Internet service providers are
now offering reliable, bare-bones Web access at
a fraction of AOL’s cost. These companies—like
the $4.75-a-month 550Access.com
, which costs,
of course, $6.50 a month—keep costs low by
cutting e-mail and Web space. But the connections
are reliable and, with fewer users, you’ll
get fewer busy signals. But before you sign up,
beware of hidden fees. Most charge a small setup
fee, and some cap “unlimited hours”
at 200 a month. And although online tech support
is usually free, just phoning the company can cost
up to $5. Still confused? Compare options at theispguide.com
a searchable database of more than 1,000 providers.
With fees this low, you can afford to experiment.