1. Set your monitor resolution to the highest setting
you're comfortable with.
This will shrink everything on your screen a bit,
including the advertising window. This is probably the most important
tip to pay attention to if you plan to use a free Internet service.
I have my resolution set at 1024x768, and I can comfortably fit
both an ISP ad window, and the AllAdvantage ad window on my screen
at the same time. If you have a monitor smaller than 15 inches,
you might not be able to raise your resolution past 800x600, but
if you have a 17 inch or larger monitor, you could probably be comfortable
looking at your screen in a resolution of 1024x768 or higher.
2. Sign up with more than one service.
After all, they're free. If you get a busy signal
with one service's local number, just try another. If you don't
like one service, it's easy to switch. Just remember to sign up
for more than one right away. If you haven't signed up to a second
service, you won't be able to do so if your main service is giving
you a busy signal. Make sure that whichever services you choose
don't share the same local phone number, as many of them do. Check
our reviews for suggested backup services.
3. Guard your privacy, if necessary.
Remember, these services will track your Internet
usage to show you the ads they feel are most appropriate. You might
not want to reveal private health information by browsing to health
4. Sign up for a web-based e-mail service, or a
mail forwarding service.
Anytime you're in the process of changing your e-mail
address, it's a good idea to sign up for one that won't change,
even if you change your ISP again. Of course, we recommend the free
e-mail we offer at Addlebrain Mail,
but there are thousands of free web-based mail services out there.
5. Choose the service that fits your needs.
Obviously, you want to try to find a service that's
a local call for you. Some services show ads, others don't. Some
services require that you provide them with detailed information
about yourself, while others don't ask. We'll call your attention
to the important features in the listings pages.
6. Sign up for a "Get Paid to Surf" program
Just as the Free ISP's will give you free Internet
access if you keep an ad window on your screen, there are many companies
that will actually send you a check in the mail for watching the
same type of ad while you're on the Internet. AllAdvantage is the
company we've found to be most reliable, and you can use AllAdvantage
and a Free ISP at the same time. Click
here for more information about AllAdvantage, or to sign up.