I've been having occasional connection problems with AOL, which I initially put down to a firewall update which I'd just done. But I still from time to time get "Authentication Services error ..." when the AOL connection software is trying to check my password. It's not my modem because when I get the error it's already connected itself to the internet and it's found AOL, it's just unable to check my password. I now think it must be an AOL thing.
As for AOL9.0VR, I believe that's needed for compatibility with AOL's current system -- not for compatibility with your PC or operating system. When I recently got a new PC and installed my old AOL software on it, it wouldn't connect because it was missing all the automatic updates which had taken place on my old PC. They sent me a 9.0VR CD. But, if you've managed to connect to AOL, your software should by now have been automatically updated as necessary.