In today's society, technology is the wave of the future. With the invention of the Internet, the world seems to get smaller and smaller, minute-by-minute. When using the Internet, one must have a service provider to access any information that is out there on the information superhighway. The two service providers I will be explaining in this paper are Internet Service Providers (better known as ISPs and Application Service Providers (better known as ASPs). There is a big difference between Internet Service Providers and Application Service Providers. An internet service provider (ISP) is a company that provides individuals and other company's access to the Internet and other related services such as Web site building and virtual hosting. An application service provider (ASP) is a company that offers individuals or enterprises access over the Internet to applications and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own personal or enterprise computers. In this paper I will talk about the vast differences in these two service providers including their history, their current uses, and their future directions. .
The most common way to access the Internet from home is with a modem and a phone call to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Your computer connects via modem to the ISP, which in turn is connected to the Internet with a high-speed link. An ISP has the equipment and the telecommunication line access required to have pop on the Internet for the geographic area served. The larger ISPs have their own high-speed leased lines so that they are less dependent on the telecommunication providers and can provide better service to their customers. Among the largest national and regional ISPs are AT&T WorldNet, IBM Global Network, MCI, Netcom, UUNet, and PSINet. ISPs also include regional providers such as New England's NEARNet and the San Francisco Bay area BARNet.