Internet service provider

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An Internet service provider, or ISP, usually for a monthly subscription fee, will allow a user to connect to the Internet. Some ISPs directly put their users on the Internet, while others will send a connection through its or a different company's servers, which is slightly slower.

ISPs provide different services. Usually they give space for electronic mail (e-mail) and a website. The type of Internet service is different, too, and may be dial-up, DSL, through fiber-optic wires, through a cable TV connection, wireless, or even satellite, usually in remote areas. Dial-up is the slowest service, while a direct fiber-optic connection is usually the fastest.

All Internet connections require a modem, which takes in and sends out data by converting binary data to an audio sound (in dial-up), into pulses of light (in fiber-optic), and in other ways. Some modems are as small as a credit card (and are usually for a laptop computer); some are put directly inside a computer; and some are in boxes outside the computer.

Modern mobile phones and smart phones can often access the Internet.