Target Industries

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listing of the major VPN network providers

These are some of the hundreds of VPN providers.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Providers

VPNs are provided by independent companies to improve your internet security and privacy. The VPN provider maintains many servers, some many thousands of servers, and some maintain servers in dozens of countries. The user installs a VPN application on their PC; that application captures all Internet communication from the PC (e.g., a request to a website), encrypts it, and sends it to one of the providers servers. The receiving server then forwards the data to the website on behalf of the user. The user’s information is kept private, and the website has no knowledge that the user information has been redirected from a third party. The data returned from the website is returned to the Provider’s server, and then encrypted and relayed to the user’s PC.

listing of the major Internet service providers

These are some of the hundreds of ISPs

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

An Internet service provider (ISP) is a company that provides customers with Internet access. ISPs are usually cable companies or mobile phone companies that offer Internet access subscriptions and email service in addition to TV or mobile communications services. Data is typically transmitted from the user's location to the ISP's local data center via cable modem, wireless or dedicated high-speed interconnects.

In order to connect a computing device to the internet, special networking, telecommunications, and routing equipment are required. Since few consumers  have this kind of equipment, ISPs provide this equipment as a service and thereby give the consumers them access to the Internet. Individual customers and businesses pay ISPs for Internet Access. ISPs are interconnected to one another at network access points. In turn, ISPs pay other, larger ISPs for their internet access, which in turn pay still other ISPs.

This cascades multiple times until transmissions reach a Tier 1 carrier, which is an ISP capable of reaching every other network on the internet without purchasing IP transit or paying settlements. It is difficult to determine the operational effectiveness of a network in terrms of speed and uptime because the business agreements to pay settlements are not made public. Also, traffic is always routed through several networks, jumping back and forth from Tier 1 carriers to Tier 2 and 3 several times before data reaches its destination.

An ISP may have multiple Points of Presence (PoP), which is an access point to the Internet comprised of a physical location housing servers, routers, ATM switches and digital/analog call aggregators. Some ISPs have thousands of PoPs. Multiple PoPs may have separate connections to an upstream ISP. And each ISP may have upstream ISPs and connections to each one of them at one or multiple PoPs.

Illustration of the relationship between Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 backbone carriers

The Modern Internet Backbone

Because of the enormous overlap between long-distance telephone networks and backbone networks, the largest long-distance voice carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and CenturyLink also own some of the largest Internet backbone networks. These backbone providers sell their services to Internet service providers (ISPs).

Tier 1 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

The Internet consists of access links that move traffic to high-bandwidth routers that move traffic from its source over the best available path toward its destination. This core is made up of individual high-speed fiber-optic networks that peer with each other to create the internet backbone. The individual core networks are privately owned by Tier 1 ISPs, giant carriers whose networks are tied together. These providers include AT&T, CenturyLink, Cogent Communications, Deutsche Telekom, Global Telecom and Technology (GTT), NTT Communications, Sprint, Tata Communications, Telecom Italia Sparkle, Telia Carrier, and Verizon.

Today, these large corporations provide the routers and cable that make up the Internet backbone. These companies are upstream ISPs. By joining these long-haul networks together, Tier 1 ISPs create a single worldwide network that gives all of them access to the entire Internet routing table so they can efficiently deliver traffic to its destination through a hierarchy of progressively more local ISPs.

Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)

Internet exchange points (IXP) tie the backbone together. Backbone (Tier 1) ISPs connect their networks at peering points, neutrally owned locations with high-speed switches and routers that move traffic among the peers.

Tier 2 and Tier 3 ISPs

Below the Tier 1 ISPs are smaller Tier 2 and Tier 3 ISPs. Tier 3 providers provide businesses and consumers with access to the Internet. These providers have no access of their own to the Internet backbone, so on their own would not be able to connect their customers to all of the billions of Internet-attached computers. Buying access to Tier 1 providers is expensive. So often Tier 3 ISPs contract with Tier 2 (regional) ISPs that have their own networks that can deliver traffic to a limited geographic area but not to all Internet-attached devices. In order to do that, Tier 2 ISPs contract with Tier 1 ISPs for access to the global backbone, and in that way make the entire internet accessible to their customers.

some of the major private Internet broadband providers

Private Internet Broadband Providers

The above list represents a few of the many large organizations, mostly not commonly known, that provide ultra-high speed broadband connections directly from a customer's premises to one of the very large Internet interconnection locations. Typically, these private broadband Internet providers connect to the Internet at Internet Exchange Points (IXP) or colocation centers. Originally IXPs were stand-alone facilities, but now are commonly resident in major Internet and Telecommunications data centers.

Sometimes called Carrier Hotels and peering centers, the actual physical connections are made in Meet-me-Rooms, a secure place where carriers connect to each other. This area enables cable companies, ISPs, and other providers to cross-connect with other tenants in the data center. An MMR contains cabinets and racks with carriers’ hardware that allows quick and reliable data transfer. MMRs physically connect hundreds of different companies and ISPs located in the same facility. This peering process is what makes the Internet exchange possible.

The Meet-Me room exchange eliminates the round trip traffic would otherwise have to take by keeping the data inside the facility. Packets do not have to travel to the ISP’s main network and back. By eliminating local loops, data exchange is faster and more secure while also at lower cost.


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