Who is My Internet Service Provider?

An Internet Provider (also referred to as Internet Service Provider (ISP), is the industry term for a company that provides access to the Internet.

When someone talks about the Internet and mentions their “provider,” they are talking about their ISP. Without an ISP, you can’t access the Internet. Your computers can have built-in modems and a router for your networking, but without an ISP, you will not have a connection to the Internet.

In simpler words of a homeowner or an apartment fellow, the ISP is their “cable company” that offers Internet subscription in addition to their TV subscription.

What are the types of ISP’s and how do they operate?

Initially, when the Internet was introduced to the world, there were three types of ISP’s:

  1. Dial-up Service
  2. High-Speed Internet (aka Broadband), which is offered by cable companies
  3. Digital Subscriber Line – (commonly known as DSL), which is provided by phone companies

Over the years, demand for dial-up declined as the high-speed Internet took over the market. Now let’s dig deeper into the other two:

DSL and Cable: DSL internet are those that run through phone wires. It utilizes standard copper phone lines that already run in everyone’s homes. DSL provides moderate range speeds ranging between 10-25 Mbps, which is a good option for light to medium use (such as checking emails, streaming one or two videos, or occasional online gaming).

Whereas, cable internet runs through an underground coaxial cable network. Even though cable internet uses the same copper cable lines that deliver cable TV to the houses, their modem provides faster Internet than DSL, making it an ideal option for those who are looking for faster speed and more extensive use (such as online streaming on multiple devices, video calls, and large files uploads, or online gaming).

Fiber Internet: Fiber or Fiberoptic Internet is an internet system that transfers data fully or partially using fiber optic cables. These cables have thin glass wires while using optic data transfer method – light signals. It uses a similar logic of “traveling at the speed of light.”

Still, a little slower than that as the data bounces off these wires many times before reaching its final destination. In a nutshell, the fiberoptic Internet is the fastest mode of accessing the Internet in today’s time.

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What is an IP address and how to search it?

The “IP” part of IP Address stands for “Internet Protocol,” whereas the “address” refers to the unique number that is linked to all your online activity.

Your computer is hooked up to the internet one way or the other. Whether you go online for email, to shop, or chat, your request has to be sent out to the right destination. Then likewise, the response also has to come back to you directly.

But with millions of computers connected through the same ISP, how can you get your work done correctly? For this purpose, the Internet is hardwired to follow a list of built-in networking standards and rules, one of which is responsible for addressing, delivering, and routing your online requests precisely.

It does so by attaching an “electronic return address” to all your online requests and activity. That address is what we refer to as an IP Address.

With that being said, IP addresses can also be used to track your location, access personal data, or hack your internet-enabled device. Therefore, one must take the necessary steps to secure their IP address. And to secure your IP address, you must know it too. For that, you can follow these simple steps:

On Windows:

To locate an IP address on Windows 10:

  • Click the Start icon and select Settings.
  • Click the Network & Internet icon.
  • To view the IP address of a wired connection, select Ethernet on the left menu pane and select your network connection, your IP address will appear next to “IPv4 Address.
  • To view the IP address of a wireless connection, choose Wi-Fi on the left menu pane and click Advanced Options, your IP address will appear next to “IPv4 Address.

It’s a little complex process but that’s one way to locate an IP address.

Are you still wondering about your IP address? Head over to What Is My IP and find out your IP address instantly.

On Mac OS X:

To locate an IP address on Mac OS X 10.5 and above:

  • Click the Apple logo at the top left, select System Preferences.
  • In System Preferences, choose Network.
  • In the Network Preferences window, click a network port (e.g., Ethernet, AirPort, and Wi-Fi). If you are connected to the Internet, you’ll see its IP address under “Status.

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Ather Owais is a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is a strong advocate for online privacy and security, following technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

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