i was on an aol trial for about a year, anytime i was running out free hours, i called and said i hadnt had time to benifit since id been out of the country, or that i was writing an article on various isp's and could they extend it. i got free continuous internet for just over a year, until they caught on, and i moved to freeserve for a while.
The CableNut Program and AOL
Written and Edited by Dannjr & Mnosteele with help of a cast of hundreds that have had AOL in the past
We would like to point out some information on AOL to help you better understand the problems you have and will experience if you haven’t already. Please read this article as there is some information you might find insightful and helpful.
The CableNut program was written to support Windows products on the Windows TCP/IP protocol, it was never intended to help with AOL. AOL has its own TCP/IP and they utilize the Windows VPN protocol (Virtual Private networking) along with uploading 125 megabytes of information to your computer for advertising and cached web pages so that you don’t have to download them to your machine based on profiling you the user.
Not only will they add that extra unneeded data to your machine they also take even more control of your system by adding 1500 or more lines of code to the Windows registry, a typical ISP only adds about 250 lines. Some of the lines they add to the registry have to do with Intuit products more specifically Quicken. If you’re like most of us you don’t want to have to worry about your finances being secure, especially if you do online banking or purchasing. You could save some of the money by using another ISP, AOL is $24.95 a month where Net Zero is only $9.95. Or even Cyberonic.com for Dialup is cheap $13.95 and you can be on 24hours a day 7 days a week with no time limit.
Recently a test was run with the Agnitum Outpost firewall to see what data AOL is actually sending and receiving from your computer. A firewall is similar to the firewall between two buildings, it keeps the fire in or keeps the fire out, as a computer firewall monitors data coming in and going out.
While running the firewall 15 different IP addresses showed up from AOL trying to send and receive data, more than just the information that the user wanted share. A Typical ISP (Internet Service Provider) will supply you with one IP address and you might get scanned by one other IP from that same ISP and that is all that is actually needed. AOL won't even let you enable XP's built in firewall....... makes you wonder why huh?
It makes you wonder what information AOL is tracking about you huh? AOL chat, better known as the AIM or AOL Instant Messenger only needs two IP addresses to send and receive for a good chat to work. Why then are there 15 or more IP addresses showing up with the FREE chat without the AOL software.
On top of that, why would you use AOL IM and have them splash ads in your face all day when there are excellent FREE alternatives such as Trillian which you can use to chat with ALL the IM interfaces out there, Including your AOL buddys.
Typically we tell people to test there systems for spyware. That’s malicious code that tracks you and sends out data without your permission. Generally this is advertising agents, data minors or bits and pieces that get on your machine over time with surfing but it can be much worse.
Spyware can disable your firewall, slow your computer or internet connection to a crawl and even completely crash your operating system. A typical week on a system without AOL can get an average of 14 pieces of spyware on there system with just normal web surfing.
With AOL the average is 92 in one day. Spyware can also be used to profileyou, this way the next time you do a search for a game or clothing you’re taken to a web site that AOL or the profile tells you to go, not where you intended to go. On the average if you buy something and you have been profiled you will pay at least 10% more for the same item you could have gotten for less! Keep in mind that is based on averages. It could be even worse.
OK we have established what can get on your machine but you still defend AOL. How about all that SPAM you receive daily in your AOL email inbox? AOL is one of the easiest emails to hack and spam and spammers know this that is why you are targeted. You say all your email and email addresses are on AOL or maybe CompuServe, well you don’t need AOL or CompuServe software to do use their email.
It can all be done from the web pages at AOL or CS.com, if you haven’t tried it go look.
Then you say what about my email address book? If you sign up with a different ISP you can still have AOL at a lesser price if you insist on keeping them. Or as we suggest, keep them just long enough to send out a couple of batch emails to all your friends telling them your new email address. You do that a couple of times and your new address book will fill up. You might even get rid of all that spam you kept getting from AOL.
Things to look at with a new ISP.
Make sure they don’t require more than dialup networking, this requires no software from them, just an email client like Outlook Express and the Windows TCP/IP stack, Generally FREE and already loaded with the Operating system. You don’t need AOL TCP and VPN.
Ask if they have online email similar to AOL, most IPS’s do. You can get to your email from anywhere in the world, as well as a customizable homepage tailored to your needs.
Without the AOL software on your machine your surfing experience will be twice the speed and you will be able to get to all web sites. Recently I also tried to get to web sites that AOL attempts to block, they say it’s for your good, trust me it’s for their good. Remember the longer they keep your interest in their products the better for them.
AOL Broadband, that’s an oxymoron. Did you know that they disconnect you even on broadband after a certain amount of time? They limit your MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) to 1400 (1500 is the internet standard) so they can limit your bandwidth thereby saving themselves money.
But even better they keep the TCP/IP stack lower so that you don’t seem to get flooded and so they can upload advertising at will. That can go on 24 hours a day 7 days a week! Think about it there in your machine even when you sleep.
The people at AOL will deny this as most of them don’t know and the ones that do won’t tell you even if you ask. We recently had a Beta tester from AOL on the site in the Discussion Forum that was so adamant about AOL that no matter what we said to prove the problems he denied most of it and tried to justify the rest.
If you continue to use AOL it’s your choice, but you have been advised on what it can and will do to your privacy and computer.
If you need to tweak it (make it faster) keep in mind that your tweaking is very limited. After that it’s up to you to stay with them or get a better ISP. But keep in mind if you decide to tweak and make it better you might be in the discussion forum for awhile after all each version of AOL is different.
AOL and Windows XP users please listen up. AOL IS NOT installed by default, the install files are setup for you to install. The Install files can simply be uninstalled before you install all the registry items and programming on your system. The same is true of the MSN messenger, it to can be disabled.
We do believe in fun here on DSLnuts and we do believe in trying to make your connection better.
Cost factor that we probably shouldmention. If AOL is $21.00 a month and you have only one phone line and you get disconnected and have to reconnect. Depending on your local call package it can cost you a average of $16.00 Additional per month on top of your AOL bill. For a total of $37.00 a month. If your paying $23.00 a month it all adds up.
If you feel the need stop in the Discussion forum and ask. Keep in mind that there are allot of people that have left AOL because of the information above prior to writing this.
AOL believes in one thing only getting all the money it can out of you. They even get a cut of what you buy when you go to a search through them. We’re all for free enterprise. But at what cost to you. Even JD powers, rates AOL at the bottom of the heap of excellence. If anyone was to tell you AOL Sucks. I don’t believe its AOL or its users. Its is the current administrators CEO and Board members since 1994.
Thanks for your time hope to see you in the discussion forum. Running fast.
This is a work in progress.
AOL's browser does not have an IM client, or e-mail, those are part of the AOL program. The browser is just IE with limited search functions that are directed to sites based on your prior searching/browsing habits enabled by the collection of information of your surfing habits by AOL.
You can't really defend that program, it is ****, will always be ****, and everything they touch turns to ****. Ask Nutscrape.
Ep, glad to see you come back and tidy up...did want to ask a one day favor, I want to enhance my resume , was hoping you could make me administrator for a day, if so, take me right off since I won't be here to do anything, and don't know the slightest about the board, but it would be nice putting "served administrator osnn", if can do, THANKS