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ISP is the acronym for Internet Service Provider. This is the company that provides users with internet access for a fee. Internet users require an ISP to reliably access the internet from their home or business. Many ISPs provide additional services, such as email, website hosting, domain name registration, tech support, cloud storage, and antivirus software.
Google Fiber is an ISP offering broadband internet and home phone services to limited areas. It provides high-speed internet connectivity speeds, up to 1 gigabit. The enhanced internet speeds are possible due to its fiber optic cable network that uses light to deliver faster internet than the traditional options.
As with bandwidth measuring, various online sites can test your internet speed. Simply run a speed test on one or more of these sites to learn how fast your internet runs. They test both your upload and download speeds.
The internet is a global network, linking computers, laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices. It’s a public interface used by individuals, businesses, nonprofits, governments, educational facilities, and other entities. A range of telecommunication hardware supports the internet. This includes Wi-Fi towers, servers, routers, data systems, cables, satellites, and computers. Approximately five exabytes of information is shared daily via the internet.
Most households can operate all their internet devices well with 200 Mbps. This speed supports ultra-HD video streaming on up to eight electronic devices simultaneously. You may need a higher speed if you operate a home office, use a cloud-connected security system, or have more than four people using the internet at the same time, regularly.
In the 1900s, innovators like Nikola Tesla, Vannevar Bush, and Paul Otlet conceived the idea of worldwide networks and systems similar to today’s internet. But a workable internet forerunner wasn’t designed until the early 1960s. Finally, on January 1, 1983, today’s internet was born with the adoption of Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol by ARPANET.
The creation of the internet was a group effort. However, researchers at UCLA and Stanford created its prototype, ARPANET. Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf contributed to the development of today’s internet with the invention of TCP/IP, an efficient method of transmitting data between many networks. Tim Berners-Lee is credited with the invention of the World Wide Web in 1990.
There is no single owner, manager, or controller of the internet. But some people and entities own specific sections of it. Plus, there are many different owners of the various physical components that make the internet possible, like satellites and data centers.
Wi-Fi is the technology that allows network connectivity without wires and cables. Instead, radio signals are used. Wi-Fi has a limited signal range. Devices within a Wi-Fi range can access the signal to connect to the internet. A modem and router, either separate or in one unit, are necessary to use Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots support internet connectivity without internet service providers. But they’re often not available in residential areas, so, it’s difficult to rely on this option from home. Mobile hotspots with a cell phone data plan provide Wi-Fi for in-range devices. Finally, you may be able to access your neighbor’s Wi-Fi if they’re willing to share their login details.
Rural areas often lack the infrastructure required to provide internet service. But a few major internet service companies do operate in less populated areas — though your choices may be limited. Cable internet is the least likely option in rural areas. However, DSL, dial-up, or cellular Wi-Fi hotspots may be available. Some rural areas must rely solely on satellite internet.
Internet bandwidth measures how much information your internet service connection can deliver every second. Multiple devices and users need more bandwidth. There are many different online sites that test internet speed and bandwidth. Bandwidth monitoring services are also available online.
Knowing how fast your internet connection delivers data helps you understand what you can do on the internet. It also lets you know how many electronic devices you should be running simultaneously. Activities like gaming, streaming videos, and downloading huge files require sufficient internet speeds. If your internet seems to be lagging, testing the speed can help uncover the reason.
A variety of issues can cause slow internet speeds. One common reason is faulty equipment, like the modem or router. A weak Wi-Fi signal, poor range, or inadequate cable internet signal strength can slow down internet speeds, as well. Too many devices may be causing a lag in bandwidth, or it may simply be that your DNS server is too slow.
Without quite substantial funds, you cannot create your own internet as it is a global connection. It is possible to become an internet service provider yourself, but unless you’re planning on starting an ISP business, this is not a cost-effective way to gain internet access.
A modem connects the home or business computer network to the internet. The router connects the modem to the various electronic devices in the home or business, allowing them to access the internet. These connections can be wireless via Wi-Fi or wired using cables. Some ISPs provide equipment that combines the modem and router functions.
If you’re connecting more than one device to the internet, both a modem and router or a combination device are required. The modem provides the connection to the internet, and the router sends the signal to your multiple devices. A combo modem and router device is called a gateway. Customization, upgrades, home network control, and security features are better supported by a separate modem and router set-up.
You can rent or lease your internet modem from your service provider. Most ISPs lease their modems to customers over the life of their service contract. But many also offer the option of purchasing the equipment up front. In some cases, you can purchase the modem elsewhere, often for a better price.