Earthlink Review Continue

Big time coverage
With 7000 access numbers, Earthlink has the entire US and Canada covered, as well as many places overseas. Earthlink is an especially attractive deal for those who travel, as in addition to all the access numbers, they offer Palm connectivity, 800 service for 10 a minute, and web-based email in addition to the usual POP access through standard email programs. For businesses, especially small businesses, Earthlink also offers a tremendous amount of tools both for web productivity as well as a bunch of services that a business might need.

Earthlink boasts a very clean and flexible start-up page that on my own machine loads far faster than Excite. The page offers complete news, along with all the bells and whistles that one would need. If Instant Messenger is your thing, Earthlink will set you up with access to AOL messenger.

Earthlink was in the news a couple of years ago with regard to security problems, which were widely circulated and probably blown out of proportion by MSN. The panic has since subsided, as none of the dire predictions came true. On the plus side, Earthlink is highly active in the battle against spammers, this past year successfully taking one mega-spammer to court. They also provide anti-popup software, which though not perfect, limits the amount of intrusions that surfers have to endure.

I'm pleased to also say that their service has significantly improved. They offer 24 hour support that can be accessed via phone, email, or Internet chat. They offer wonderful tutorials, which don't forget what it's like to be a novice, actually taking the time to be coherent, thorough, and reasonably easy to access. They provide support to all the major operating systems, with frequent updates, including software that is geared specifically for Mac OS 10.

The verdict
For net newbies and small businesses especially, Earthlink is a good choice. For a few dollars more, you get a stable company whose lifeblood is dependent on providing quality service. For others who are on a tight budget or need only the most basic of service, there are cheaper alternatives.

The only rare grumblings that people still have is with regard to inconsistent support, but then maybe those folks unlike myself, aren't big enough to forgive and forget.