What is an IP Transit Provider?

Larus Team 2023-09-04 00:40:19 IP Transit

One of the key components that enables the Internet to function is IP Transit. It is a service that is provided by your Internet service provider (ISP).

To understand how the Internet works, we must first understand that it consists of multiple networks that are all interconnected.

Every piece of information sent or received on the Internet is broken into small data packets, which pass through various networks before reassembling at their destination.

For example, when your computer requests Facebook to show a photo, that photo is broken down into packets and reassembled on your computer as a whole image. For that to happen, you'll need IP transit.

What is IP Transit?

IP Transit is a service that facilitates the movement of data across the Internet. It is provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In plain speak, an ISP gives you access to all computers on the Internet through their transit service.

An ISP uses services that employs the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). BGP is a set of digital rules (protocol) and infrastructure that enables network access to the entire Internet. When you use IP Transit, you pay your ISP to gain access to a comprehensive routing table that guides your data across the Internet.

Accessing the Internet with IP Transit

IP Transit allows clients like you to navigate through their ISP's network to reach the rest of the Internet. This service is particularly valuable for those who possess an Autonomous System (AS) and can employs the Border Gateway Protocol for routing purposes.

An Autonomous System (AS) represents an entity, such as an ISP or a large organization, that maintains independent connections to various networks. Each AS is identified by a unique Autonomous System Number (ASN), allowing it to communicate with other ASes. IP Transit heavily relies on the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which facilitates communication between ASes and determines the optimal path for data packets to follow.

You can think of a BGP as a person directing traffic-- it connects autonomous systems and finds the best path for them to connect.

Levels of IP Transit Providers

IP transit providers are simply Internet service providers that manage the traffic between your computer and the rest of the Internet. There are three tiers of IP transit providers. These tiers are based on their capabilities:

Tier 1 ISPs

These global giants, also known as Peers, serve as the Internet foundation. They don't pay for transit and exchange data freely with one another. Tier 1 networks connect lower-tier ISPs and charge them a transit fee.

Tier 2 ISP

These providers have extensive networks that span regions or nations. They often peer with other Tier 2 ISPs to minimize transit costs, but still require Tier 1 ISPs for broader Internet access. In other words, they connect Tier 1 ISPs with Tier 3 ISPs.

Tier 3 ISPs

These are regional providers covering smaller areas that purchase Internet traffic. These are closest to end-users. They frequently acquire IP Transit from Tier 2 providers to avoid Tier 1 costs and cater to local markets.

Choosing the Right Internet Connectivity

Besides IP Transit, there are three other connectivity options: IX Transit, MPLS, and DIA. IX Transit involves public peering via an Internet Exchange Point (IXP), while MPLS offers dedicated Layer 2 connectivity for larger organizations. DIA (Direct Internet Access) is a cost-effective choice for those without an assigned ASN.

Closing Thoughts

IP Transit plays an important role in ensuring data is exchanged correctly and efficiently over the Internet. It might be the type of connectivity that your business needs. However, if you have doubts, it is best to contact an expert in Internet connectivity.

Larus is an IPv4 broker that specializes in connectivity. Our networking experts can give you professional insights if you have questions about IP transit providers. We encourage you to contact Larus to get the expert help your business or organization needs.

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