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ISP - How to Choose an Internet Service Provider

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that provides access to the Internet. ISPs may also offer other services such as Web hosting, Web development and leased lines. These additional services are often referred to as value-added services (VAS).

Before choosing an ISP, it is important to assess your company's business and marketing goals. In other words, you should determine what your organization will be using the Internet for. Once you've determined this, you can contact ISPs that serve your geographic area and ask them about their services.

Internet Connection

The first thing that you should determine is which type of connection will best serve your company's needs. For more information on connection types, visit ebiz.enable's Getting Connected section in our Technology Guide.

Here are some questions that you may wish to ask when choosing an ISP for Internet connection:

General

What types of connections are available in your geographic area? (dial-up, ADSL, cable, etc...)
What equipment (hardware) is necessary to establish a connection? (dial-up modem, cable modem, etc...)
Does the ISP provide installation software?
What kind of technical support can you expect?
What additional perks are offered with each package? (Web space, additional e-mail accounts, etc.)

Connection

Is the dial-up number billed as a local call?
Does the ISP provide alternate local dial-up numbers? How many?
Is remote service available? (regional, national, international)
What type of connection speed can you expect?
How often can you expect busy signals?
What is the service's expected uptime?

Cost

What payment options are available?
Is there an initial connection fee?
Can the type of connection be changed without penalty?
How will your connection time be charged?
Are there any other possible charges?

In my opinion, the above questions can only be answered by trying the service yourself. You cano request a trial period from an ISP so that you can evaluate its performance before signing on with them.


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