How to Find the Best Dial-up ISP

by Hannah Miller 11. September 2009 20:10

Have you ever tried to get help over the phone and waited for hours, just to talk to someone who is poorly trained and is difficult to understand? Are you paying more than $15 for dial-up? Have you been misinformed about hidden fees, contractual agreements, or found cancellation nearly impossible? It sounds like you know a few things about what makes a poor quality dial-up service.

Finding the best ISP can be difficult. If you were to make a list of who provides dial-up Internet, you would probably include AOL, Earthlink, and Netzero. While these companies have become brand names in the dial-up world, they are among hundreds, maybe thousands of dial-up Internet services available. It would be easy to sign up with these well-known companies or the first dial-up service you find in your area, but you could be making a mistake.

Most of the prominent dial-up companies have outsourced their customer service and technical support call centers in order to save money and avoid the hassle of hiring and training their own employees. This only causes never-ending issues with customers and is one of the top reasons customers are not satisfied with their ISP. Some companies require you to sign a contract or charge fees for technical support or cancellation. Multiple factors will affect your Internet service satisfaction, and just because everyone knows who Netzero is doesn't mean they are the best.

You may be surprised what a smaller company has to offer. They might not have been around since the beginning of dial-up, but they probably understand a few things that you want and need. They are concerned about making and keeping great relationships with their customers, not just making money or trying to convince you to switch to broadband. Finding the best dial-up company for your needs will take a little research.

Fortunately, some of this research has already been done. Several websites list the top dial-up providers, based on factors that you would want to know. These sites list less-known ISP's who invest more time to make a more quality experience for you. These three websites are a great place to start:

There are many comparison websites, but these sites listed above have the widest selection, updated information, and simple navigation.

You will see the basics about each listed company, including the price, ratings, features, and special offers. You will also see written reviews, which can be helpful in narrowing down your options. Keep in mind that single, highly negative reviews could be an isolated situation that does not reflect the opinions of the average user.

Many dial-up companies offer a first-time customer discount. These review websites often directly link to that site's promotional web page, and includes the discount offer. Why not save money where you can?

Choosing the best ISP could be a process of trial and error. These three websites will help make your first choice the right one. You may also find some general information about dial-up and Internet services that will further aid your online experience.

Many companies sell dial-up, and just because everyone you know uses Earthlink, or you had AOL growing up doesn't mean you have to be one of their customers too. Take advantage of a competitive market and find the service that is right for you.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at! Check out my blog for more articles! 

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7 Tips for Finding the Best Dial-up Provider

by Hannah Miller 3. September 2009 22:57

A common misconception among dial-up users is that some ISP's can provide a faster dial-up service than others. This is rarely true. Dial-up connection speeds are often affected by local issues, such as your land line, modem, and telephone service.

Therefore, choosing a dial up provider is important not because one is necessarily faster than another, but because of the quality of customer service, details in payments and fees, and other important factors. The following are 7 areas that will help you pick the ISP that best suits your needs.

  • Rankings and promotions. There are many websites who categorize Internet services based on the service quality of various dial-up providers. Search for companies that show up in the top five of several ISP comparison websites. Also, these sites will often link to the ISP’s current promotion specials. Why not get a discount if while you're at it?

  • Access numbers. You should check to make sure there is at least one (preferably several) local access numbers. Most ISP’s have a large variety of access numbers to choose from, but just like telephone numbers, if they are not local, you have to pay to use them. The telephone company can verify whether or not an access number would incur any charges.

  • Promotions, fees, and contracts. These factors affect how much you will pay in the long run. If you don't ask all the questions upfront, a rise in costs or late fee can come as an unwelcome surprise later. Is the advertised price what you will actually pay? Does the price go up after some time?

  • Terms of service. Some of the legal jargon will rarely apply to the average user, but many companies list grounds for termination or limitation of services, or reserve the right to monitor their customer's online activities, etc., in their terms of service. Even if you don't read them, you are still agreeing to them by signing up for service.

  • Software requirements. Some ISP’s require that you use their software to connect to the Internet. This is not necessary. Proprietary software is convenient, but it is often bombarded with advertisements or not work at all on your computer if you are using an old or less prevalent operating system. These programs can also slow or corrupt your computer, even after the service has been canceled. You may want to find an ISP that does not require connection software for these reasons. Some software is necessary if you want extras, like accelerators and internet call waiting programs. However, these programs could conflict with software already installed or have system requirements not compatible with your setup. You may want to discuss these issues with your ISP before you download their software.

  • Customer service and technical support. Is tech support free? Is it by phone or email? What hours is it available? Where are the calls directed? Many prominent ISP's like AOL and Earthlink outsource their call centers outside the U.S. to save money. This results in poorly trained agents with scripted and impersonal communication. Essentially, these call centers are a waste of time for complicated tech support issues.

  • Cancellations. Most companies have a specific method of canceling. If you don't follow that procedure, you probably haven't actually canceled your service. Find out how about the company's cancellation procedure, requirements for refunds, or possible cancellation fees before you agree to sign up.

Once you find a company fits your preferences and you have asked all the questions described above, you will have a satisfactory service and avoid some common frustrations that could arise in the future.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at! Check out my blog for more articles! 

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to

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