ISPs
Internet Service Providers
This page last updated 2014 Jan 10
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LEARNING
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this section on ISPs is to allow you the chance to 

  o learn about some of the criteria one must consider in selecting a hosting service 
       for your e-commerce or e-business situation.
  o learn about some of "The ABCs of finding the right ISP"
  o identify some of the warning signs your ISP is in trouble, 
       so you can develop a contingency plan
  o learn about the various terms associated with Servers 
          as is applies to Web Hosting technology
  o learn about how ISPs are taking on the role of providing protection from viruses and spam
  o learn about the relationships ISPs are developing with portals like Yahoo

WTGR

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INTRODUCTION "Two of the most important factors in determining a Website's success are 
   o how it is designed and 
   o where it is hosted. 

These factors effect 
   o how easily you can create your pages 
   o update your Web pages, 
   o what special features you can include on your site, 
   o how your site looks, 
   o how accessible it is and 
   o how professional an image you project. 

There's no point in spending a lot of money on having your site expertly designed, if you are going to pinch pennies when it comes to having it hosted. Fact is, the quality and reliability of your hosting service can ultimately make or break your business. "
 www.websuccessmaker.com

"Selecting appropriate hosting for your web site is a difficult and important decision. Many companies lack the professional resources and technical infrastructure to host their own web sites. Selecting third-party hosting is a balance of finding a service that can handle the web site as the requirements grow while not paying for services that do not add value to the site."
 www.sancsoft.com/kbInternetHosting.asp

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http://www.witiger.com/ecommerce/scanArticleISPs1354x968.jpg Prof. Richardson was extensively quoted in a newspaper article about ISPs and their Joint Ventures with portals like Yahoo.

Click on the screen capture to the left to read the article.
This appeared in The Business Review 2004 Aug 6th

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Keeping your Hosting Service separate and distinct from your Domain Registrar .
KEY
POINTS
Prof. Richardson will explain in class the advantages of keeping your Hosting Service separate and distinct from your Domain Name Registrar.

ISP Hosting Service
 www.witiger.com/ecommerce/ISPs.htm
Domain Name Registration
 www.witiger.com/ecommerce/domainnamesregister.htm

"I just thought of a really good analogy for the difference between a
hosting service and a domain name registrar.  Say, you want to make a website.  This website would be regarded as a movie star in our analogy. Then a domain name registrar would be the star's agency because without registering, you basically are nothing.  Then, a hosting service would resemble a movie producer, as this is where all the work goes....I wish I wrote this one the test!"

Kindly regards, A.    BCS 555 Oct 2004

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Witiger responds
"yes, thanks A...., that is a good analogy, and sometimes the Agency and the Producer have different objectives which might not be good for the Star so this is why you want to make sure they are not the same person"

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Chapter 1


ISPs

Most of you will know about the basics of what an ISP Internet Service Provider is.
For students who are in MGTC50 and using the iNet Guide text, it would be a good idea to read page (34-41 1st ed.) (46-51 2nd ed.) so you can understand some of the technical details.

"ways to connect" (the chart on page 48 (2nd ed.) explains well the different ways to connect. You should be aware of these methods as it would be part of any e-business solution you are creating.

  o phone line, dial-up
  o DSL
  o Cable Modem
  o Satellite
  o ISDN
 

KEY
POINTS
The most important thing about an ISP is that it is the link to physically connect you to the Internet. 
Small ISP's use a T1 line to connect to larger regional ISPs which are in turn connected to the Internet backbone. You need to know this because when shopping for an ISP to host the company that wants to go online - you should inquire to make sure that they either have direct connection to a T3 line (which might indicate they are very advanced and a large ISP) or at least a T1 line.

WTGR

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Chapter 1

ISPs

Things that challenge ISPs in the delivery of service - which would in turn cause problems for any SME using an ISP to host their web site

Buying the modems and routers to handle incoming traffic from ISP customers - is very expensive. Many ISPs try, as much as possible, to invest in the right amount of technology so that 

  • you do not have too many customers getting busy signals at peak times (which would cause customer disatisfaction)
  • at the same time you do not want to have expensive unused equipment at low use times - which by being unused does not earn you any money
Many ISPs in 1998-2000 under invested in technology since they gambled on customers not being frustrated enough to leave
By 2001, we have a higher level of expectation among customers and faster download times and "no busy signals" have become benchmarks by which many customers freely leave one ISP for another.
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Selecting
ISPs
http://www.websuccessmaker.com
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http://www.websuccessmaker.com/web_success_tutorials/selecting_a_web_hosting_service_1.htm This site, from
websuccessmaker.com  is very helpful
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a great site - only problem is their contact info sux - it is very difficult on this site to find out who they are - there are no people's names listed !
explains
  o shared server hosting
  o dedicated server hosting
  o Colocated Server

"Before you can begin the process of selecting a Web host, you should understand a little bit about just what a Web hosting service or Web presence provider is and what is involved in hosting your site on the WWW.  A Web hosting service is the online world's equivalent of a landlord. It provides you with space on special computers called Web servers  that are connected to the Internet all the time and equipped with software that makes your Web pages visible to people who connect to them using a Web browser."

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Selecting
ISPs
http://www.websuccessmaker.com
.Web Server Terminology
- explained by www.websuccessmaker.com
  o shared server hosting
  o dedicated server hosting
  o Colocated Server

"The most basic level of service from a Web host typically positions your site among a number of others on a single Web server, with a virtual domain name that points to the URL of your page. This is known as shared server hosting and is more than adequate for the needs of most home entrepreneurs, whose sites consist primarily of text with some gifs or graphic extras thrown in. This site is hosted on a shared server."

"The next level of service is known as dedicated server hosting. This means you will have an entire server to yourself, and is the best option for larger Websites with a lot of advanced graphic or interactive features. These features require a lot of bandwidth and having your own server means that you don't have to compete with others for the use of bandwidth. In dedicated server hosting you have more freedom with the size and scope of your Website, but your host still of  owns, maintains and backs up the server, in addition to providing all the security, power management and data control."

"The highest level of service a Web host can offer is a Colocated Server. With this option you own the hardware but it's physically located at the host's facility. The advantages of this are that you have ultimate control over your Web presence and can choose the bandwidth you need, while the host merely provides a pipeline to the Internet. The disadvantages are that you'll have to pay for any and all security and firewall provisions which can be very costly. A colocated server is for large corporations, not home or small business entrepreneurs, so we can pretty much eliminate it from our hosting consideration here." 

www.websuccessmaker.com suggests there is a forth option. "You can opt to be your own Web server, but frankly even if you are a control freak of the highest order you would be crazy to try this. The task of setting up and maintaining your own server is a forbidding one"

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Chapter 1

 

ISPs

"How to select an ISP"              i-Net Guide page 40

Some ISPs are for "mature" users, meaning they offer little service beyond a very low price for the monthly use. These ISPs cater to people that already know a fair bit about being online and do not need much tech support or additional services such as chat rooms because they use chat rooms of other situations.

Other ISP's - like AOL, are for beginner and intermediate users and consolidate a lot of what you "need to know" in the package they sell you. They also offer additional services such as multiple mailboxes - for people that don;t know how to get mailboxes from other circumstances. Bigger ISPs also offer conveniences such as local dial-in numbers for cities other than where you live - so if you dial-in in Toronto, no prob, but if you go on a trip to Vancouver, you can also dial-in there too. This convenience is important for organizations that have people travelling who need to log on to receive email and post reports.

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Selecting
ISPs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Selecting
ISPs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Selecting
ISPs

Article 2002 Oct 17th
by Peter Krivel, Staff Reporter
"The ABCs of finding the right ISP"
.permission to quote Krivel given by Joanne MacDonald, TORSTAR Syndicate Sales, in an email 2004 Dec 09

Krivel writes,
"As founder of Pathway Communications, www.pathcom.com one of Toronto's first Internet service providers, Ashok Kalle has heard it all. First, it was the often-heard question of which ISP is best for  home use. Then, as small businesses found that they couldn't do without an Internet connection,  the question was which ISP can best serve their specialized needs. "With hundreds of ISPs seeking your account with a wide range of offerings, choosing the right ISP is not easy," he says."
The story features a lengthy interview with Mr. Ashok Kalle. Mr. Kalle is the founder of Pathway Communications which is an ISP host pathco.com and is well known as an innovative and successful businessmen in the online community. He is also a personal friend of Tim Richardson. Mr. Kalle has been a previous guest lecturer in Prof. Richardson's e-commerce classes and some of Prof. Richardson's student have been hired to work at Pathway in the past.
WTGR

"Specialty computer papers, computer magazines and daily newspapers tend to carry an assortment of ISP advertisements, so these are all good places to start your research, he says. Kalle also suggests searching the Internet itself (http://www.canadianisp.com) if you already have an ISP. Then there's the decision of going for a regional or national ISP or a smaller local one. "National or international coverage may be a valuable feature if you are a frequent traveller or have multiple branches," he says. "Local ISPs tend to cater specifically to the community they reside in and, because they are smaller, might offer
  better services and more attractive prices" because of lower overhead, he says.

  It's important to obtain information by talking to current users, Kalle adds. Then call the ISP and ask specific questions. 

  • "What additional features, such as security, are bundled in with the basic service? 
  • How often has the service gone down in the past three to six months and for how long? 
    • (Roger's cable customers have had a lot of problems this way)
  • How long does one have to wait on hold to reach a customer service technician? 
  • How quickly are you called back if you leave a message?"
 Most ISPs offer the same basic service such as access to the Internet, and all use the same type of high-speed Internet connection, he says. Rogers offers a  connection for $79.95 a month and then various plans that include more e-mail addresses and data transfer and storage space. Bell Sympatico's high speed  (DSL) can begin as low as $24.95 with myriad other packages.

  "An ISP who intends to go a step further will enhance basic connectivity with additional features such as on-site installation and set up, domain name hosting (for  Web sites and e-mail), security, virus e-mail virus protection, file backup and storage, extended technical support hours and automated billing," he says. "A  complete Internet access package may cost more than simple connectivity, but is often cheaper than buying individual services from different suppliers.

  "Typically you can get just bare-bones access for something close to $60 a month. But then you're on your own. You have to install the service yourself. You  have to make sure your local area network is connected to the Internet. Make sure you have adequate security. You have to go out and find a place that will host  your Web site. You have to get adequate e-mail addresses."

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Note to students: Pathcom is well known to Seneca College students. The president of Pathcom, Mr. Ashok Kalle has been a guest lecturer at Prof. Richardson's e-commerce classes at Seneca and Pathcom has hired Seneca graduates.

 
Selecting
ISPs
KEY
POINTS
Johna Till Johnson, president and chief research officer at Nemertes Research, an  independent technology research firm, wrote an article carried by itWorld.com in early April 2003 which can serve as a checklist of things to go through when you are considering an ISP to host your website.

WTGR

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When looking for a company to host your site, these are some of the questions to think about

Johnson writes
- "Bandwidth and Internet connectivity. Network connectivity is an important component of performance. If your site will be trafficked heavily, ask the provider for a schematic detailing the peering arrangements and Internet connectivity."

-"Server and data centre architecture. Most providers will distinguish between Windows NT and Unix, and shared or dedicated servers. You also should know how many servers they have, how well connected they are and what type of storage subsystems are in use. Are the servers symmetric multiprocessing machines? Are they clustered? How often are files backed up? The answers will give you insight into the reliability and performance of your site."

-"Security. If your site contains more than marketing information, you'll need to consider advanced security measures. Does the provider offer encryption? User authentication beyond simple password protection?"

- "Support and service-level agreements. This one's the real kicker. Committing to a hosting provider means signing on to a potentially long-term relationship. You should know going into the deal what sort of service and support you expect, and get the provider to commit to it in writing. Around-the-clock phone support is a start. But what about mean time to respond and mean time to repair? What commitments will your provider make regarding your site's online performance? How will the provider notify you if something's gone wrong? "

the original article was posted on http://www.ITworldcanada.com in early April 2003
The author of the article is president and chief research officer at Nemertes Research, an  independent technology research firm. She can be reached at  johna@nemertes.com

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Selecting
ISPs
KEY
POINTS
Erin Warner, a student in MRK 610, found a good site rating Canadian ISPs.

WTGR

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http://www.etestinglabs.com/services/ibs/caratings.asp If you click on the screen capture to the left, better to do this in I.E. cause it does not show up in some versions of Netscape :-(
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Selecting
ISPs
The website www.canadianisp.com was mentioned in the Oct 2002 Toronto Star article about finding the right ISP and the case of Toronto ISP Pathway Communications.
WTGR
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see also  http://www.canadianisp.com/glossary.htm

Marc Bissonnette of Beachburg Ontario runs canadianisp.com. It is a wonderful site full of all kinds of information about Canadian ISPs and a very helpful source for people wondering about hosting and other ISP topics.

When asked for permission to link to his site in December 2004, Marc cheerfully replied
"Absolutely, that's not a problem, at all  If you need any information/background on the site or the business to help clarify anything, ask away."
 marc@canadianisp.com
 

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ISPs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ISPs

ISP Self-defence
Warning signs your ISP is in trouble
- staff layoffs
- delay of quarterly corporate announcements
- lengthened wait times for tech support
- stock price dropping significantly
- dial up problems (connectivity effected by cutbacks in hardware)

Greg Holden wrote an article on cnet.com about ISP Survival. It is a good article to read because you will be in a vulnerable position if you cannot access the Net

Holden's article also contains links and info on
- how to test your bandwidth
- how to test your site speed

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ISPs
KEY
POINTS
Are you protected from the problems facing small and medium sized ISPs by going with a bigger provider? Not necessarily.

WTGR



McDonald writes
" With more than 30 million subscribers [2001], AOL is the world's largest ISP. Roughly half of all Web users in the U.S. connect through AOL. In the first half of this year, the company raised prices 9 percent, making it -- at  US$23.90 a month -- one of the highest-priced services. At the same time, it added more than  three million members."
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ISPs
in 
2004
 
 

 

KEY
POINTS
In 2003 we had a larger than usual number of worldwide viruses. Many internet users expressed frustration that their ISP did not seem to have any role in protecting them from viruses and spams. In 2004 we will see more ISPs taking on the role of providing protection from viruses and spam as the competitive environment for ISPs intensifies.
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WTGR
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http://www.nwfusion.com Carolyn Duffy Marsan wrote an article in
Network World ISP News Report Newsletter, 2003 Dec 17
- this article includes discussion of the role that ISPs are playing to protect customers from Spam and Viruses
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Marsan explains "Industry analysts predict few breakthroughs in anti-virus and anti-spam offerings from ISPs in 2004. "ISPs are very cognizant of these threats, and they certainly don't want to be held liable," says Brownlee Thomas, telecom industry analyst with Giga Information Group. "But the real problem is not the ISP. The real problem is that Microsoft Outlook is so dominant and so vulnerable." Thomas predicts ISPs will offer more bundled anti-spam and anti-virus offerings for small businesses and consumers. She also expects to see ISPs introduce more security services - particularly against distributed denial of service attacks -for their Web hosting clients."
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ISPs

Stats
 
 

 

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Free
ISPs
 
 

 

In 2000 one of the hot ISP topics was access to the internet through "free ISPs"
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A number of students were concerned about how they would access the internet for a low cost after they had graduated and lost their email - therefore people were interested in free ISPs.

Free ISPs are quite a controversial topic and several online publications ran articles about this matter.
 
http://www.canadacomputes.com Dave Chappelle wrote a multi-part series on free ISPs in the online version of canadacomputes.com
Chappelle's series of  9 articles began
Dec 2000 and continued up to Feb 2001
- the link is no longer available in 2004

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