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
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.