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What the H*@$& is with AOL?

When AOL first started it quickly became the most popular Internet Service. AOL acts as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and as a community of users and services on the Internet. AOL initially provided access using dial-up telephone connections using an extensive world wide dial-up telephone network. This helped it become the premier Internet service for most home users. I got my AOL e-mail in Ghana on one of my many overseas trips. Access to dial-up AOL, the Internet, and AOL service was provided by using special AOL software. This software was sent freely to any and all prospective AOL customers. The AOL software installed cleanly on Windows PCs because unlike Windows programs, the AOL software did not entwine itself in Windows.

Much has changed from these AOL early days. The Tiffany Network which acquired AOL has declined dramatically in stature, Dan Rather has retired in disgrace for being caught broadcasting a false story, and high speed Internet access is in most U.S. PC households. PC users who relied on AOL for $24 per month dial-up unlimited Internet access are no longer sold on the AOL service. Today most AOL Internet users get unlimited high speed AOL for about $15 per month with 10 monthly dial-up hours. Several dial-up competitors of AOL offer unlimited dial-up access for merely $10 to $15 per month. Many provide their own free Internet connectivity software. Like the Tiffany Network AOL stature has declined.

To remain competitive AOL added features to their software and service including McAfee virus scanning as well as some additional popup blocking and Internet security features. At first blush this seems great. Why not give more service for the same price? However, the added features made AOL software grow in size and complexity. Just as we Americans (including myself) have put on a few extra pounds, so has the AOL software. So much so that it can no longer run in older PCs with slow CPUs and less than 128 MB (in reality 256 MB) of RAM. Worse yet, it now seems that AOL software now entwines itself into Windows. Many innocent PC users installing newer AOL software suddenly discover it performs poorly or not at all. Further, when they try to remove it and return to happier times using older AOL 7.0 and 8.0 versions, the new AOL software corrupts Windows and AOL.

As I vaguely recall, the free AOL/McAfee virus scanning software can be downloaded with earlier AOL Versions. The McAfee software is separate from the AOL software, and is dependent upon AOL. When McAfee virus definitions are renewed however, the McAfee antivirus software checks for a valid AOL account. This still sounds great, but McAfee antivirus software takes more PC power to run than other virus scanning software. Adding firewall and other features from AOL further degrades your PC’s performance.

For older PCs realize the best performance using Grisoft’s AVG virus scanning software, Lavasoft’s AdAware to remove spyware and Zone Lab’s Zone Alarm as a firewall. These programs are free for personal use, and can be downloaded off the Internet. AdAware must be manually updated and run to remove spyware. Its major drawback is that it does not automatically monitor the PC to catch new spyware. Also, when AdAware is run and scans a PC, it really slows down the PC.

Moving to AOL’s new Version 9.0 SE software is not the bargain it promises, unless you have a newer high performance PC. With older PCs it often causes more problems than providing better security and functionality.


Link to Wickipedia AOL

P. D. Moulton and Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server computer support, and virus & spyware removal. Dial-A-Nerd repairs PC (s), computers, networks, removes viruses & spyware and upgrades slow computers 24 hours a day 7 days a week. DialANerd provides immediate remote access as well as fixed price computer repair, network repair, virus & spyware removal services at its local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair shop. Repair completion is typically 24-hours to 48-hours. Dial A Nerd recovers hard disk data and saves your data. Each hard disk is tested for errors for free. Dial A Nerd makes a fixed disk image, recovers and saves your data for about a 90% of the desktop computer, laptop computer, and netbook PC (s) serviced. Dial A Nerd, a local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) repair business provides fast PC repair, computer repair, desktop computer repair, laptop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, and virus & spyware removal services with a warranty. Dial A Nerd works on many PCs including Sony computers, Gateway computers, Hewlett Packard computers, Compaq computers, Toshiba computers, Emachines computers, Clone PCs, and Dell computers in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD). The Dial A Nerd mission is delivering the best quality, affordable cost effective PC repair, computer repair, laptop computer repair, desktop computer repair, Wi-Fi network and wired LAN network configuration & repair, Windows XP repair, Windows Vista repair, Windows 7 repair, network server support, virus & spyware removal, home PC repair, printer configuration, PC - desktop computer - laptop computer - netbook computer performance optimization & speed up service. Homes and small businesses with limited IT service and IT support budgets in the local Columbia, Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland(MD) hire Dial A Nerd.


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DialANerd
7146 Rivers Edge Road Columbia, MD 21044 US
Phone: 410-531-5890 Website: dialanerd.com