The internet is a vibrant world filled with opportunities and an overwhelming range of information. This has shaped and improved our lives in numerous ways. Also, its presence as a commercial tool is depicted in the several online businesses that have crept up over the years and are thriving.
Thus, this relevance of the internet makes internet service providers an integral part of the telecom industry.
What is an Internet Service Provider?
An internet service provider (ISP) is the term for an establishment that concerns itself with the provision of a wide range of services to persons or groups aiding them in accessing the internet.
Some of these services include web hosting, domain name, mailing accounts hosting and storage and some other software provisions and internet access. Verizon, Comcast, Bell Aliant, Eastlink, Rogers Communication (Toronto), are examples of internet providers. You can read these reviews of HostGator and GoDaddy. Both are companies that offer lucrative internet services.
Without a subscription to an internet service provider, you would be unable to access the internet on your computer or other internet-enabled digital devices. The ISP links your device to other devices and makes it possible for the transfer of information.
However, it is not necessary that one device must possess the same internet provider as the other before exchanges of information can take place between the two.
A typical service provider is made of hundreds of skilled personnel and good infrastructure to effectively provide network services for its array of subscribers.
Classification of Internet Service Providers
The following are the different classes of ISPs:
- Internet Providers
Internet providers are those that provide the user with access to the internet by using an array of techniques to enable connection to a network. These methods include telephone lines, Wi-Fi, and television cable.
- Mail Service Providers
This refers to those that offer services for hosting electronic mail domains with access to individual storage of mailboxes. It allows the typical email utilities which include sending, receiving, accepting and storage of emails.
Some of these mail service providers double as internet access providers (Toronto FreeNet and National Capital FreeNet, aside been free, are typical examples), but others such as Yahoo Mail, AOL and Gmail are solely mail service providers.
- Hosting Internet Service Providers
They provide online service storage services such as email, web hosting, cloud services and others. You can check this review of the Internet and Hosting companies if you are looking for more information.
- Transit Internet Service Providers
These are internet service providers that pay bigger service providers for internet access which they, in turn, provide to their customers. Such ISPs are of smaller capacities, a reason why they need larger internet providers to help with what they are lacking.
- Virtual Internet Service Providers
A virtual ISP patronizes services from another ISP. But this arrangement is unique because the VISP’s customers are provided with access to the internet using services and tools directly from the other ISP.
- Free Internet Service Providers
These are internet service providers that do not charge users any fee for access to the internet. However, some of them use the opportunity to display adverts whenever the user is making use of the internet.
Some of these free internet providers might also be time-specific, such as the Vancouver Community Network which is available from Mondays – Fridays, from 6 pm to 6 am. Toronto Free-Net which covers the Toronto area offers limited free internet access ranging from 10mins per session max and 20mins per day. The National Capital FreeNet (Ottawa and Kanata), although free, encourages users to make a token monthly donation.
Canadian Internet Service Providers
There are an estimated 250 Canadian internet service providers. Some of the best and well-known ISPs include Bell Aliant, Telus, Sasktel, Eastlink and Videotron. Though internet access in Canada is characterized by high internet deals, it is still possible to find relatively cheap deals.
A typical Bells MTS Fibe50 plan goes for $80/month in the Manitoba province, a VMedia Cable75, available in Newfoundland/Labrador province goes for $34.95/month, Roger Ignite Internet 75V (New Brunswick) goes for $69.99/month, while VMedia Cable 100 (Nova Scotia) is at a rate of $44.95/month.
Some ISPs offer free access to the internet. Vancouver Community Network, National Capital FreeNet, and Toronto Free-Net are typical examples.
How to Find the Best Internet Providers in Canada
The following are tips to obtain the best ISPs in Canada:
Reviews should be your first port-of-call when it comes to getting ideas about goods and services patronage. Experts or users of certain services or commodities usually air their views about their satisfaction derived from such. Typical examples include these reviews of telecom companies in Canada.
- Online Social Forums
Popular online social forums where individuals interact and share ideas are places where such questions can easily creep up and there would be lots of people providing information (directions and company names) mostly from their own experiences.
- Performance Rankings
There are online sites that keep records by ranking most ISPs based on speed index (uploading and downloading), cost and general network quality.
Most ISPs are area-specific. An ISP functioning in Vancouver may not be available for subscription in Ontario. Thus, it’s imperative to know the ones available in your area before making a choice.
The internet has become crucial to our daily activities, likewise internet service providers which are gatekeepers to the internet world. Thus, finding the best ISP to cater to your internet needs isn’t just about gaining access but also about satisfaction.