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FreeLane Powered By Excite FreeLane Powered By Excite

NOTE: This free ISP is no longer in operation. Please click Find a Free ISP to choose another service

> Overview   > Details

Thumbs Up: Among the most reliable services once connected, software will dial multiple access numbers until it connects

Thumbs Down: Requires users to click on ads, errors when connecting, shows advertising window

Rating: Review

Excite, like portals AltaVista and Yahoo, has added free Internet access to their list of offerings. Excite's software is provided by 1stUp, the same company that provides service through both MyPoints and AltaVista. Excite's software, however, has one key difference: you must click on an ad every so often, or you'll be disconnected.

Similar to a requirement that was one of our chief complaints about AltaVista, Excite FreeLane's software contains a timer, which it calls a "health meter". When using the service, you are given a specified period of time, generally 30 minutes, to use the Internet, after which you must click on an ad and visit an advertiser's website to avoid being disconnected. AltaVista removed this requirement with a software upgrade several months ago.

Excite's connection speeds are generally good, and busy signals are rare, but Excite's service seems to have trouble connecting at times, returning an "initialization error" much more frequently than the other 1stUp services.

The service isn't bad, and it may be a good choice for regular Excite users, but most others should look to MyPoints or AltaVista for similar service with some important improvements.

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