Opinions requested AOL Software

  ened 11:54 17 Feb 2008

After careful consideration I have joined AOL.

I had a thread last October click here

I have set everything up manually and have downloaded (but not installed yet)AOL9VR.

I am interested to hear from anybody who uses AOL as to whether I have anything to gain from installing their software.

I am asking this because I have been told that it is a bit tricky getting rid of itshould you wish to.

Quite frankly I am doing okay at the moment but do they offer much more?

  merciarich 12:12 17 Feb 2008

After being a customer of AOL for quite some time, I have found them to be extremely reliable and I have always received pretty much the promised speeds (They advertised 8mb, I get 7.89MB)

I never used their software personally. You dont really get any advantages over it, except that you can view your latest bills and chat to tech support live via a chat window. Also, if you are with the AOL Talk like I was, the software can show you itemised bills etc.

I used Internet Explorer and then moved onto Mozilla Firefox. Both worked well with AOL.
As long as you have put your AOL Screen-name and password into the router as they show you in the setup, you can use any browser that you like.

As I said, the only benefits of the software is up-to-the-minute itemised billing and a live technical support chat.

I am now with Virgin, just to take advantage of their 20mb speeds. You can always do what I did, use Internet Explorer but have AOL software just to view the bills and chat to AOL when needed.

Hope this helps.

  ened 12:35 17 Feb 2008

That is very useful.

Actually at the moment I am only getting less than 2 meg but I have only been switched since Wednesday and they say it will come in time.

If the speeds do not increase it might be useful to be able to chat to tech support over a live window, and I am on the talk package also.

I would like to know how difficult the software is to get out of your machine should you decide to move on.

  Stuartli 12:57 17 Feb 2008


click here

I know this is quite old now:

click here

but my understanding is that AOL always used its own versions of IE...:-)

This quote from AOL's Help pages tends to confirm it:

"You must be using Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (to access secure websites). By default if you are running AOL 9.0 VR and/or Windows XP you will already have Internet Explorer 6.0."

By the way, the MTU setting for AOL, as with TalkTalk, is 1432 - if you don't use it you will/may get problems with e-mails, accessing some websites and sending e-mail files.

  merciarich 13:04 17 Feb 2008

"but I have only been switched since Wednesday and they say it will come in time."

Between 10-14 days for the line to stablise. During this time, they will be testing your line etc to see what maximum speed you can get but that it does not affect the quality of your service.
For example, if they send you an 8mb signal on a line that can onlu handle 6mb, the quality of your broadband service will degrade.

"I would like to know how difficult the software is to get out of your machine should you decide to move on."

Simply remove the program via Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel - remove it like you would any other program.

Stuartli - "but my understanding is that AOL always used its own versions of IE.."

This is true, they use the same graphic/display engines that IE use, however there are some distinct advantages and disadvantages to using the AOL software, as I have posted previously. The AOL software is a smaller downlad de to the fact that it "piggy-backs" off of drivers and files etc that come with IE

"By the way, the MTU setting for AOL, as with TalkTalk, is 1432 "

This is true but rarely needed as the AOL router sets all this information up for you upon initial setup.

  ened 13:21 17 Feb 2008

Thanks to you both that is really helpful.

Also your info about setting up the line merciarich.

Stuartli I had not even looked at the MTU setting as it is totally stable, if a tad slow, at this stage.

I am going to go ahead and install it this afternoon and, if I don't like it will do a System Restore to make sure any straggly bits are removed.

  ened 13:32 17 Feb 2008

I don't really understand this MTU business but mine is set at 1458.

As everything appears to be working okay would you advise me to leave it alone or do you think I sjhould reset it?

  merciarich 14:41 17 Feb 2008

The MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) basically just says how big the maximum packet can be from your ISP (how much data they can send at once), so 1458 will allow you to receive more than 1432 obviously.

I would leave it how it is unless AOL specifically tell you to change it if you ever call them for tech support

  Stuartli 16:36 17 Feb 2008

There doesn't seem to be any logic to AOL/TalkTalk's use of 1432 as far as it affects (or doesn't affect) broadband operation.

I've been with TalkTalk for just under two years - at first the service was 2MB and, last March, it was upgraded to "up to 8MB" when my exchange was LLU equipped by CPW.

However, about six to eight weeks ago, I began having problems sending e-mails containing files, logging onto certain websites etc, but couldn't fathom just why.

Then about a week later, by chance, after yet more Googling, I found the new TalkTalk beta forum pages, including this one:

click here

I did a DrTCP test and it, as the forum page suggested, came up with the 1432 MTU setting being required.

Once the change had been made (Windows XP default is 1500 by the way) my system went back to behaving itself whilst surfing again...:-)

Quite why the MTU should have needed dropping after nearly a year on LLU will, no doubt, remain one of life's mysteries.

  Stuartli 16:47 17 Feb 2008

Some excellent information about all aspects of broadband can be found at:

click here


click here

  ened 17:33 17 Feb 2008

I'll bear that in mind if any problems materialise.

I must say that I do like this 'Live' technical support as at least somebody is there to confirm or refute any problems are at their end and not your own.

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