Internet Service Provider (ISP), Part 1

(Get the Right Web Hosting Provider or Your Website Will Be Doomed)

Finding the Right Web Hosting Provider Is Essential for the Success of Any Website Presentation

What Is An ISP (Internet Service Provider)? What Does It Do?

  • An ISP is a company that provides access to the internet through modems, ISDN, T1s, etc.
  • It is an organization that provides and sells physical internet access for global users.
  • An ISP arranges access to the internet for organizations and/or individuals.
  • Access services provided by ISP’s may include web hosting, e-mail, VoIP (voice over IP), and support for many other applications.
  • You may have tried one of the traditionally big online services such as AOL, MSN, Prodigy, Compuserve, or WebTV to get access to the Inernet.
  • They apparently make every effort to assure that your first internet experiences give you successful access to the WWW.
  • A time may come when you will want to have your own website, with your own domain, and have it hosted with an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • The big online services can connect you to the internet, so do ISP’s.
  • The big difference between the two is the kind of content!
  • The online services provide proprietary (company owned) content; that is, large quantities of materials that include ads and promotional presentations.
  • Most ISP’s include very little (if any) original or promotional content; and they may do so only when it is “free” or at a very low price.
  • You are expected to provide your own subject matter; regardless of quality.
  • You will probably discover that an ISP can provide you with services that are just as good, or better, at the same price or less than the big online services.
  • Not all ISP’s are created with the same characteristics. Some are very good, some are very bad, and some are both good and bad.

    Some Things That An Internet Service Provider Can Do:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) equip users with access to the internet through a connection to the ISP’s computer network.
  • ISP’s will set up a user with an account user name and password and the account holder can connect to the ISP’s computer through an internet connection (usually dial up modems).
  • Once the connection has been achieved, the account holder is able to surf the internet and to upload pages of content to a website.
  • ISP’s virtually always set the user up with one or more e-mail addresses; depending on which service program is chosen.
  • ISP’s will also supply the account holder with web space for his/her website.

    In summary, the services that an ISP offers vary considerably and internet users should be mindfull of the following:

  • Charges for the service, set up, and on-going costs.
  • Customer Service or level of support should things go wrong.
  • The kinds of services that are provided; such as, webspace, e-mail addresses, FTP uploading, and much more.
  • The connection speeds that are provided.
  • The kinds of payment plans that are available.
  • Access that is reliable. Some ISP’s suffer with constantly busy systems. This is a bad sign!

    Here Are Some Questions That You Should Ask of Any Potential ISP Before You Sign Up:

  • How much does it cost? This may not be the most important factor but it’s a good place to start. Shop around for the price that is best for you.
  • Does it offer discounts if you prepay the entire year up front? This is a good option, providing that it fits into your budget, and if you choose a good ISP. It’s a bad option if the ISP turns out to be less than desirable.
  • Does it offer a free trial? Try-before-you-buy is always a good thing.
  • What software does the ISP supply? What software will you need? Is there an extra charge if the ISP supplies the software? Most of the software that you need can be obtained on the internet or is included as part of your contract.
  • How good is the customer support? Some will provide customer support “24 hours a day, 7 days a week;” with a special toll-free number.
  • Most aren’t quite that good.
  • Call the customer support number a few times before you decide to sign up.
  • Take it as a bad sign if you frequently get a busy signal or if there is no answer.
  • Does the ISP charge a “setup” fee? Some do; most don’t.
  • If you live in a city with many ISP’s hosting services, find one that doesn’t charge you for the privilege of taking your business to them.
  • There are ways to find Internet Service Providers in your area by searching on the internet.
  • You may also check your local phone book.
  • Ask others who have websites for recommendations.

Pointing to the next page of ISP, three parts Part 2 of 3, ISP Hosting, is continued with ten important points to consider.