If your budget is tight and you only need the Internet to occasionally check your email or do a little web surfing, both NetZero and Juno, which are owned by the same parent company United Online, offer a free dial-up Internet connection for up to 10 hours each month. In exchange for a free ISP, you have to contend with advertising on your computer screen while browsing. If you need more than 10 hours, $10 or $11 per month will get you unlimited Internet access.
10 hours free. Both NetZero and Juno offer 10 hours of free dial-up access a month, to a maximum of 200 MB of data downloads. If you use more than your 10 hours, the unlimited access plan kicks in at $10 per month for NetZero and $11 per month for Juno. NetZero's Platinum plan (*Est. $50 per month) comes with 4 GB of storage space; Juno has an accelerated dial-up plan (*Est. $40 per month) that's up to five times faster than its basic service. The dial-up speed is 56 Kbps for both downloading and uploading data.a speed test by PCMag.com says NetZero isn't bad. One negative with the free service is that you're stuck with advertising on your screen as you browse. If you need dial-up access with an accelerator feature for faster-loading web pages, reviews favor EarthLink (*Est. $22 per month).
Plenty of access numbers and unlimited email. NetZero and Juno have thousands of access numbers nationwide that are centered around cities, so you may be able to call a local number for Internet access. Both come with unlimited free email addresses, and you can use video mail and video chat. Even the basic plans include virus protection. However, this free service comes at the price of advertisements appearing on your screen when you browse the Internet.
Both companies have free 24/7 online customer and technical support. If you purchase a package, you'll receive a free live technical support call to help you set everything up. After that, live telephone tech support costs $1.95 per minute.
No feedback available. We found no credible reviews for NetZero or Juno with regard to customer satisfaction. Surveys in general have largely stopped reporting on dial-up ISPs, and there are no recent subscriber posts at BroadbandReports.com.
Review Credibility: Good NetZero receives just 5.5 out of 10 points in this brief review. The downside is the lack of parental controls and Internet security with the ISP's basic plan. On a positive note, NetZero offers unlimited access for a relatively low monthly charge and doesn't require a credit card to sign up for services.
Review: NetZero HiSpeed 3G, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good Juno scores just slightly lower than NetZero here, with 5.3 out of 10 points. Recommended as a basic dial-up service, basic plans come with virus protection, unlimited Internet access and eight email accounts. However, dial-up users receive only one free technical support call to help them with setup; after that they're charged by the minute.
Review: Juno Platnium [sic], Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated
3. Laptop Magazine
Review Credibility: Good In this review, the NetZero 4G Hotspot device gets 3 out of 5 stars for delivering solid 4G speeds for up to eight devices. Although the display is easy to read and the data plans are affordable, Smith says NetZero has limited 4G coverage, with much slower upload speeds than 4G LTE.
Review: NetZero 4G Hotspot Review, Sherri L. Smith, March 21, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Truong likes two gadgets from NetZero -- a USB stick and a MiFi-like device -- each of which set up portable 4G hotspots. She says this is a cost-effective alternative to data plans for those who use tablets on the go and in environments that don't provide free Wi-Fi.
Review: Review: NetZero's Back with More Free Internet, Alice Truong, May 14, 2012