About AOL Monthly Access Charges

By Alan Kirk

The monthly fee you're charged as an AOL member depends on the account you pick. Free monthly accounts are also available to former AOL members who have access to the Internet through other high-speed providers but wish to maintain the platform they enjoy.

History

America Online was one of several large Internet providers available to customers starting in the late 1980s. It was around during the dial-up-only days and then joined the high-speed revolution. AOL offered its own high-speed connection through DSL in the early 2000s, but discontinued it in 2008.

Types

AOL only offers dial-up connections. You can purchase Internet access from another service and maintain an AOL membership for certain benefits. For $25.90 per month, you can get a premium account. For $11.99 per month, you can get AOL with security software and dial-up access, along with technical support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for connectivity and security issues. For $9.99, you get the same offerings as the $11.99 plan, but with limited technical support that will only assist with connecting to AOL and not with security issues.

Features

All three of the different account types give you full access to all of AOL's features. This includes up to seven e-mail addresses for your account and access to AOL's online radio channels. As a subscriber for any of the plans offered by AOL, you will have access to its message boards, games (which are powered by Pogo.com), and the America Online Instant Messenger.

Benefits

The premium account offers 50 gigabytes of storage space and identity fraud protection of up to $10,000 in coverage. The security software offered through this account, along with the storage space, are the most significant benefits. The premium account, known as AOL Dial-Up Advantage. offers a spyware protection program, firewall, home network tools and tools to optimize the performance of your home computer.

Warning

To switch to a free account, do it several days in advance of your next billing cycle. Changing to a free account online is not processed automatically and might take 48 to 72 hours, therefore running the risk of you being billed for an additional cycle before the change is made.