What's the best Dial-up ISP?

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weavero | 13:32 Tue 15th May 2007 | Internet
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I'm looking for a pay-as-you-surf dial-up ISP but want to choose the most reliable one. Also, they ideally need to supply free email too. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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I suggest keeping your e-mail account separate from your ISP. Then, if you switch to a different ISP (e.g. to go over to broadband), at a later date, you won't have to change your e-mail address.

For 100% reliable pay-per-minute dial up (at local call rates), simply go to Dial Up Networking on your PC, and create a connection which dials 08456389800, with the username 'guest' and the password 'webguest'. (That's the guest log-in for Webtribe, which is now part of Freewire).

For a free e-mail account (which can be accessed both via the web and via an e-mail client, such as Outlook Express), go here:

Start by clicking 'More countries & cities', to select a suitable domain name. (I've opened dozens of accounts with Gawab. I usually choose '' or '' but there are plenty to choose from).

Then work your way through the instructions to set up your new account. (When you get to the bit which asks if you object to certain types of advertising, just tick all of them. Then you'll get an ad-free account).

Once you've set up your account, you'll be able to access it via the web. To use it with Outlook Express, go to Tools > Accounts > Add > Mail and create an account with the following information:
Username = full e-mail address (including the part after the '@' sign)
Password = whatever you chose
POP server =
SMTP server =
Once you've created the account, click on it and select Properties > Servers. Place a tick alongside 'My server requires authentication'. Click 'Apply' and 'OK'.

Question Author
Fantastic answer, thank Buenchico!
(2-part post):

Alavahalf's post links to my answer relating (in part) to finding a suitable email service for use with Outlook Express (or Outlook). If you simply need to have another email address, reading paragraphs 3 et seq should provide the answer you require. (The instructions I've given, for Outlook Express, also apply to Outlook).

If you've already got another email address it might be possible to send and receive mail via Outlook, but it depends upon whether the provider supports 'POP3' (or possibly 'IMAP'). There are hundreds of free email services but the vast majority of them only allow you to send and receive mail via a web page, not via an email client (such as Outlook). The most popular service that does permit you to use Outlook is Google's Gmail, but I prefer the Egyptian-based Gawab.

To get Outllook to recognise a suitable email account you need the following information:
1. Your username for the account. (That's usually the part of your email address before the '@' sign but some services, such as Gawab, require you to enter the full email address)
2. Your password.
3. The address of the incoming (POP3) server (such as '')
4. The address of the outgoing (SMTP) server (such as'')
You enter those details as per the instructions in the post which Alavahalf linked to but you should note that (unlike Gawab) the vast majority of email accounts do NOT require you to place a tick alongside 'My server requires authentication'
You can get the incoming and outgoing server addresses from the website of your email provider or, if the provider is one of the UK's main ISPs, see here
or here

Once you've set up your new email accounts in Outlook, clicking 'Send/Receive' will download mail from all of your accounts. (If you only want mail from one account you can click on the small arrowhead, next to 'Send/Receive', and select the relevant account).

To choose which account is your 'default' account (from which new mail will normally be sent unless you choose otherwise), go to Tools > Accounts > Mail. Click on the name of the relevant account and then on 'Set as default'.

When creating new mail, your default address will automatically appear in the 'From' box. To switch to another account, click in that box and select from the drop-down menu which will appear.


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