More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
AOL Offers Parental Controls Software To All Web Users
Mon Oct 2, 2006
By Antone Gonsalves, TechWeb

AOL on Monday started offering its parental controls software to all Web users, the latest step in the Internet service provider's transition to an entertainment portal.

AOL, a unit of Time Warner, has always made the software available to subscribers of its proprietary service, which was mostly used by dial-up subscribers. The tools provide parents with age-based access controls to Web sites, as well as controls on instant messaging and chat. In addition, parents can get email reports on their children's online activities.

The software is available at no charge through the AOL portal. A credit card is needed for age verification during registration.

AOL has been opening up its proprietary services as part of its strategy of transitioning from a closed ISP to a public Web portal competing for ad dollars with Yahoo and others. The move followed several years of a declining subscriber base as people traded dialup for broadband.


If you have ever been an AOL customer, how would you describe your overal experience with them?

How does AOL enhance your ability to use the internet and would you continue using their service, if you have now begun using broadband.

Have you ever had technical computer issues whild subscribing to AOL?

Are the AOL parental controls a good enough reason to subcribe to AOL or are their better options for parental controls?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I wouldn't necessarily suggest subscribing to AOL to get the parental controls but that was the point of the news item - you no longer have to - AOL is releasing it to non-subscribers as well.

As for AOL itself, there are good things and bad things about the service - some people love it, some hate it.
Any service provider that bogarts your system with out specific requests is a no-no with me. I have used AOL in the past, and found things were more difficult, like checking my BBC updates, etc. Not only that but it screwed around with my non internet programmes too, including simple utilities such as my printers etc. Granted this was a while ago and they may have sorted them selves out since. However we have some family members that use AOL and seem really please with it. It does drive the rest of us nuts though, through silly little things like when they reply to emails, the email you sent is not in the reply. I don't know whether that is AOL, or just the family members not knowing how to adjust their options, but it is annoying.


Well Phoenix, since we're going to bash AOL:D , I have heard of several people complain about the same type of unwanted intrusion by their software in their computers.

A few years ago when they were enjoying {to my mind, surprising} popularity in North America, many users were under the impression AOL was the internet.

Their only interest was the number of mouse clicks a given ad or pop up would generate with little concern for substantive content.

My biggest complaint against their corporate philosophy is the way they virtually destroyed the best collection of online forums that ever existed, namely the Compuserve Forums.

I was involved with Compuserve from its DOS days and lived through it's ups and downs due to mismanagement, and then witnessed the final blows by AOL when they converted the Forums to a sea of sleazy ads.

So my dislike of AOL is multi-dimensional, and now I feel so much better after getting all that off my chest ;) :sigh:
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