ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Freewwweb

ISP Hall of Shame Inductee

Freewwweb
defunct

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Freewwweb


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Freewwweb defunct

Personal agony: March 2000 to August 2000

I don't remember how I found this free dialup ISP in late March 2000, but unlike free Internet access provided by NetZero and 1stup, Freewwweb didn't have a desktop client. Therefore, it was relatively easy to configure PPP on Linux to dial in and connect. It was also very simple to add a couple of lines to my Junkbuster blocklist to get rid of pesky ads.

While the Freewwweb configuration instructions say that you need to set your web browser's home page to http://home.freewwweb.com (which redirects you to a special Freewwweb portal at snap.com) or your network connection will stop, they're lying. The connection works fine even if you set your home page to something else (even a blank page).

Performance is often atrocious and the modems often fail during the dialup process (BUSY, NO CARRIER, etc.). In addition, there are usage limits (total minutes per month and also individual sessions are limited to five hours). I didn't realize this at first and thought there was just some sort of mix-up with my account, but a technical support person responded to my query by explaining the usage limit and suggested that I simply open another account. I ended up opening a total of four accounts.

Around late June and early July 2000, the news server, which never worked very well to begin with stopped working for good.

July 4, 2000 update

Today FC reports that Freewwweb filed in bankruptcy court for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors. What a way to declare independence!

July 21, 2000 update

Today fetchmail retrieved a very special e-mail from the still-functional POP3 server:

Apparently, Freewwweb thought they could make sufficient advertising revenue by using Snap.com as a custom portal. However, they were only generating approximately $180,000 per month; meanwhile, WorldCom was billing Freewwweb $1.2 million per week for use of their network. Hmmm, it wasn't such a great business model, eh?

Somewhere around July 20, the SMTP server stopped relaying outgoing mail.

August 4, 2000 update

I'm guessing that many subscribers have fled to Juno or other free ISPs since the traffic seems to be considerably lighter and I'm getting the best throughput from my 56K modem since my early months with Sirius Connections. The SMTP, NNTP, and POP3 servers are now dead or aren't receiving connections. I guess it's time to find another free solution until I can get DSL hooked up....

August 18, 2000 update

My four Freewwweb accounts to three discrete point-of-presence local access numbers are now all dead. I booted Windows and tried some of my other free PPP dialup accounts (AltaVista/1stup.com and freeDEM.com). They all suck performance wise. I had tried NetZero too, and quickly clobbered that account (although I picked it back up later).

February 20, 2001 update - Spam sucks

Okay, admittedly this isn't a really a comment about the now-defunct Freewwweb service, but I did leave the dead link intact and today I received in my inbox:

Wow! I am so impressed by getting e-mail from a 'bot. It's so personal, so results driven. I could put a bogus URL from the offending company's web server in this page, if only to hopefully put their spider software in some sort of infinite loop. ;-)


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Last modified on Wed Jan 1 18:29:18 GMT 2003
by tarahertz@yahoo.com
Copyright © 1999-2003 Tara Hertz.
All rights reserved.

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Freewwweb