Network Access Point

What Does Network Access Point Mean?

A network access point (NAP) is a major point where internet service providers (ISPs) can connect with one another in peering arrangements. NAPs were central in the early days of the Internet when it was making the transition from a government-funded network to a commercial one.

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Techopedia Explains Network Access Point

Originally there were four network access points in the Uniteds States. The National Science Foundation put out contracts for the NAPs as part of a transition from the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNet). The location of the four NAPs were Washington D.C., New Jersey, Chicago, and California. The modern day equivalent of a NAP is an internet exchange point (IXP).

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.