As evinced by my last post, I’ve been mucking about with dialup lately. I’ve resurrected my account and run a few tests on it. Honestly, with the included accelerator, I could bear using the service if it meant the difference between $50 satellite and $8 dialup (pay by year). I’d have to go into town to do any big downloads, but I’d do that with sat internet anyway. You can’t run VoIP over satellite so the $50-to-$8 comparison stands.

Anyhow, after trying I thought “who are the big players in the dialup industry?” Here’s the list I came up with:

1) AOL
2) NetZero/Juno (the former has more access numbers)
3) EarthLink/PeoplePC

There are other dialup ISPs, but they pretty much are just the same as, albeit with different pricing, possibly a shorter list of access numbers and a different domain on the end of your e-mail address. As such, I’m sticking with, which I’ve had good luck with, for my emergency dialup/every-once-in-a-while newsgroup access/branded e-mail needs. Even Earthlink and NetZero share the 729-1999 number, and thus probably that USAWide backbone network and dialup performance.

However I was curious about AOL. From what I’ve gathered, they’re the only company in my area that actually has a different phone number for dialup access than 830-729-1999. As such, their service would be running on different equipment, with possibly different performance characteristics.

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