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Internet Opinions & Tutorials

How To Minimize Getting Malicious Viruses, Worms, Or Spyware On Your Computer

Rules For Email Attachments (to avoid viruses)

Methods of Connecting to the Internet

Anti Spam Links

NoAdsExternal link is a good pop-up killer & it's free.

A cute cartoonExternal link about hoax & chain letter email.


BELL SYMPATICO INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP): In my considered opinion, Sympatico (Bell Canada) doesn't have their act together in so many different areas & I would advise against signing up with Sympatico as your ISP. I have attempted in vain to get Sympatico to police their customers regarding those who have computer infections & spread viruses. Their address results only in automated email saying they have taken care of the problem when they haven't. When Sympatico fails to promptly notify their customers of an infection complaint, they play into the hands of spammers who use virus infected computers to harvest email addresses & then we all get more spam. Most other ISPs promptly notify their customers when they know of an infection in a customer's computer, but not Sympatico. There are no phone numbers for the public to report abuse by Sympatico customers. I have never been a Sympatico customer, but they think I am their customer because they keep sending me bills. It doesn't seem to matter whom I talk to or email at Sympatico, they assure me that they've got their billing problem cleared up, but a few months later I start getting bills again. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at Sympatico. I've heard so many other people say the same thing, that I know it isn't just me that feels this way. Here's another reason why not to do business with Sympatico ISP, did you know that you can only pay your bill by credit card or by pre-authorized debit from your bank account? That's right, you have to trust Bell Sympatico with the privilege of automatically dipping into your bank account or credit card, which is a very dangerous precedence for a company that can't get it's act together. There are plenty of other Internet Service Providers that can provide better overall service, sign up with one of them, not Bell Sympatico.

REAL INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER: In January 2003 my wife switched from AOL as her ISP to a small local Internet Service Provider called Real. Immediately she noticed a dramatic slowing of email send/receive speed & slow browsing. She has a 1.4 GHz computer with Windows 2000 and an internal dialup software/hardware 56 kbps modem. It was seldom connecting any faster then 36 kbps even though Real claims all their modems are 56 kbps. Email was downloading much slower than the connection speed, which seem to indicate that the mail servers couldn't keep up. I had previously noted that her AOL connection using the same phone line, computer & modem always seem to connect at least 48 kbps. I took the computer to another location where I tried it on two separate phone lines with the same slow connection results to Real. Next I swapped out the inexpensive software/hardware modem for an expensive U.S. Robotics hardware only internal modem. Before I had a chance to test it, the hard drive died, so I bought another hard drive & did a fresh install of the operating system & other software. So now I have freshly installed software & a new better modem, but I still can't connect any faster than 37.2 kbps to Real ISP. Yet using the same phone line & computer I can connect at least at 48 kbps to my ISP (Execulink). As far as I am concerned, this is conclusive evidence that Real ISP has serious speed problems for their email servers & for connection speeds. I would avoid Real's cheap come-on promotional pricing & instead use an ISP that actual can deliver top dialup speeds. July 2/2003

Execulink Internet Service Provider.

Beware of Rogers cable modem Internet Service Provider (TWO THUMBS DOWN).

Also see Computer stuff & opinions.

By Doug Hembruff.

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