OT: Looking for backup ISP

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Moved from So CALIF to Georgia and trying to keep CALIF ISP we have used for several years. They provided a list of 25 phone number prefixes that they are networked with somehow and one number has worked until yesterday. We signed up for Bellsouth ISP support but signing on there isn't entirely compatible with the CALIF ISP. Username isn't the same and I'm pursuing a "throw away" free ISP as backup. Bellsouth leases their lines to another company that we switched to and they assert nothing will change but everyone knows how "they" are. Just checked Juno as memory recalled no cost and cost options but all I saw was $9.95/month which I'd like to avoid. Retirement income doesn't offer much wiggleroom! I'm accustomed to downloading posts from 4 newsgroups and reading offline and dislike tying up the phoneline if forced to read/respond online instead of offline. Suggestions welcomed.
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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

About the cheapest you'll find (other than limited time prices) is around $7.00 a month. My wife used to use Joi, it was OK. But why not just get DSL? For what you'd pay for two cheapo dial ups you could get something much faster that doesn't tie up your phone.
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dadiOH
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Netzero has a POP3 e-mail account worth looking at. $9.95/year includes 10 hours / month of access and phone numbers galore (so far, I've not found a little town where I can't get a toll-free number.
No, not suggesting you use this as your ISP, but in conjunction with any ISP you choose. Had you done this before moving, you would still have your e-mail address plus access in every town you stopped at heading East.
And, if you find the next ISP you select is less appealing than what you had or a new alternative, switching is no problem - you keep your e-mail address.
I would suggest going to the Internet and entering your zip code into the various ISP PROVIDER links GOOGLE will provide you. Competition is heating up in some markets (here Verizon is offering $14.95 DSL with a free wireless modem and a fifty-dollar Best Buy Gift card and I jumped off the $50/month COMCAST in a NY Minute.
Keeping your ISP Independence for the extra $9.95/year will prove worth it and allow you the flexibility to switch ISP's at will - making you a more effective consumer in a market sure to get more competitive going forward. In my case, the Best Buy gift card not only offset the sign-up fee at Verizon, but paid for three years of the NetZero account to boot.

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Gooey TARBALLS wrote:

I live in a small town and the phone lines were so poor that I could not use dial-up. The pops & crackles would knock me off line. Only one line was available in my neighborhood and they had no plans to run more lines. Would DSL work on this line, or would they have to run new lines for it? Rather than risk it I changed to cable modem and it is nice, but expensive.
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Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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"Would DSL work on this line"
Yes & definitely No!
DSL, if available in a small town, is dependent upon the distance from the Central Office or Switch to your home. If your present service won't support dial-up,
Wait, did you call the phone company and ask them to check your line before quitting and buying the expensive cable solution? You should be able to Google for DSL and find a site that allows you to enter your phone number and get an answer as to the availability of DSL for your phone.

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On 4/9/2006 2:19 PM Gooey TARBALLS mumbled something about the following:

Expensive cable? Hmm, my VoIP phone and cable is less per month than just my plain old POTS, adding DSL to my POTS would have put it close to double what I'm paying now. I no longer have POTS, and I get much higher transfer rates with my cable than my neighbor does with his DSL. He's getting ready to make the switch as well.
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Odinn
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"Expensive cable? Hmm, my VoIP phone and cable "
I pay $14.95 for DSL. We switched from COMCAST and the cost dropped over $30 and we got a free wireless modem and a fifty-dollar Best Buy Gift Card to boot.
My cost for phone and DSL is now less than what COMCAST was charging us for CABLE ISP and their service was terrible (Verizon isn't much better).
I guess it depends upon 1) your market, and 2) your phone use.
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On 4/9/2006 10:42 PM Gooey TARBALLS mumbled something about the following:

So, you're cost for your POTS with all the bells and whistles is < $42 ?
So you would be paying this POTS $41.95 + DSL $14.95 = $56.90
To match what I get. VoIP phone with FREE LD, $16.95 + Cable $39.95 = $56.90 And I get faster speeds, and free LD that you have to pay for.
Unfortunately, cheapest POTS I can get here is $54 a month, making the cost of my cable + VoIP only slightly higher than my POTS alone.
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NO, my total phone bill INCLUDING DSL is < 40.
"cost of my cable + VoIP only slightly higher than my POTS "
That was my point about different markets. The prices of these services vary widely throughout the US.
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On 4/10/2006 10:22 AM Gooey TARBALLS mumbled something about the following:

You still don't know how to snip a proper sig? When are you going to get a PROPER newsreader?
You're $40 gives you Free LD? VoiceMail? Call Waiting, Call Forwarding?
Does your DSL give you 3MB down and 768k up?
Or do you have bare basic DSL and POTS?
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On Sun, 09 Apr 2006 18:19:12 GMT, "Gooey TARBALLS"

Actually, that's outdated information.
For the last 5 years or so, better telcos have placed the "CO" equipment in small roadside cabinets fed by separate data and voice fiber. In this case, the distance limit *starts* at the cabinet, not the downtown central office. The DSL and voice is mixed right there, in the cabinet. Way back in 2000, I had a test line that had served my model from 3 miles from cabinet.
There is also new extended range DSL deployed which makes the start to finish distance even larger than it ever was.
In reality, the distance limit is long gone, if the telco chooses it to be gone.
Barry
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"placed the "CO" equipment in small roadside cabinets"
Picky, picky picky. So the "switch" as I called it is no longer housed in a brick and mortar edifice somewhere "downtown," but is dispersed into several small cabinets located along the main lines.
This simply brings "the switch" closer to more folks.
Most of the conversation was about this fellow who was having trouble doing simple dial-up on his "popping" phone lines and asking if DSL would help over the same POTS wire.
I agree that, if I gave him the impression that he should measure the distance from the old brick phone company building in the heart of his closest town, my advice was wrong. But I told him to check the internet to see if DSL was available for his phone number.
If he did that, and was advised that the service was available, you can bet that the provider will get his lines fixed to get and keep this new DSL customer (if at all possible).
But, if he's too far from the switch or the little box, they will regretfully advise him that DSL is simply not available in his town.
So, I went on to suggest that his "popping" phone line was an anomaly and he should contact the phone company and try and get that fixed - regardless.
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I fully support keeping an email account separate from ISP domain. Most people think you have to have an email address tied to your ISP and that's not true. You can do it for free these days with Google mail or AIM mail and 2 gb of storage included.
I've had a commercial yahoo account for years in order to retain a permanent email address and get rid of any advertising. I got it originally when I moved overseas. Its been worth it.
Bob
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Yep, forgot about Google - a FREE POP3 e-mail account. I've got one of those, too.
POP3 is KEY. You do not want an account that requires the ISP's mail client. You want an account that will work with most any e-mail client and Outlook Express.

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On 4/9/2006 2:29 PM Gooey TARBALLS mumbled something about the following:

And why is that? With gmail, or yahoo, or any of the other free services, you can access you mail from ANY web capable kiosk or internet cafe.
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wrote:

What he said.
Even my Network Solutions hosted private domain addresses have a slick web interface included in the $10/month fee. POP3 is overrated nowadays, and possibly even obsolete.
Barry
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On 4/9/2006 6:14 PM Ba r r y mumbled something about the following:

Not to mention VERY insecure/hackable.
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Odinn
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"And why is that? With gmail, or yahoo,"
Yahoo is NOT a POP3 account; GMAIL is.
Yes, any e-mail account can be accessed from any connection to the WWW, but only POP3 accounts can be accessed via one's e-mail client via such a connection. Those of us who carry their laptops everywhere, like using an onboard e-mail client to read, write and store their e-mail.
If you don't use Outlook Express or similar, its hard to explain all the benefits. In fact, if you are new to such an e-mail client, it may be months before you can appreciate the benefits.
If you had a JUNO account years ago, you have an idea of how it works. You can read and compose off-line or not. Means, for instance, that you can attend to your e-mail on the light in and connect and up/down load from the motel room. With the NetZero $9.95 account, this would translate into free Internet e-mail access 3 times a day every day all year long. Not bad for a fellow traveler with a notebook.
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On 4/9/2006 10:52 PM Gooey TARBALLS mumbled something about the following:

Look. I've been in the computer industry for 25+ years. I've written more applications than I care to think about for Mainframes, UNIX, DOS, Windows, etc. I've owned an ISP, and am pretty sure that I know what I'm talking about here. You haven't even learned how to trim sig's from messages yet.
POP is VERY insecure, easily hackable, and a very pisspoor method of receiving email. IMAP is only slightly better. Using POP3 or IMAP over SSL makes them a bit more secure, but there are no providers that use that, because it means explaining to the customer how to set it up instead of using default out-of-the-box settings.
Using a web interfaced free account is much better (provided it's using HTTPS during authentication), allowing you MUCH more freedom of where you can access email from. Outhouse Express allows you to download email from several different web based emails, not just POP or IMAP (which you keep forgetting, which is better than POP). Not to mention that Outhouse Express is the WORST email client you could ever use.
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Odinn wrote:

Darn newbies are everywhere! I started 50 years ago :-).
Of course, I had the good sense to retire 10 years ago when my clients started requesing I put SCADA systems on Windoze :-).
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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