Free at last.You have your pick of free Net services, but are they worth it?
You might be thinking "free at last" when it comes to free ISPs See free Internet service. . Of course the Internet service isn't really free. Advertisers pay for it instead of the customer. But in the past year, everybody seems to have started offering free Internet access See how to access the Internet. , from the top Web portals See portal. to major department stores This is a list of department stores. In the case of department store groups the location of the flagship store is given. This list does not include large specialist stores, which sometimes resemble department stores. .
One of the first, and still the biggest, free ISP is NetZero. Since its inception two years ago, NetZero has drawn some criticism; part of the problem is that it has grown so rapidly. Another problem is advertising. Like many free ISPs, NetZero requires you to view banner ads in lieu of paying for the service. Many users find the banner ads to be extremely large and intrusive; they take up the bulk of the page and it's difficult to resize Verb 1. resize - change the size of; make the size more appropriate
size - make to a size; bring to a suitable size
rescale - establish on a new scale them.
On top of that, there's a seven-page registration form to fill out, connection speeds are slow, and the service disconnects you within 20 minutes if you don't click on recurring ad banners. During BLACK ENTERPRISE'S test, this reviewer tried to download the software onto a hard drive and was twice unsuccessful. A third time, it took two hours to download it "Download It" is Clea's debut single. It was released in the UK on September 22, 2003 and missed the top 20 charting at #21. The single had average promotion, being performed in shows like Top of the Pops. onto a floppy disk. I called the 800 number only to find out NetZero wanted me to pay $6.95 to get a CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
in full compact disc read-only memory
Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). for a free service.
JUNO, which was originally a cost-based service, now offers free Internet access. However, JUNO constantly tries to get you to upgrade to JUNO Gold and Platinum, where you pay a monthly fee starting at $9.95; but you are assured of more local telephone access numbers and faster connection speeds. Also, its free service is not Network or POP3 compatible, so all business and Microsoft Outlook For the e-mail and news client bundled with certain versions of Microsoft Windows, see .
Microsoft Outlook or Outlook (full name Microsoft Office Outlook users should beware. Another caveat: JUNO's e-mail is frequently backlogged for days; an e-mail sent urgently last week may arrive today.
JUNO also has intrusive banners that cannot be resized and charges for tech support. JUNO recently acquired two free ISP giants, WorldSpy and Freewwweb; these independent services once received the highest customer reviews. Now their clients are forced to download JUNO software.
Riding high on the free ISP bandwagon are private-label businesses: Spinway.com provides free access for Kmart and Yahoo!, while 1stUp.com provides access for Excite and Alta Vista See AltaVista.
(World-Wide Web) Alta Vista - A World-Wide Web site provided by Digital which features a very fast Web and Usenet search engine.
As of April 1996 its word index is 33GB in size. . I found Bluelight.com, supported by Kmart, Spinway, and Yahoo!, to be the most user-friendly. Bluelight.com's CD-ROM is easily accessible and free at your local Kmart store. It had two dial-up numbers in my area that both MCIWorldCom and Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic) didn't have. Its ad banner is small and unobtrusive; it fits into the bottom of the screen and you don't have to click on a banner to stay connected. BlueLight is POP3 and Network compatible; your e-mail account e-mail account n → cuenta de correo is with Yahoo!; and you can customize your home page to show the latest news, sports, and weather, among other things. This includes the latest Kmart deals; I got my printer and microwave at a 50% discount before they were offered in Kmart stores three weeks later.
The downside: If you are logged on between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., it could take minutes to access information, since this seems to be the busiest time of day. You'll also have to listen to the Kmart theme song and watch a 30- to 45-second commercial whenever you log on. Unless you are in the 409 area code, you have to pay long distance charges to call Spinway's tech support.
Alta Vista requires little space to download and its live portal page includes news, chat, and an e-mail address See Internet address.
e-mail address - electronic mail address . It is the only service compatible with pulse phones. Plus, its banner ad can be minimized (in order to stay online, 1stUp's navigation bar A set of buttons or graphic images typically in a row or column used as a central point that link you to major topic sections on a Web site. If the navigation bar is a single graphic image with multiple selections, it is known as an imagemap. See imagemap. must be open at all times). The biggest gripe gripe
To have sharp pains in the bowels.
1. gripes Sharp, spasmodic pains in the bowels.
2. A firm hold; a grasp. : 1stUp keeps track of the time, date, sites you visit, and how long you stay online.
If you don't like banners, another alternative is ISPs that provide ad-free access but require you to fill out a monthly survey. These include SurfFree, DialFree, ProUSA.Net, and RhinoPoint, which may require an initial set-up fee of up to $19.95.
In the realm of free ISPs, remember that you get what you pay for. If you want impeccable service and a provider who meets all your personal and business needs, shop around. For more information about free ISPs, check out www.hereontheweb.com and look up the comprehensive list.
Weigh the options
Pros Cons Bluelight.com Easy to use Slow service during peak www.bluelight.com Small banner ads hours; 30-45-second Kmart theme song 1stUp.com Easy to navigate Intrusive banner ads; site www.1stup.com tracks your moves online Juno Recently e-mail backlogs; charges www.juno.com acquired for tech support WorldSpy and Free wwweb NetZero Numerous access 7-page registration form; www.netzero.com numbers; wide banner ads variety of tech support options