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Author Topic: FOUND: Free Internet Dial-Up Access  (Read 3506 times)

Ralf Maximus

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FOUND: Free Internet Dial-Up Access
« on: October 17, 2007, 08:19 AM »
In this world of high-speed broadband, it's easy to forget that some folks are still using dial-up modems.  A recent project of mine required that the app be usable even under the slowest internet conditions, and I was stuck: how to test this beast without broadband?

Mystery solved!  I dug out my old US Robotics and used this free service:

NoCharge offers free dial-up access with phone numbers in the Pacific Northwest and New England.  If you live in either of these regions, or (like me) have flat-rate long-distance, you can dial up and be online in just a few minutes.  Absolutely free.  Ah, the sweet sound of a modem connecting... it's been too long, my old friend.  *sob*

Either select one of their many phone numbers to dial and configure your connection manually, or download their little dialer app that comes pre-loaded with every number.

It really is no-strings attached, and seems to work wonderfully.  AND it peacefully co-exists with my broadband connection so I can live in the 21st century but visit the 1980's whenever I want.  (You'll want to temporarily disable your usual broadband connection to experience maximum slowness.)  But be aware: if you need technical support, their number is a 1-900 line so be prepared to pay by the minute.

DISCLAIMER: I am not connected with this web site or service in any way, shape, or form.  While it worked for me, there is no guarantee it will work for you.  Dialing any of these numbers from outside the local area codes WILL incur long distance charges.  Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.  Visiting the '80s more than twice in one week may result in break dancing, Rubik's cube solving, an addiction to music videos, and accidental purchase of Members Only outer wear.  If symptoms persist, consult your local Starbucks.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 08:29 AM by Ralf Maximus »


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Re: FOUND: Free Internet Dial-Up Access
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 06:40 PM »
cool.  someone should make a web page listing such free #s in each state.


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Re: FOUND: Free Internet Dial-Up Access
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2007, 03:59 AM »
NetZero/Juno still offer nationwide free dialup (ad supported, 10 hours per month, must use their software to connect).

Now this one was very interesting: provides access without the need to create an account...just use their numbers to connect and make up any name/pass you want when you do.

They offer free support through a forum only, which if their dialup is the only thing you have, it will be useless if you can't connect because you won't be able to access it for help.

They block the sending of mail with email clients, so you will need to use webmail for that. (you can still receive all the mail you want though), and they block newsgroup access. This is to keep their service from being abused by spammers.

This seems to be their only restrictions. No mention of ads, time limits or any other undesirable garbage, and they don't require you you to install any kind of special software.

Coverage area is pretty limited though. They only have 7 access numbers, all located in New England.


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Re: FOUND: Free Internet Dial-Up Access
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2007, 01:13 PM »
I've used NoCharge for about 5 years now. No account needed, just "guest", "password" and you're on. I thought I had the best-kept secret on the internet there for a while...

There are a few caveats I have discovered...
1- the numbers posted on their website are hit-or-miss. Some friends of mine gave them the nickname "NoChance" because of this. Download the dialer program and you'll get some numbers that actually work.
2- When connected using their dialer, I would get disconnected every half hour or so. When using one of their numbers with Windows' native dialer, I got disconnected every 45 minutes to an hour. When connected with Linux, almost never.
3- MUCH faster using a 3rd party DNS like OpenDNS.