I should have been a little clearer… Yes, as techchick68 points out, Earthlink is an excellent ISP. I have been an Earthlink subscriber for years; I’m posting now using Earthlink. BUT, they distribute some of the worst software ever written, ranking right down there with AOL’s kludgiest crap.
An ISP’s forte is connecting you to the internet. ISPs are not software companies.
My point was, or should have been, that practically any MS OS already contains all the tools you need to get online, and usually pretty quickly. In my experience, Earthlink is actually one of the easiest to set up, requiring very little input – usually the basic wizard stuff.
But I stand by my warning to one and all – DO NOT use the software your ISP provides, unless there is simply no other way to get a connection up and running.
Also, on a similar subject, Earthlink recently suspended its “no-strings” distribution of its popular Pop-up Blocker software. This was one of the few bits of code ever put out by Earthlink that actually worked. They still offer it, but only as part of a package they call TotalAccess 2003. DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS TRASH. Pop-up Blocker is nice but having it is NOT worth the havoc that TA 2003 will wreak on your system.