Earthlink v. AOHell

Which do you like better? I’ve currently got AOHell, but am considering switching.

Any thoughts, views, experiences, etc will be appreciated.


I’m on Earthlink now, started out on AOL. AOL just feels like internet for dummies. The only thing I used it for was a connection so it was annoying to constantly have the window there.

I occassionally still get dropped from Earthlink, but it’s normally really late at night while I’m asleep. I once kept my connection for nine days straight. I can’t really tell you about the email services or anything like that since I use either my school or yahoo address. I’ll see if I can get my boyfriend to respond to this thread. He can give you all the details

I can’t really tell you much about Earthlink’s service plans. My diskspace, bandwidth, access, etc. were all set by my original agreement with Netcom, and grandfathered when they were bought by Mindspring and then Earthlink. I suppose it’s a good sign that they didn’t try to cut back or cap any of the stuff I had with Netcom.

I remember being amused that I could dial-up using my own account using an access number in Californa a few years ago, but I don’t think nationwide access is that much of a selling point anymore. I also don’t remember whether they were Netcom, Mindspring, or Earthlink at that point. I can only imagine their coverage has improved. I can’t recall ever getting a busy signal, and network problems and outages were announced beforehand and accurately documented on their website. I don’t know if they still keep that up.

If you have a laptop and find yourself connecting through a bunch of different providers (“free” WI-FI, access at a friends house, jacking into corporate ethernet) know now that you have to use an authenticating server (that was not easy to find on their website) to check your e-mail. If you read USENET, they don’t have an authenticating NNTP server.

I’ve also noticed that they replaced a very useful text-only statistics engine (for tracking page-views, etc.) with one that has very pretty graphics… but doesn’t really tell you anything useful about how people are using your website unless you pay for the features.

Anyway. I haven’t used AOL or Earthlink for access in quite a while, and since that’s probably all you’re interested in if you’re asking as an apples-to-apples type question, I can’t really tell you. I remember AOL back in the endless busy signal days, but considering their memeberbase is actually shrinking, I doubt this is still a problem. If you don’t use any of AOLs features, a no-frills ISP will certainly be cheaper that the $25/month or so AOL is charging these days.

If you don’t move around a lot and will pretty much be calling the same number from the same computer in the same location, you’d probably do better to look around at what sort of community ISPs are available. Then hunt down the access they’re reselling and get that without the local ISP’s mark-up ;D

Anyway. As far as technical concerns, AOL and Earthlink are probably about matched. Earthlink (or any other ISP v. OnlineService) is cheaper. You could also get away from the AOL stigma.

I use Earthlink and have AOL as my backup account. For dialup, EarthLink was everything I wanted, just a little Dial Up Networking box that said “Connected”. And, at the time, you didn’t have to use their software, you could just use Dial Up Networking. I don’t know if that’s still the case. Right now, I have EarthLink’s DSL and it’s been amazing. There are outages and stuff now and then, but every company has that, and it’s quiet, unobtrusive, and the connection works.

I wouldn’t go to AOL if it was the only internet access available. Their billing department ticked me off, and I would find their service aside from email and a web connection to be useless. I wouldn’t use their internal boards or anything, so why pay for them? Especially why pay for them for months after cancellation? slow burn

I had MindSpring and then Earthlink for a stretch of four years and was never unhappy with the service. I was allowed to keep the MS address and everything, even three years after they got bought out. My mom had Earthlink for even longer, and was quite happy.

I’ve had Earthlink for a long time, first dialup and now DSL. Never had a problem with them. Didn’t get dropped much while I was on dialup.

I’ll second dantheman. Had Earthlink since 1996, both dialup and DSL flavors, never been a problem once for me. Well, once because I had trouble getting the DSL to work right (something weird with my phone line) but the tech guy was really helpful and amusing and spent a long two evenings getting it fixed for me.

My original ISP (dial-up) was bought by … who was bought by… earthlink. My homepage disappeared somewhere along the line.

I am now on an original contract with earthlink - have tried to upload a few images to my “home page” - didn’t work.

Response time tanks about 7:00 p.m. local (Pacific time).

Have received emailed warnings that they are dropping dial-up lines (even though they can’t support existing customer base).

And, of course, they out-sourced dial-up support to India - I tried to talk to them once - the rep’s english was perfect, but I never did get instructions on how to re-up my annual plan - so they put me on monthly - something like $24/mo - DSL is looking real good.

Maybe find a cheap startup, and expect to get screwed as it becomes profitable enough to be bought by an Earthlink-type borg.

I had Earthlink dialup for several years–was a convert from AOL. I was amazed that I got on-line so quickly and there was almost never an outage–only a few times, late at night, as someone else here mentioned. I only left Earthlink because they weren’t offering cable Internet when I wanted it.

If AOL were the only Internet provider available, I would use it.

I had EL dialup for about two years and spent a lot of time online while I was with them (peaked at about 12 hours a day). Never had a single problem with them. Most of the time I’d get online within a minute of initiating the dialup process, and I rarely got disconnected. They were well worth the $21 a month. I only cancelled that account because I moved out and adopted my roommate’s old DSL company.

I have both AOL and Earthlink. I like Earthlink just fine for its dial-up service (they offer special software, but no, you don’t need to use it).

Mrs. Kunilou prefers AOL for all their marketing partners – she feels like she can get just as good a deal as shopping around the Net, and doesn’t have to go through separate registrations and sign-ups for everything.

Went from AOL to Earthlink and never looked back.

However, in my area (metro Atlanta GA) dialup apparently sucks these days, and customer service can provide absolutely no help whatsover on this issue, except to tell you to just keep trying the numbers they have provided. On many, many occasions, I’ve seen a computer attempting to dial up for an entire evening and never once connect. Interesting, since Earthlink owns Mindspring which is based here in Atlanta, and you’d think their numbers would work.

Also, their special email/browser software has never ever worked for me, for dialup or DSL, even though I’ve been using and upgrading it for about 4 years. And every time I’ve called to explain the problem, Customer Service doesn’t even bother to fix what they obviously know is crap software (one of them overheard me commenting on it to a bystander and actually snickered); they simply tell me how to go around it and connect manually, without a single question as to whether or not I might like to use their connection software or email interface.

First signed up with AO-Hell about 1995 and they were my primary provider until 2 years ago when I got Verizon DSL and cancelled AOL after 6 years - Customer Service screamed when that happened!

cadolphin signed up for a month free AOL when we moved, just so she could get dial-up. That idea was quickly squahed and I called and cancelled the next morning, then signed up with a local provider for $14.95 per month, cancelled that when the DSL was finally hooked up and running, thank goodness!

And for those of you who still are paying - what is it now, $23.95 per month? - we’re getting DSL for $29.95 per month. Is all AO-Hell has to offer worth that? I’d much rather have the high speed access for $6.00 more per month. And I can still keep in touch with my AOL friends by downloading the free AIM service.

AOL software installs so much crap on your computer. I was a beta tester for AOL 4.0 through 7.0 - and I had to completely reformat and reinstall to get rid of AOL completely. Not worth the headaches.

My sister is on Earthstink. She’s ready to cancel now that SBC/PacBell DSL is down to $26.95 per month and her Mac Airport is made for DSL.

AOL and Earthlink had their day. It’s time to let them fade away into ISP oblivion.

I love my Earthlink dialup and have said so for the last couple years. I had an easy time contacting them when I had a problem that turned out to be my computer dying and not their fault. I love their Pop Up Blocker and Spam Blocker. Unless I get so broke that I have to cancel my service I’ll stay with them as long as they keep providing such great service.

Just to add to mine, I’ve never called Tech Support for Earthlink, so I can’t really comment on that.

Earthlink tech support is run and staffed by the most incompetent human beings on the planet. How they manage to find their way to work every morning is a mystery. (Maybe they don’t. Maybe they just run out on the streets each day and grab the first 50 people they see - it would explain why no one seems to have the slightest idea how things work.)

That said, I’ve had earthlink dialup for about 4 years. When it works, it works wonderfully. I don’t use their software, just dial-up networking. I’m often logged in for days at a time. I almost never get dropped. It’s worth the price…when it works.

When it doesn’t work, it’s hell. I’ve had problems 3 times. Each time it took weeks to get through to tech support, neither phone nor chat would work, and the people responding email wouldn’t answer the question, usually because they didn’t know how, and wouldn’t elevate it to someone who did. Trying to get it to work correctly again was painful. But still, it’s only gone wrong a few times.