They provide a standard PPP connection, so in theory all operating systems are supported including Windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Macintosh, WebTV, Sega Dreamcast, Linux, etc. Tech support and online setup help is only provided for Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, 2000, XP, Macintosh and WebTV.

We used to only list totally free ISPs, but we began including the best discount Internet services once all the good free services closed down.

arcZip isn’t free, but they give you a lot for a low price. They provide extremely fast and reliable internet access with no ad banners or pop ups. They also have friendly customer service and technical support available for free 24x7x365 (via email, online chat or a toll-free phone number) if you ever need help.

In addition to the fastest, most reliable dialup internet service available, arcZip also provides tons of extra features such as 10 email accounts, 100 MB of web space for your own web site, and much more. Even though you are getting the best internet service available, arcZip is very reasonably priced at $14.95 per month. (The prices are in US dollars even if you are in Canada.) And there are no hourly charges, no long term commitments, no setup fees and no hidden charges. There are cheaper services out there, but arcZip is the best value around since it has the most features plus speed and reliability you can depend on.

arcZip offers lightning-fast connections using high-speed 56k modems. Most other ISPs also utilize 56K modems, but arcZip combines this with a state of the art web caching system that increases the speed of popular web sites. Overall, this makes arcZip one of the fastest ISPs available for most people, but keep in mind your exact connection speed varies depending on your modem, the quality of your phone lines, the distance to the phone switching station, and the load on the particular number you are calling. Since many of these factors are outside of the ISPs control, ISPs generally do not guarantee connection speeds.

Nearly 1000 of arcZip’s access numbers support advanced V.92 protocol. If your modem supports this, you can take advantage of a number of features including faster transmission speeds. Other benefits of V.92 include Quick Connect, which enables faster connections and Modem-On-Hold (MOH), which provides the ability to answer phone calls through call waiting while you are connected to the Internet, without dropping your modem connection.

Overall, arcZip is also an extremely reliable ISP with nice stable connections. Some ISPs will drop your connection if you leave for a cup of coffee, but with arcZip you can leave the computer idle for up to 20 minutes without the connection being dropped.

Where other ISPs may not even offer live customer service or charge you to call tech support, arcZip provides friendly tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for free. You can contact them via toll-free telephone, email or live web chat depending on your preference.

arcZip does not bombard you with popup ads like AOL, nor does it have an ad banner bar like the free ISPs. Instead arcZip provides more features and extras than just about any ISP. They give you up to 10 email accounts and each offers a full 10 MB of storage. You can access your arcZip email accounts through POP3 or IMAP email clients such as Outlook or Eudora. You can also access your email from any computer in the world with internet access via an amazing web interface that is loaded with features usually found only in dedicated email clients like autoresponders, contact lists, email forwarding, folders, filtering, spell check, and more.

They also provide each dialup customer with 100 MB of web space, that you can use for your own personal web site. They even provide the PageProducer Wizard so you can easily set up your own web site even if you’ve never created one before. In addition, arcZip also provides full NNTP news access with over 40,000 newsgroups, so you can post questions and receive information on thousands of topics.

Another feature available from arcZip is content filtering. Normal accounts are unfiltered, and allow you to access any sites available on the internet. However, if you have children you may want to sign up for arcZip’s Filtered Internet Access, which can protect your family by filtering adult content and questionable material. They offer the latest technology available in Internet filtering, utilizing both leading-edge keyword filtering and a continually updated database of questionable Internet sites for double-protection. Filtered internet access is $16.95 per month, but if you use the promotion code FREEFILTER when you sign up, you get filtered service for $14.95 per month, the same price as the regular, unfiltered account.

arcZip offers an internet access plan that includes the BrowseBlast internet accelerator for $19.90 (an extra $4.95) per month. BrowseBlast increases your web surfing speed by up to 6 times and is simple to install and use. Although it is not as fast as having a broadband connection, it is a less costly alternative to DSL or cable internet. This accelerated internet service plan also includes MailRover, which provides state-of-the-art virus and SPAM protection. (You can add MailRover to your arcZip account without BrowseBlast for just $1 per month.) MailRover is a useful service providing the ultimate in automatic virus and spam protection, with a system that is constantly updated in real time to protect against the newest viruses and block the latest spam, without any effort required on your part.

arcZip does not require a download, which is very nice for installing on a computer that doesn’t already have internet access. If this is your situation, you can just call their toll-free 1-866-890-4511 number to create an account and have them step you through the process of setting up an arcZip connection on your computer. If you do have internet access, it is easiest to signup online, because the final part of the signup process automatically configures an arcZip connection for you. You can also order a signup CD from arcZip by sending your name and address to [email protected] (USA only). This CD-ROM can be used to setup an arcZip account and install web browser software.

arcZip Internet access is limited to 150 hours of usage per month, which is plenty for most people. Once you hit that limit your account is suspended, but you can call in to customer support, or access your arcZip member account online, to reactivate your account with a new login. Therefore it is essentially unlimited internet access after this slight hassle.

In addition to dialup internet access discussed here, arcZip is a full featured internet service provider offering broadband DSL access, website hosting, domain registration, and more.