Information on AOL Internet Options

Internet users have the choice of a cable modem, DSL, satellite and wireless services. Although dial-up connections are less common, you can still connect to the Internet using that method. AOL offers both dial-up and high-speed Internet service. Although most options require you to pay a monthly fee for service, AOL offers a free version that allows you to obtain several screen names and take advantage of other AOL-specific features.

  1. AOL Dial-Up Options

    • Those users who choose a dial-up connection can use AOL Dial-Up Advantage, AOL Basic Dial-Up or AOL Basic Dial-Up -- Limited Support. All three options require your computer to have a dial-up modem along with an active phone-line connection. Once the account is activated, your computer will dial a local AOL phone number to connect your computer to the Internet. Because the connections are significantly slower than broadband, AOL allows dial-up users to connect to its network over a broadband connection. But you must obtain a broadband connection separately, through your phone or cable company.

    AOL High-Speed Essentials

    • AOL High-Speed Essentials is AOL's basic high-speed Internet solution. Unlike the dial-up connection, broadband users do not connect through equipment provided by AOL. You must have an active broadband connection through your phone or cable company to use AOL broadband Internet services. The plan features 10 hours of access per month, with additional time charged to the user's account at an hourly rate. You are given seven AOL screen names to distribute among yourself and your family. Additionally, you have access to video-on-demand and AOL radio, which features more than 200 stations. Under this plan, AOL provides you with 24/7 technical support.

    AOL High-Speed Essentials -- Limited Support

    • Similar to the standard AOL High-Speed Essentials plan, the High-Speed Essentials Limited Support plan offers 10 hours of dial-up access every month. Additional hours are charged at an hourly rate. The plan also features AOL Premium Security products, including McAfee Internet Security Suite and ID-theft insurance coverage. The plan includes parental controls to protect children from dangerous content. Like the AOL High-Speed Essentials plan, users are given seven AOL screen names and access to videos-on-demand and AOL Radio. The plan does not offer 24/7 live technical support, however.

    Free AOL

    • Neither a dial-up or high-speed connection is included with the "Free AOL" plan. But users are given seven AOL screen names, automatic customer support, video-on-demand and AOL Radio. The plan does not include phone, email or chat customer service options, as the other plans provide. Additionally, the plan does not include a high-speed or dial-up Internet connection. You must purchase dial-up or high speed connections from your cable or telephone company.

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