AOL alternative

John Lonsdale
Wed, 29 Jan 2003 11:13:54 PST
Not mentioned, but one very definite solution to the several problems posed
by using AOL-based e-mail would be to move away from AOL as your e-mail
client and/or ISP.  This need not be so radical, painful, expensive or
time-consuming as it may at first seem.  I should also add that my posting
implies no criticism of AOL - i.e. I am not bashing AOL !

Given the relative insecurity of even the biggest ISPs these days I would
recommend anyone even vaguely serious about utilizing the internet for
e-mail or web surfing/hosting seriously considers choosing and registering
their own domain name (e.g.  This can be done for as
little as $10 per year and is incredibly simple to do.  To use your domain
name as your e-mail address you need to have e-mail 'pointed' to your domain
by signing up with a hosting company.  Again, this is very straightforward
and cheap - you can get 10 e-mail addresses at your domain for as little as
$4.95 per month (e.g. john, thecats,
.........).  As an AOL subscriber you can do all this and stay with AOL as
your ISP, and access your domain e-mail using Outlook Express (OE), for
example, but that might be rather wasteful.  I would recommend changing your
ISP to any that offers cheap, reliable no-frills internet access, then use
OE and Internet Explorer (IE), (or equivalents) as your stand-alone e-mail
and browsing clients.  If your new ISP gives you an e-mail account with
them - just ignore it.  This route also gets you away from the restrictions
imposed by using AOL's built in and highly customized version of IE, with
attendant ads, pop-ups etc.  My daughter wanted to keep her AOL screen name
for AOL Instant Messenger and we changed her subscription to web access only
to facilitate this - and she also gets to access web mail via AOL if she
chooses.  AOL charges $2.95 per month for this (but doesn't advertise this
option very widely).

The bottom line is that by doing the above you get your own e-mail addresses
for life, and  independent stand-alone e-mail programs and web browsers that
you can customize as you wish.  You also get the freedom to choose your own
ISP and change as often as you like without compromising your e-mail
addresses.  All for less than you pay now for AOL's 'full-featured' service.
You also get to choose to send HTML-free e-mails, which is where this
started !

I would recommend for any domain registration or web/e-mail
hosting accounts.  I use them and they are fast, friendly, exceptionally
helpful and offer great value for money.  I have no affiliation with them,
other than as a very satisfied customer.

I'll be happy to answer any further questions.


Dr John T Lonsdale
407 Edgewood Drive,
Exton, Pennsylvania 19341,  USA

Phone: 610 594 9232
Fax: 801 327 1266

Visit "Edgewood" - The Lonsdale Garden at

Zone 6b

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