Why does everyone hate AOL (America On Line) so much? Probably because it allowed Joe Public access to the Internet, and Joe Public didn’t know how to behave. AOL also provides a simplified service at what has often been a premium price. And their marketing makes the technically literate cringe with embarrassment.
However, people do use AOL Broadband, using a modem. Today I had to get ADSL running for a small charity that happened to have a live subscription to AOL, so why not use that? No information on if or how it would work with a router, that’s why not.
However, some experimentation, judicious guesswork and a polite but firm telephone call to an overseas call centre produced the following results:
First off, remember this is for England only. Secondly, AOL calls the user-ID a ’screen name’. Make sure you get the case exactly right – it’s sensitive!
So, to make AOL work with your router as follows:
- PPP User ID: [screen name]@aol.com
- PPP Password: [usual password]
- PPP Authentication: CHAP (or PAP+CHAP)
- VCI: 38
- VPI: 0
- Modulation: G.DMT
- Dynamic IP address
- Encapsulation: VC Mux (Multiplexed)
- Protocol: PPPoA
This assumes you know what PPP is, and how you program your router. If not, I hope you’ve got a good router manual. Set this lot up and away you go – LCP will provide the necessary IP address, DNS and so on – filtered down to the machines on the LAN by DHCP automatically. Well it worked for me!
AOL doesn’t provide a full-on two-way Internet connection, but it probably does what most domestic users want and if they’re caught in a twelve-month contract there’s no sense in cancelling early.