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Chapter 20. Going Online with America On... > First Month's Free … - Pg. 185

Going Online with America Online and Other Services 185 First Month's Free ... What's the price you pay for all this? When you're shopping for an online service, compare sub- scription rates and consider the focus of each service. The following is a rundown of the four biggies (keep in mind, the prices quoted here are current as of this writing but are subject to change--check with the service for price specifics): · America Online--AOL offers several payment plans: $21.95 per month for unlimited use ($239.40 or $19.95 per month if you make a one-year commitment), $9.95 for five hours per month (plus $2.95 for each additional hour), or $4.95 per month for three hours (plus $2.50 for each additional hour). America Online is the most popular online service on the planet. It offers simple navigational tools, great services, and a friendly, hip social scene. Call 1-800-827-6364 for a startup kit (complete with a free trial offer). · CompuServe--Charges $9.95 for 20 hours per month, plus $2.95 for each additional hour; $19.95 for unlimited use or $199 per year for unlimited use (about seventeen bucks per month). Special services cost extra. CompuServe traditionally has been more technical and business oriented. Call 1-800-848-8990 for a startup kit (complete with a free trial offer). · Microsoft Network--MSN Internet Access essentially is an Internet service provider and offers little specialized content. The Unlimited plan costs $21.95 per month. If you have Windows 95 or later, you can double-click the Microsoft Network icon on the Windows desktop and sign up right now (you get one month free to try it out) or call 1-800-FREE-MSN (1-800-373-3676). · Prodigy Internet--Gives you unlimited access for $19.95 per month ($198 or $16.50 per month if you make a 1-year commitment). Prodigy also offers several other payment plans, including the Low Usage Plan ($9.95/month for 10 hours plus $1.50 for each additional hour). Call 1-800- PRODIGY (1-800-776-3449) for a startup kit. Prodigy Internet provides a connection to the In- ternet and enables you to navigate the Internet with Internet Explorer (see Chapter 22, "Whipping