When you are browsing online searching for a broadband provider you might come across the term ISP and wonder what it means. ISP stands for an Internet Service Provider. An ISP might provider your dial up, cable, ADSL or any other type of internet access. You will find that some ISP’s will provide access throughout most the country, where as some local ISP’s only service people in one particular city or region.

When you are searching for a broadband provider, or ISP, you need to start by considering which sort of access you desire. Some ISP’s will only offer dial-up or slow services where as other ISP’s will be linked with a pay TV company to supply you with cable internet.

Nowadays the most common ISP’s that are around are the broadband providers that offer ADSL services. If you are looking for an ADSL broadband provider you will find that there are lots of different options and companies who are offering competitive services that you can choose from.

Every ISP has will list its privacy policy and its terms of service contract which will outline all of the conditions that you must agree to before the subscription will be accepted. This document is often very long but it is very important that you take the time to read through each clause in the contract step by step so that you know what your rights are and you know any extra costs or fees that will be incurred throughout the contract that you have with your broadband provider.

The privacy policy will clearly outline what the company will and will not do with your personal information which will be collected when you sign up with any ISP. You will normally have to provide your name, address and a credit card number which will then fall under this broadband providers privacy act to protect you and your information.

The ISP privacy policy should also clearly state if and when your information will be shared with a third party, make sure that you agree with these terms before you sign up with the broadband provider.

The ISP terms of service contract that will be provided by the broadband provider will clearly outline exactly how you can use the service and the parameters by which you will be charged if you use the service outside the rules. Some broadband providers offer unlimited access dial-up access but this is not to be actually taken literally. Truly unlimited access is called ‘dedicated access,’ and these accounts are only done by broadband providers offering subscriptions through ADSL or cable internet.

What is really important when you are choosing an ISP that is going to offer you what you want, that you aren’t just looking at price, speed and download limits. You really need to take the time to make sure that the terms of service and privacy statement outline terms that you can agree with. This is essentially the most important part of the decision. You can then sign up to your broadband provider through a public terminal or online or over the phone. All that then will need to be done is network the software onto your computer, and you are ready to go!