the fact that you are not tying up your telephone line. Other perks include free email accounts, web space, and of course faster downloads.
We only noted two satellite ISP's: Hughes Satellite Internet and WildBlue. WildBlue's monthly costs start at $50 per month, while Hughes Satellite Internet's price currently starts at $60 per month. Features include high speec access, email accounts and may include a free satellite modem. Also available in most areas where cable or dsl is not.
Additionally, there may be some fine ISP's in your local area which you should check out as well. We hope we have given you enough information to help you in your decision. As always, we cannot cover everything in one article.
Nowadays there are so many broadband providers and so many packages are available to choose from. With the each coming day wireless internet has become more reliable, faster and cheaper. Introduction of VoIP has proved a path breaking invention in the world of communication. Fast loading of website also depends on web design and most importantly the uptime of your hosting server.