I have been trying to use their service for more than 6 months. And every time I think I have it working, they manage to disable my system.
The first time I tried installing their software, it wouldn't install. And it wouldn't give any reason.
No problem. I created another bootable partition on my hard drive, and reloaded Windows 95 and (b)NO(/b) other software. This worked fine. For a while. Windows 95 isn't very useful without any software, so I loaded an FTP client and a few other programs I wanted to use. After a while, my FTP client started having problems logging into 2 of my sites. A while longer, and I couldn't FTP into any of my sites except one.
No problem. Format the hard drive and reload NetZero. But by now, my NetZero CD is a few months old, so I start having problems connecting to NetZero.
No problem, I load Internet Explorer (I never needed it previously). Now I am able to dial into and log into NetZero again. But not for long. As soon as I have connected to NetZero, it upgrades the software in the background. Now it locks up when I start the dial up procedure.
No problem. I drop to the command prompt and try to run the programs one at a time. They all say they can't find parts of the program. Great. I browse the sub directories of the program. I find one with some software in it. I copy that software from the \BIN\ sub directory to the main directory. NetZero works again. Hurray. Oops, I spoke too soon. Now, as soon as I connect with NetZero I get: (b)This programs has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.(/b) I tried closing the box, but it shuts down the NetZero internet connection.
No Problem. Since closing this error box closes the internet connection, I will leave it open and on screen. But this error box insists on being on top of the screen, and you can't minimize it. So, what can I do? Eureka! Drag it to the NetZero ad bar, and let them fight it out to see who wins. Both try to stay on top, but the NetZero ad box wins. Except, since I don't click on the ad bar frequently enough, they used to pop up the (b)click me(/b) box or I will close your connection. I say used to, because the box used to pop up on top of all software, so you could click and continue your session. Now the box pops up behind any software that is running. So now I need an alarm clock to make sure to look for that box every 30 minutes or I will be disconnected.
I don't know about you, but NetZero has convinced me that I can't recommend its service to my friends or clients, and I am close to being convinced that $20.00 per month is a much better deal than a free ISP.
-- The Cynical Optimist