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If you mean, can you use it with linux, most any ISP can be used with linux (Someone out there even made a program to connect to AOL...hehehe, who wants AOL anyway?). It's not linux, it's the protocol they use.
First--drop AOL (More generally, don't use an ISP that gives you anything but a connection. The front end stuff can ALL be done in other ways)
Second--If you get serious about Linux, you will be wanting a high-speed connection (lots of stuff to download, etc.). Depending on where you live, these are getting pretty cheap--ie in the range of 30-40 $/mo
With any high-speed connection I have ever used, Linux has never been an issue. Not sure why it would be on dialup either....
just because they say they dont support doesnt mean it wont work. when i had my cable installed they swore up and down that linux wouldnt work and complained that i am supposed to use an install disk. long stoy short 3 minutes later my wife was playing pogo.
If you use a broadband router, it doesn't matter what's connected behind it.
Most ISP's say they don't support routers either and they violate their Terms of Service..
Fact is if you can dial in and establish a ppp connection you should be good to go, or if it's broadband, as long as you can aquire an IP addrsss. It's most entertaining watching the Tech from the Cable company try and configure your linux machine for net access... Mine just threw up his hands and walked out.. a quick call to the tech support, I gave them the MAC address and serial number from the cable modem and I was online just like magic..
For the most part ISPs automated setup software runs only on windows and their technicians are trained only on supporting windows and possibly mac. While in-house a lot of their backend systems may be running Linux..
I have never known an ISP, perhaps other than AO-HelL that cared one whit about "a router."
As far as I would be concerned ... their job is to get the cable modem working (which is their unit, rented from them, so that if it quits working they'll actually show up). What's "downstream" from that is of no concern to them, and I don't rely upon them for any sort of "technical support" because, likely as not, the people answering the phones don't know anything anyway.
Once you've got a dial-tone, so to speak, their work (and your expectations) are done.
I asked them this specifically several years back (before I ordered DSL from them) and their tech support sent me the directions to dial-in.
As for Broadband, pretty much anyone does, but they might have a check list for the installer who comes to your house to follow (so that he can get to a certain screen - say Google for example) that allows them to be reasonably certain a minimally skilled guy can follow it (which assumes everyone has a Windows PC.) So their install check list might go something like:
a) Run cable line to house.
b) Add splitter.
c) Plug wires and power into cable modem.
d) Connect PC's NIC to cable modem.
e) Insert our CD into drive of user's PC.
f) After install completes, open browser and go to Google
g) Have user sign paper saying install is complete and collect installation fee!
This is pretty typical and it assumes Windows with autorun and a user with full admin priviledges. Unfortunetly, this is pretty much the way the vast majority of home users are setup.
As for AOL, I asked them about a Linux client and it didn't sound like they had a solution at the time I asked (at least 2 years ago.)
Since this has been two years, I want to know if there is any update on the situation.
I want to know if there is any cable (preferably) or DSL connection ISPs that support Linux or do I have to dual boot windows for now?
Right now I have to have windows dualbooted with a linux version because the cable company may only support windows (Or so I think) Is this still true?
When is linux going to be supported by a major(not dial-up) ISP? Which version would be it?
I'm accessing the net with freespire 2.0.8 at the moment but if something goes wrong I have to access the windows side because the cable company said it didn't support the operating system at least this was the case a year ago.
Just want to know because I wish I could use just linux but for now am forced to use windows also.
It's not the modem, I'm using linux now to access as I said before. It's just when something was wwrong with the modem I had and when I went to firefox and opened it up there was a message from the cable company saying that this was an unsupported system and I had to go to the windows side to fix the problem, but once it was fixed I could use the linux side again.
Using Freespire 2.0.8 which is based off of Ubuntu with kde not sure which version.