EarthLink's dial-up service includes software features similar to those you get with other EarthLink services, including spam filtering, antivirus software and parental controls, plus eight email accounts, each with 100 MB of storage. An accelerator feature helps text and graphics on web pages load more quickly (although still not as quickly as with broadband). Customer service, billing, performance and reliability are all strengths. If you don't check email or surf the Internet often, NetZero and Juno (both owned by the same company) offer 10 hours of dial-up access per month free of charge.
Subscribers rate EarthLink dial-up in the 2007 and 2008 J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction surveys (no survey of dial-up subscribers was done in later years). Cheap-ISP-Reviews.com includes EarthLink dial-up in its comparison of ISPs based on cost alone. TopTenReviews.com rates EarthLink 10th among the 20 ISPs reviewed -- but that's based on the company as a whole, including its cable and DSL Internet services as well as dial-up.
1. J.D. Power & Associates
This press release includes details on the results of J.D. Power's 2008 customer satisfaction survey, to which close to 19,000 people responded. ISPs are rated on several factors, including customer service, performance and reliability, and offerings and promotions. EarthLink is the top-rated dial-up ISP among the five included in the now-dated survey.
Review: 2008 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study: Press Release, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 30, 2008
2. J.D. Power & Associates
J.D. Power and Associates polls 16,000 people to rate customer satisfaction of dial-up Internet providers. EarthLink gets the best ratings of the six dial-up ISPs included in this older survey.
Review: 2007 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study: Press Release, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Sept. 19, 2007
This comparative review of ISPs rates companies, not specific Internet services. Companies are rated on their feature set (whether you get virus and spyware protection, email accounts, etc.); service area (a larger area means a higher rating); whether they have several connection speeds to choose from; and the quality of their customer service and support. Based on these criteria, EarthLink is rated 10th of the 20 companies surveyed.
Review: Internet Service Provider Review, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, 2011
This review compares ISPs based on superficial factors, including cost alone. Standard and accelerated dial-up ISPs are shown in one comparison chart, broadband ISPs in another. EarthLink dial-up is ranked in the bottom half.
Review: Cheap ISP Reviews, Editors of Cheap-ISP-Reviews.com, Not dated