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COMMON QUESTIONS
ABOUT EARTHLINK ACCELERATOR

General Questions How EarthLink Accelerator works
Speed and Performance
Installation and Configuration

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is EarthLink Accelerator?
EarthLink Accelerator is a powerful free feature for our Dial-Up members that will increase the speed at which you see Web pages and download email. After you install Accelerator you can start surfing up to 7X faster. **

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How do I get EarthLink Accelerator?
You can get EarthLink Accelerator by installing our EarthLink Access Software or by downloading Accelerator separately (the Mac version of Accelerator is only available as a separate download). After you install EarthLink Accelerator, it will automatically begin running when you log in to our software.

To get Accelerator without EarthLink Access Software, simply close this window and select a Download button on the Accelerator page.

TotalAccess users, to verify you have Accelerator:
  1. Use EarthLink Access Software to connect to the Internet via Dial-Up.
  2. Go to the EarthLink Task Panel and select the arrow to the right of Toolbox.
  3. Select the EarthLink Accelerator menu.
  4. If you see the Install EarthLink Accelerator submenu item, you do not have Accelerator yet. Select Install EarthLink Accelerator and follow the directions on the screen to install.
To get Accelerator without EarthLink Access Software, simply close this window and select a Download button on the Accelerator page.

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Does EarthLink Accelerator require any special hardware or equipment?
No. EarthLink Accelerator doesn't require any special hardware or equipment. System requirements are listed below.

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HOW EARTHLINK ACCELERATOR WORKS

How does EarthLink Accelerator work?
EarthLink Accelerator speeds up the delivery of Web pages in three ways:
  • Compression—Accelerator compresses Web pages, which then load a lot faster than they would otherwise (though they probably won't look any different to you). Text on the pages isn't affected, and unless you have "Image Acceleration" set to High or Maximum, the change to image quality is small.
  • Caching—Accelerator pays attention to which Web pages you visit the most, then stores (or "caches") part or all of those pages on your computer. The next time you visit a cached page, some of it can be loaded quickly from your computer instead of slowly from the Web. The more you use Accelerator, the better it is at recognizing and caching the Web pages you visit the most.
  • Smart Connections—EarthLink Accelerator works around certain limitations of Internet protocols, reducing unnecessary delays.

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Is my EarthLink Accelerator service automatically on?
Yes, it runs automatically whenever you sign in to EarthLink Access Software if the following 3 conditions are true:
  1. Accelerator is installed.
  2. You have specified a dial-up location when connecting.
  3. You are an EarthLink Dial-Up member with unlimited access or an EarthLink High Speed Internet or EarthLink Experience member using your dial-up hours.

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What is the EarthLink Accelerator trade-off between speed and graphic quality?
The faster the acceleration, the lower the image quality. There are five graphics acceleration settings:
  1. Minimum Speed (Highest Image Quality)—Maintains original image quality
  2. Low—Reduces image quality very slightly
  3. Medium—Reduces image quality slightly (default setting)
  4. High—Reduces image quality moderately
  5. Maximum Speed (Lowest Image Quality)—Reduces image quality significantly

We recommend Medium, because it improves your surfing speed significantly while only slightly reducing image quality. When using this setting, EarthLink Accelerator typically increases your experience between two and three times that of regular dial-up.

If you would like to maintain your original image quality, you can set the graphics setting to Minimum Speed and still surf significantly faster than regular dial-up.

Note: If you are using any setting besides Minimum Speed and wish to improve the quality of a graphic, you can hover over the graphic, right-click the mouse, and choose Refresh Picture with Full Quality, or you can select Refresh Page with Full Quality to improve the quality of all the graphics on the page at once.

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SPEED AND PERFORMANCE

How fast is EarthLink Accelerator?
EarthLink Accelerator lets you browse the Web up to 7 times faster than you can with a standard dial-up connection. EarthLink Accelerator intelligently retains and reuses Web pages and page elements that have previously been sent to your PC. That's why the longer EarthLink Accelerator is in use on your PC, the faster your Web pages will load.*

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How does EarthLink Accelerator compare with DSL or cable modem access?
EarthLink Accelerator optimizes your dial-up connection but it is not comparable to DSL and cable Internet.

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What does Accelerator speed up?
EarthLink Accelerator improves delivery speeds for almost everything that's Web-based.

What speeds up: What stays the same:
  • All text, HTML, markup, and JavaScript
  • Most graphics and photos—including JPEG and GIF files
  • Most banner ads—including animated GIF images and Macromedia Flash content
  • All browser-based emails (Web Mail) and most email that you view in an email program on your computer (like MailBox).
  • Streaming media, audio, and video files
  • Secure pages—like the ones used for online banking and shopping
  • Files downloaded using FTP (rather than your browser)

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Are all images shown at the same quality?
Not necessarily. At lower speeds, most images will look about the same as they do when Accelerator isn't running. But when you set Accelerator to higher speeds, certain image types (called JPG images) will usually remain at a higher quality than others (called GIF images). Both JPG and GIF images are used very commonly all over the Web, so you may notice that image quality varies depending on which type of image you're viewing.

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Does EarthLink Accelerator speed up the retrieval and delivery of email?
Yes! Accelerator speeds up the retrieval of most email, whether viewed online (like Web Mail) or with an email program (like MailBox or Outlook).

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INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION

How can I tell that EarthLink Accelerator is properly installed?
You will see an Accelerator icon in your system tray (the bottom-right corner of your desktop) if it is properly installed.

Note: If you see the Install EarthLink Accelerator submenu item, you do not have Accelerator yet. Select Install EarthLink Accelerator and follow the directions on the screen to install.

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Will EarthLink Accelerator work with my firewall?
EarthLink Accelerator is compatible with most firewalls without any changes. In some cases, your firewall may ask you whether you want to allow Accelerator to connect to the Internet. If so, just click Yes to allow the connection. If you have already done this, but still can't connect with Accelerator, go to support.earthlink.net and click on Contact Us By Live Chat to trade instant messages with a friendly service representative.

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How do I change my port settings?
If you need to change your Accelerator port settings, you can do so from the Accelerator Options screen. From the Accelerator menu, click Accelerator Options, then click the Advanced tab. Enter the correct port in the Port box, then click OK.

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Will EarthLink Accelerator work with my company's Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Probably not. VPNs provide remote users with secure access to corporate Intranets. VPN traffic is usually encrypted. For this reason, EarthLink Accelerator probably won't be able to accelerate your downloads.

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What are the minimum system requirements for EarthLink Accelerator?
EarthLink Accelerator works with Windows® 98 or later (Windows 7 compatible) as well as most Mac OSX computers. Your computer must meet the following minimum requirements to use Accelerator:

PC System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 98 or later
  • RAM: 128MB
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 5.0 or later, Firefox, Mozilla, Opera

Mac System Requirements:

  • Operating System: OSX 10.2 or later; 10.4 on Intel Mac
  • RAM: 128MB (minimum as per OSX)
  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 5.2 or later, Safari 1.2 or later, Firefox, Mozilla

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Is EarthLink Accelerator available for Macintosh?
Yes. You can download a stand-alone version of Accelerator for Mac OSX.

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I travel with my computer. Can I use EarthLink Accelerator when I'm away from home?
Yes. You should have no trouble using EarthLink Accelerator on the road as long as it's installed on the computer you travel with and you're accessing the Internet with an EarthLink dial-up access number.

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* With EarthLink Accelerator, certain Web page text and graphics will load faster when compared to standard dial-up Internet service. Actual results may vary. EarthLink Accelerator is only compatible with EarthLink's dial-up service and specified Windows and Macintosh Web browsers.

** EarthLink High Speed Internet and EarthLink Experience members can use EarthLink Accelerator with the dial-up access that comes with their service. EarthLink Accelerator is not available for EarthLink Limited customers at this time.

*** You must specify a dial-up location when getting connected in order to use EarthLink Accelerator. If installed, it will automatically begin running if you are an EarthLink dial-up customer with unlimited access or an EarthLink High Speed Internet or EarthLink Experience customer using your dial-up hours.