How to Choose your Free ISP

Ok, so now you see all of this information. You just want to get the internet without paying $20 a month. How do you pick between all of these services?

The first thing that you want to look at is the local access numbers. You modem is like a telephone for you computer. The computer calls up another computer and talks to it the entire time that you are on line. You get charged if your computer dials a number that is long distance when you call it on your telephone the same as if you picked up the phone and dialed the number yourself. I know that some of you experienced internet people are probably laughing right now, but I have known more than one person who ran up a very large phone bill because they didn't realize that computer calls can still be long distance and long distance is not free.

The next thing that we need to look at is system requirements. This step will be very easy for those of you who know something about your computer. For those of you who have no idea about your computer, go to the start button, then go to settings, then control panel. Find the Icon that says system and click on it. You should see the general tab and the infromation there. Copy the information down. Compare what you have written down with the system requirements for each isp. You may have to do a little guessing but it lists some of the requirements. If you still don't understand system requirements wait until the end of this article and I will give you some recomendations.

Ok, if you don't live in the city then the local access numbers may have decided the free isp for you or atleast limited your choice. The system requirements may have limited some of you with old pc's or non windows operating systems. The next thing that every one with choices needs to look at is their personality. If you are forgetful, spacey, or irresponsible when it comes to paying your bills ontime, DO NOT sign up for a free isp which requires you to fill out a survey. If you forget to fill out the survey then you will get charged for the month that you didn't get the survey in on time. The same goes for you guys who don't use the internet or check your e-mail often enough to get the survey to fill it out on time. If you have to pay, this will defeat the purpose of getting a free isp.

The next thing that we need to look at is the size of our monitor. If you look at your monitor and have to squint to read stuff as it is, you probably do not want to use a service that requires a banner ad to be on your desktop. On the other hand if you have one of huge newer monitors, the banner ads won't bother you at all.

So now lets look at some of the limitations and I will give you my recomendations. If you are running Windows 3.1 then you need to look at the internet services that say "any platform" beside them. If you are running Windows 95 on an old computer with a 486 processor (if you computer was new around 1994), the best one appears to be Juno. World Spy is a close runner up. Dial Free, World Share, and FreeWWWeb are all very good services for an old system.

If you have a very small monitor but a newer system then any of the services listed for an older system will work great. With the newer computer you can also use 1nol and IFreedom will also work great.

If you bought your computer with windows 98 already installed, then I feel sure that you can run any of these services on your computer. If you are using Linux, I understand your frustration. I can tell you that any of the internet services that say "any platform" will probably work. You should also check out the others. I have even heard of the services that require banner ads to be on the desktop to work on linux. They are slow but they run without the banners.

I hope that this has helped you pick your free isp. I highly reccomend downloading several of these services so that you can test them all and because a lot of the free services have busy signals frequently. One service may be very busy and you may be able to get on the first time at another isp. Well that is all for now. Have fun saving money and surfing the web.