Internet Service Provider
Internet Service Providers connect you to the Internet, they are the companies you pay your bill to for renting their modem and router that sits in your house. Much like a phone, cable or utility company, your ISP has the physical infrastructure - cables, networking and routing equipment. They connect to other ISP's that serve content and websites that you view in your browser.
You might have noticed that many ISP's are phone and cable companies. Dial-up (phone wires), cable, DSL, satellite, fiber optics and much more are the physical mediums which data is transferred over. Use this handy website to see your ISP
Tracking & Personal Data
Your ISP can see what you websites you visit, but not necessarily your passwords or information you send. The big concern about an ISP tracking you is the meta-data they sell about you. Depending on your ISP and their terms of service, they could save your data for up to a couple of years. Verizon was caught inserting tracking cookies secretly into your requests
The browser is the application that connects to the world wide web from your computer/device. It works with DNS and HTTP to fetch websites and read the HTML, CSS, code and other content for the browser to display.
- 3rd-party cookies from advertisers track you across websites when you visit a site that saves the cookie to your browser
- These cookies can 'fingerprint' your identity through sophisticated means, sending data to trackers that can create an identity profile
- Not using HTTPS on leaves your communications unprotected
- Private browsing does not protect your information from your employer or ISP!