Technical Terms and Definitions

Point-of-Presence - Networking

A point-of-presence (POP) is an access point to the Internet. A POP necessarily has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your Internet service provider (ISP) or online service provider (such as AOL) has a point-of-presence on the Internet and probably more than one. The number of POPs that an ISP or OSP has is sometimes used as a measure of its size or growth rate.

A POP may actually reside in rented space owned by the telecommunications carrier (such as Sprint) to which the ISP is connected. A POP usually includes routers, digital/analog call ggregators, servers, and frequently frame relay or ATM switches.