For new users, AOL works best


August 09, 1999|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

My family and I need Internet access and an e-mail address at home. I've been swamped by offers from companies and don't know which to choose. Which do you recommend?

For absolute newcomers the answer is clear, at least in this writer's opinion: America Online. AOL comes close to being the no-brainer solution to getting the modern PC or Mac up and running with full-blown Internet features.

When America Online software is working well, as it usually does, installing the needed programs and Internet connections is as simple as sticking the CD-ROM into your drive and following the directions that automatically appear on your monitor. This includes finding and setting up your modem, arranging for billing, passwords, multiple e-mail names and other housekeeping that can be a production with other Internet service providers.

I recommend that you view AOL as your Internet training wheels and start there. Many millions have tried AOL and then moved on to more sophisticated -- and rewarding -- Internet features from other providers that blow AOL away in key areas like e-mail features, newsgroups and maintaining lists of favorite Web sites. But nothing matches AOL as an introduction to the treasures that await you online.

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Pub Date: 08/09/99

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