I have used Juno’s dialup service (they are part of the same company and as far as I know the two services are exactly the same). I was satisfied with it, but I also was only using it as a short-term solution until we got DSL installed in our new place. Had very few problems with it–there is the occasional inability to get through on the first try, but they had plenty of access numbers in my area, so one of the alternates always worked. Connection speeds were decent, and I never got kicked off, and I was spending LOTS of time online.
I’ve nevery had any problems with it. Granted, I haven’t used MSN, so I can’t give you a comparison. But yeah, it costs $10 a month flat, no hidden charges unless you count the amount of money it costs to use your phone line.
I strongly advise against getting the NetZero Highspeed service for $14/mo., though.
My mom has Netzero and I hated it when I used it there. They had a huge bar across the top of your screen at all times broadcasting ads and would repeatedly send pop-ups. The speed wasn’t deplorable, but the other stuff was just too annoying since you couldn’t shut it off.
I suggest, if you have the opportunity, to go with Highstream.net. I believe they are national and have hundreds of access lines all over the place. I was with them for nearly 2 years at $8.95 a month (no hidden charges) and it whupped up on Netzero. Great speeds, no pop-ups, and in the entire time I used them, I got exactly one spam message.
That’s the free version of NetZero. The “Platinum” version that you pay for has only a small “taskbar” along the top (or bottom, if you prefer) of the screen and no ads at all. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now on several computers and have no complaints. It’s just your basic dial-up, so you’re not going to be able to watch movies or anything like that of course, but for basic surfing there’s no reason to pay more.
I had Netzero Platinum for a while, but got fed up with even the small toolbar. The reason was because it wouldn’t go away when running another application (most importantly- an online game). So when I’d play a game online that annoying taskbar would blink on the screen, and for some obnoxious reason the taskbar would suddenly display in 640x480, regardless the resolution that I set Windows at, or the game’s resolution. When ever the cursor moved to where the taskbar was flickering, if I were to click there for whatever reason, it would register as clicking on the taskbar.
If there was some simple straightforward workaround to this that I wasn’t aware of all along, please tell me so I can go off and pound nails into my dick.
I’ve been using Netzero for a few years, now, and the free service is definitely to be avoided, as others have pointed out (big ad banner, slow, only 10 hours per month). The $9.95 a month service has given me almost no problems at all - I never get a busy signal, I rarely lose my connection, and I connect pretty reliably at something in the 46 - 48 kbps range. I certainly wouldn’t spring for the $14.95 a month “hi-speed” service, which I think is right on the line between marketing and fraud.
Until very recently, I never got any spam at all on my Netzero email account. Lately, I’ve started getting maybe one or two spam messages a day. Contrast this with my hotmail account, which started getting spam on about the third day I had it, and now gets about half a dozen spam messages a day (I’ve been careful, with both accounts, about giving out the address).
Within the last year, Netzero added the ability to tap into your email from anywhere on the Internet (i.e., web-based mail, so you don’t have to try to run Outlook on a machine in an Internet cafe in Bangkok!).
At the moment, Netzero is also being kind enough to filter out the port 135 attacks from the msblast worm (my ZoneAlarm suddenly stopped getting them entirely, about 12 hours into the attack, and they haven’t resumed).
I’m not a gamer, but I don’t doubt that Incubus had toolbar problems when gaming over Netzero - I think changing the screen resolution while the Netzero toolbar is present is a prescription for trouble.