Last night I was checking my email when I was rudely interrupted by an ad window prompting me that my 10 hours of free internet had expired. I was a bit bummed out since I'm forced to even consider using dial-up as my only internet option. I can't use Cable internet, since the apartment complex that I live in has its own cable service but no internet. DSL has not yet come in to my area and satellite is simply to expensive for casual internet use. So, there I sit, reading this unsightly error.
What did I do? I spotted the link for "platinum" (unlimited) service and one for "HiSpeed" service. I was just about to click the platinum service when something from with in me told me to shoot for the good stuff. Since it was only $14.95 a month, I figured, why not. It's only 5 bucks more a month then the unlimited and it claimed a 500% increase in speed.
| ||1.||What is NetZero HiSpeed?|
|NetZero HiSpeed is an exciting new product from NetZero that accelerates your Web surfing experience using your existing phone jack and modem. NetZero HiSpeed INCLUDES the NetZero Platinum service and requires NO additional equipment and NO waiting! It is the high-speed surfing solution with the convenience of dial-up.|
| ||2.||What gets Accelerated?|
|What will be accelerated||What will not be accelerated|
Graphics including JPEG and GIF images
E-mail on the Web
Streaming media, audio and video files
Secure pages, such as those used for online banking and credit card forms
Files and attachments such as music or digital photos.
| ||3.||How does it work?|
|Before the text and graphics that make up Web pages get sent to your phone line, NetZero HiSpeed compresses them using a proprietary technology. Less data is sent so your surfing experience is that much faster! In addition, NetZero HiSpeed stores elements of frequently visited Web sites so they load faster on future visits.|
Reading this made me a little bit skeptical. Often times, companies make claims that the product that they show off is phenomenally superior and in some way a "must have" product. But, since it's only $14.95 a month, it wouldn't hurt to try. If it sucks, I figure I can always cancel it and I'm out a few bucks. No biggy.
Impressive. I think that's the only good word I can come up with that fits this service so well. I was really impressed not only that it worked, but honestly, better then it claimed. I was getting some 1200% compression rates then advertised on much of the content I was downloading. Especially HTML content. The best part too, you can adjust your compression levels on all JPEG images you download. For me, I had it set to max simply to enjoy fast page loads. A really nice feature too was it's exclusion list, which when enabled, allows you to add websites that you wish not to compress all the images too. Very nice feature if you’re looking at content that shouldn't be compressed, such as fine art or something similar.
All in all, I am very satisfied with the service. I enjoy the control over the compression. AOL users have a similar compression built in to their service as well. However, users can now adjust this compression in their options.
Considering the performance and weighing in the price, it's a great value. I give NetZero's HiSpeed Access:
5 out of 5