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Net 2000 Plus

Free Internet Access?

Yes. Free. They ask, "Are you still paying for it?"

I just signed up about a week ago. I had been happy with my commercial ISP, but one of my biggest problems is cash flow. So when a co-worker told me about this I had to check it out. I decided it was worth going with and just dropped my commercial ISP. I had been paying $14.95 per month for unlimited access to the internet. Now I get my access free of charge.

The name of the free Internet provider is NetZero. They have a web site at . You need to have a computer running Win95, Win98, Win NT 4.0 at the present time. They don't plan to support Win 3.x.  You can get more information from their web site. They have local dial-up numbers in many cities in the United States.

Is there a catch? Sure there is. Whenever you are online with NetZero, they will place an advertising banner on your screen. You can move it where you want to, but you can't close it, or minimize it. They recommend using a screen resolution of 800 by 600 or higher. You can use 640 x 480 resolution if you need to, but at lower resolutions the banner uses up more of your screen area. NetZero sells advertising space on the ad banner to pay for the internet access, and hopefully, make a profit.

It couldn't hurt to check their web site out. Even if you are happy with your current provider, and don't mind paying the monthly fees, it might still be a good idea to have a backup service.  If you haven't started an account because of budget restrictions, by all means look into this.

For what it is worth, this is an unsolicited message. If NetZero succeeds and remains in business, they will save me $180.00 per year in access fees. If they can help you, then so much the better.

NetZero Update

I still have NetZero loaded up on most of my Win95 machines, but I went back to my original Internet Service Provider. For now NetZero will be my "backup" ISP.

Why did I start paying for an ISP again? Mostly for convenience. I do a lot of downloading and with NetZero, I had to always keep tabs on the computer because I didn't want to get shut down for being "inactive" while my download was in progress. You have to realize that NetZero software is a fairly big application running in addition to your web browser, etc. You will probably notice the load on your system if you have a marginal machine (e.g. 80486 processor).

I am a heavy Internet user, so I may "need" more from an ISP than most. Having said all that, I still think NetZero can be very useful for many people. If you are a light user, or just want an email address, or just can't take on another bill to pay they are definitely worth checking out.

FREE ISP UPDATE - 01/11/2000

Recently two of the largest suppliers of free internet service, Spinway and, ceased operations. This took out the majority of free Internet services.

But the free ISP concept is not dead yet. Kmart purchased enough of Spinway to keep thier ISP going. They have instituted a limit of 25 hrs. per month, and are to announce other changes to the service. My guess is they may offer a low priced paid Internet service. This is supposed to happen by Feb. 2000.

NetZero has instituted a new policy also. Now you have 40 hrs. of free service. When you have 40 hrs. in a month, you will see a pop-up offering you the option of logging off or paying $9.95 for unlimited service for the rest of the month. The following month you will get another 40 hrs. free again. You do not pay in any month unless you choose to use NetZero for over 40 hours.

Also, has a new Freelane Ver. 2.0 free ISP program. I installed it on 2 Pentium class machines, and it seems to run well. It has a small mini-portal and a standard size ad banner. You can drag them to where you want them. You can also close the ad banner, but another banner will soon replace it. I had no problems connecting and web pages seem to load well. Also, this service doesn't seem to use up computer resources like NetZero does.



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