Accessing AOL via an Internet Provider (ISP)
Many families have an AOL account, which is actively being used by several family members. You keep hearing that you should get a "true" Internet connection, but you don't want to give up your AOL account. This page describes how you can use both kinds of Internet access together.
|Connecting via AOL (Shown in blue in the diagram)|
As an AOL user, you are probably dialing into a modem that is owned or leased by AOL. Your connection is then carried to AOL, where you can access all their internal content (email, chat areas, etc) If you access external internet sites, this is also done via AOL's Network and Internet Gateways.
A few details about connecting via AOL:
|Connecting via an Internet Service Provider (Shown in red in the diagram)|
There are thousands of Internet providers who offer a "true" Internet connection. A "true" Internet connection means that your computer is using the TCP-IP Protocol to communicate to the Internet.
A few details about connecting via an ISP:
Once you become comfortable with accessing AOL via your ISP, You will want
to modify your billing arrangement with AOL. Go to to AOL keyword "byoa" (=
Bring Your Own Access) If you are now accessing AOL exclusively via your ISP, you can
reduce your AOL monthly rate to only $9.95/month. This gives you unlimited usage of AOL as
a "destination" from the Internet. You will no longer being using AOL's
modems/infrastructure to reach AOL. The $12/month you save in AOL charges is just about
enough to pay for your ISP account. You may also find that your access to AOL via an ISP
may even be faster than via the AOL connection. For example, my family accesses AOL via my
Cable Modem :-)
Note: This information is provided for "information only". If you have additional questions, you need to contact AOL's Technical Support. (Do not send me emails asking for help with AOL - I can not provide technical support to millions of AOL users )
Try these resources; AOL help website, and this list of 1-800 help phone numbers. IF you are upgrading to AOL Version 5.0, be careful - this software has caused problems for user's internet accounts see this page for more details.
Good Luck - Russ Haynal