MDGx MAX Speed WinDOwS
WinDOwS Tricks - Part 7

Go to ALL WinDOwS ©Tricks + Secrets Contents
My 1-27-99 Updated Win9x Original/UNique AOL Registry ©Tweak in AOLTIPS.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE, as published at CNN, PC World, LangaList etc, and used in EasyMTU, TweakDUN + TweakMASTER:


AOL MAXMTU REVISITED
[UPDATED 1-27-99]


      Contents:
      1. REQUIREMENTS
      2. BACKGROUND INFO
      3. FAST FIX!
      4. THE WORKAROUNDS DETAILED:
      5. RESTORE DEFAULTS
      6. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!
      7. TIPS
      8. MANDATORY UPGRADES!
      9. FIND OUT YOUR ISP'S MTU
      10. BACKUP FIRST!

REQUIREMENTS:

This workaround applies to ALL America Online users who:

BACKGROUND INFO:

DEFINITION: Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) or packet size
of a Network/ISP is the largest amount of data that can be transferred in one physical frame on that Network. Fragmentation will occur if a packet is sent across a Network that has a MTU smaller than the packet's frame length. This leads to lower performance as fragments need to be reassembled. The workaround in this case is to decrease the Winsock's MTU value to match the minimum MTU of ALL intervening Networks. Since it is virtually impossible to determine the minimum MTU of so many Networks, trial and error is almost always the best choice. Start by trying to match your MTU value with your Network/ISP's MTU. Typical cases:See also Microsoft's explanation of (Max)MTU.

The only way for ALL AOL members to connect to the Internet (so far) is by using AOL's software, [:-(] which in ALL 32-bit releases implements its own built-in version of MTU setting of 1500. AOL's "mtu" parameter is found under this Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\America Online\AOL\aolsock
"mtu"=dword:000005dc

and canNOT be changed when using version 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 of AOL 32-bit client.
It is ALWAYS reset to AOL's default value of 1500 whenever one logs on to AOL, by being "hardwired" into AOLNDI.DLL, a file installed by the AOL 32-bit software, and located both in AOL's folder and in Windows 95/98's C:\Windows\System subfolder.
And if the "aolsock" Registry key is present, AOL 32-bit software also resets (depending on different Dial-Up Networking system configurations) the NetTrans MaxMTU [Win95] or Net IPMTU [Win98] back to 1500 under the TCP/IP Registry keys, corresponding to the "AOL Adapter" and "TCP/IP AOL Adapter" items, found on the Network Control Panel applet list.
But I have found a way around this AOL's limitation. [looks more like a bug to me... :-)]

FAST FIX:

To speed up your AOL connection, and the same time skip the techno "geek speak" in this article, I recommend using the new versions of these fine programs, the only ones that (so far) apply ALL the Win95/98/AOL/MTU recommended tweaks described below to your system:

This topic suggested by Steve Bass, PC World Editor + author of PC Annoyances book.

THE WORKAROUNDS DETAILED:

    DELETE "aolsock":

  1. First, exit the AOL interface COMPLETELY.

  2. Now run Regedit.exe (the Registry Editor), located in your Win95/98 folder, and go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\America Online

    Export the ENTIRE Registry key above to a text file, using Regedit's "Registry" "Export Registry File" feature. Save it as AOLKEY.TXT, or download AOLKEY.REG.
    It's safer to choose the .TXT extension instead of the default .REG, so you don't re-register (merge this key again into the Registry) by accident. :)

  3. With the Registry Editor open, DELETE the "America Online" registry subkey below. Right-click on "aolsock", select Delete, and answer Yes to the confirmation prompt:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\America Online\AOL\aolsock

    IMPORTANT: You need to repeat ALL STEPS described here EVERY time after you (re)install ANY 32-bit version of AOL software, because it ALWAYS rewrites the "aolsock" Registry key, and also resets the AOL "mtu", the TCP/IP NetTrans "MaxMTU" (Win95), and/or the Net "IPMTU" (Win98) values back to 1500!

  4. MANDATORY for ALL AOL v4.0 or v5.0 (beta or Gold) 32-bit software users, Win98 and Win95:
    Apply the "AOL 4.0/5.0 MTU FIX", also in AOLTIPS.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

  5. TWEAK "MaxMTU" [Win95] + "IPMTU" [Win98]:

    Recommended Registry values for AOL:
    • Win95/OSR2 users: MaxMTU=576
    • Win98/98 SE users: IPMTU=576
    A MUST: READ my original/unique "FASTEST INTERNET 98 - Part 2" tweak, also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to MAXimize your AOL analog modem connection speed by adjusting your MTU to ANY value you want!
    AOL MTU in USA and Canada is actually 1500. But AOL servers do NOT support the "do not fragment bit" protocol, therefore you NEED to use MTU=576 with AOL for MAXimum performance!

    NOTE: MaxMTU [Win95], IPMTU [Win98], DefaultRcvWindow [RWIN], DefaultTTL [TTL] and cachesize [NDI] are NOT present in your Registry if you have never used a "MTU tweaker" like EasyMTU, or added them yourself using a Registry editor like Regedit.

    WINDOWS 95 + OSR2 USERS ONLY:

    • THE EASY WAY [USE THE REG FILE]:

    All necessary settings can be implemented by using the included file: AOLMTU95.REG (or restored by using AOLDEF95.REG, also included). But FIRST open these .REG files in Notepad and compare the Registry keys listed there with yours. To view/edit your Win95 Registry, run the Registry editor (REGEDIT.EXE, located in your Win95 folder), and scroll to the keys listed in AOLMTU95.REG + AOLDEF95.REG. The "DriverDesc"="TCP/IP" NetTrans keys: 0000, 0001, 0002 might have different values on your system. You may have more than one "000n"/"00nn" NetTrans keys ("n" and "nn" are actual numbers, ranging anywhere from 00 up to 50, depending on your system's Network/Dial-Up settings). If that is true, you HAVE TO REPLACE THEM with the ones found in YOUR Registry!
    After modifying the AOLMTU95.REG + AOLDEF95.REG keys to match YOURS, (double-)click on AOLMTU95.REG in Explorer or File Manager, to merge (register) the new settings.
    Then restart Win95, log on to AOL as usual, and notice any differences in access speed.

    • THE HARD WAY :) [MODIFY THE REGISTRY MANUALLY]:

    Run the Registry editor (REGEDIT.EXE, located in your Win95 folder) and set MaxMTU to 576 (Win95 MaxMTU default value is 1500) into ALL your TCP/IP NetTrans Registry keys (these are the SLIP/PPP protocol keys). You may have more than one.
    Examples (these are ONLY my TCP/IP NetTrans registry keys, you MUST customize YOURS to get similar results):

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0000
    "MaxMTU"="576"

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0001
    "MaxMTU"="576"

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0002
    "MaxMTU"="576"

    MEANING:

    "MaXMTU" = Maximum Transmission Unit, or MTU (packet size in Bytes).
    Valid values: MTU = MSS + 40.
    Respectively: 576, 1006, 1500 (other values are valid as well, depending on the MTU used by different ISPs).
    AOL in USA/Canada: MTU = 1500. But AOL servers do NOT support the "do not fragment bit" protocol, therefore you NEED to use MTU = 576 with AOL for maximum performance!
    Default: 1500.
    Recommended: 576.
    Data type: string:
    "MaxMTU"="576"

    To determine EXACTLY which NetTrans keys you need to alter (and NO others), bear in mind that you MUST have this entry:

    "DriverDesc"="TCP/IP"

    under EACH of your TCP/IP NetTrans keys you want to modify! Change/add the MaxMTU string ONLY under your NetTrans keys that have "TCP/IP" on the "DriverDesc" line!
    You may have more than one "00nn" NetTrans keys ("nn" is an actual number, ranging anywhere from 00 up to 50, depending on your system's Network/Dial-Up settings).

    Here there are two possibilities:

    1. If you already have a "MaxMTU" entry: (double-)click on the right hand pane "MaxMTU" string, and type in 576. Click OK.

    2. If you don't have a "MaxMTU" entry: you can add it manually, by (double-)clicking on EACH of your left hand pane TCP/IP NetTrans 00nn keys and then selecting New String value. Name the new string MaxMTU. (Double-)click on it and give it a value of 576.

    Repeat the steps above for ALL your TCP/IP NetTrans keys, to include the recommended values for MaxMTU.
    Restart Windows 95 when done so all changes can take effect.

    WINDOWS 98 + 98 SE(U) USERS ONLY:

    • THE EASY WAY [USE THE REG FILE]:

    All necessary settings can be implemented by using the included file: AOLMTU98.REG (or restored by using AOLDEF98.REG, also included). But FIRST open these .REG files in Notepad and compare the Registry keys listed there with yours. To view/edit your Win98 Registry, run the Registry editor (REGEDIT.EXE, located in your Win98 folder), and scroll to the keys listed in AOLMTU98.REG + AOLDEF98.REG. The "DriverDesc"="Dial-Up Adapter" and "DriverDesc"="AOL Adapter" Net keys: 0000, 0001 etc might have different values on your system. You may have more than one "00nn" Net keys ("nn" is an actual number, ranging anywhere from 00 up to 50, depending on your system's Network/Dial-Up settings). If that is true, you HAVE TO REPLACE THEM with the ones found in YOUR Registry!
    After modifying the AOLMTU98.REG + AOLDEF98.REG keys to match YOURS, (double-)click on AOLMTU98.REG in Explorer or File Manager, to merge (register) the new settings.
    Then restart Win98, log on to AOL as usual, and notice any differences in access speed.

    • THE HARD WAY :) [MODIFY THE REGISTRY MANUALLY]:

    These are the Registry settings you can change to get the fastest possible AOL/Internet connection under Windows 98, using the TCP/IP protocol (Dial-Up Networking) and AOL (America Online) 32-bit 3.0/4.0/5.0, only if you connect to AOL through an AOL local phone number:

    1. Start Regedit, and go to (default Win98 Registry key):

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0000
      "SLOWNET"=hex:00
      "IPMTU"="576"

      Make sure you modify these values ONLY under the Net keys that display "DriverDesc"="Dial-Up Adapter" and/or "DriverDesc"="AOL Adapter" in the right hand pane!

      1. In the right hand pane, (double-)click the "SLOWNET" hex value, and change its number from 01 to 00.
        This won't dramatically increase your transfers but will reduce timeouts.

      2. Change the "IPMTU" string to read 576. Win98's default is 0, corresponding to the "Automatic" IP Packet Size setting: Control Panel Network applet Dial-Up Adapter Advanced IP Packet Size.
        Various Win98 TCP/IP configurations may contain the "SLOWNET" and "IPMTU" values under different Registry subkeys. (Double-)click on the "Net" key (see above) to view all its subkeys. Substitute the "00nn" key below with the appropriate integer number(s) present on your machine (valid values for nn = 00 - 50):

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\00nn

        Then track down all "SLOWNET" and "IPMTU" instances and modify them as described above. Example (nn = 01):

        HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0001
        "IPMTU"="576"

    2. Run Regedit and go to:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\Net\0000\Ndi\params\IPMTU      
      "default"="576"

      The same 00nn 0000, 0001... etc substitution principle (see above) applies here.
      Change the "default" string found in the right hand pane from 0 (Win98's default "Automatic" setting) to 576.
      Restart Windows 98 when done so all changes can take effect.

  6. TWEAK "RWIN", "TTL", "maxconnect", "maxsockets" + "cachesize":

    Tweak these other Registry settings (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!) to speed-up your AOL connection (ALL Win98 AND Win95 users): follow the guidelines in the "HOW FAST CAN YOU GO? - Part 2" topic, also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

    Close the Registry Editor when you're done.

  7. TWEAK "ComBoostTime":

    You may gain MORE modem transfer speed by adding/modifying this line under your SYSTEM.INI's [386enh] section to read:

    COMBoostTime=1

    SYSTEM.INI is a text file located in your Windows folder. Open it for editing in Notepad.
    The "COMBoostTime" setting affects the time (in milliseconds) the Operating System processes a COM port interrupt. The default value is 2. If you notice a loss of keyboard characters while using your ISP/AOL/communications programs, increase COMBoostTime to 4 (further experimenting may be necessary to determine your own optimal setting).

    NOTE: You need to RESTART Windows EVERY time after modifying ANY SYSTEM.INI settings!

  8. THE MAGIC HOSTS FILE:

    "One more speedup trick: You can save two to six seconds every time you go to your favorite web pages. Just use a HOSTS file. This is your very own DNS server, right in your own PC, and it translates the domain name into an IP address. That means when your browser tries to contact www.microsoft.com, the HOSTS file runs interference, changes the URL into an IP address (207.46.131.137) and speeds up the time it takes to get there.
    Many programs create and manage HOSTS files. I don't have a favorite... any of them will do the job."
    See HOSTS Files, Guides + Tools [freeware].
    This topic courtesy of Steve Bass, PC World Editor + author of PC Annoyances book.

    HINT: By default the HOSTS file (no extension) is located in your Win95/98 folder. Edit it with Notepad, to read the usage guidelines and then add your frequently visited web sites IP addresses/host names.
    To get the IP address of your favorite server, let's say www.pcworld.com, run PING (a Networking tool found also in your Win95/98 folder) from a DOS prompt box/session, while connected to the Internet:

    ping www.pcworld.com

    These are the IP numbers you need:

    Pinging www.pcworld.com [209.1.23.30] etc...

    Copy them on a separate line into your Hosts file:

    209.1.23.30 www.pcworld.com # PC World

    Everything after the pound sign (#) is a comment.
    Repeat this operation for each web site you want added.

    TIP: Most web sites use dynamic IP addresses, meaning the numbers change every time you try to access them. Therefore you might want to PING the same site more than once, and then add ALL IP numbers found for that site, followed by the host/website name (see example above) on separate lines in your Hosts file.

  9. Use a PROXY with AOL:

    Read "
    AOL PROXY SERVER", also in AOLTIPS.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for step-by-step guidelines.

    NOTE: The AOL MTU workaround (described above) needs to be applied AFTER enabling the AOL proxy feature, in order to make the faster AOL MTU of 576 work properly! Enabling the AOL proxy in your browser might revert the AOL MTU back to 1500 on some Win9x systems!
    In this case, if you'd like to speedup your AOL connection by using a MTU of 576, you might have to disable the AOL proxy.

  10. Restart Windows 95/98 and then start AOL. Connect as usual. Notice any differences in access speed/modem throughput, while browsing through AOL and Internet areas, and try to download some files off AOL/Internet for comparison.

RESTORE DEFAULTS:

If you experience slow-downs accessing AOL and/or the Internet after applying the above workarounds:

  1. (Double-)click on AOLDEF98.REG [Win98 users] or AOLDEF95.REG [Win95 users] [also part of W95-11D.EXE] to RESTORE ALL Registry settings to their DEFAULTS. But FIRST you •MUST• modify AOLMTU98.REG/AOLMTU95.REG + AOLDEF98.REG/AOLDEF95.REG (using Notepad), to CUSTOMIZE ALL your TCP/IP NetTrans MaxMTU [Win95] or Net IPMTU [Win98] lines to MATCH YOUR OWN SYSTEM:: •READ• the step-by-step guidelines at paragraph #5 above to learn how to do this PROPERLY!

  2. Re-register (RESTORE) the America Online "aolsock" subkey you have saved as AOLKEY.TXT (as described at paragraph #2 above): FIRST RENAME it to AOLKEY.REG and then (double-)click on it in Explorer or File Manager.
    AOLKEY.REG is also included here.

  3. Remark with a semicolon (;) the "COMBoostTime" line under the [386enh] section of your SYSTEM.INI:

    ; COMBoostTime=1

  4. Restart Windows so all changes can take effect.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED:

Download ALL above mentioned Registration files (.REG) + complete usage guidelines (MAXSPEED.TXT): MAXSPEED.ZIP [12 KB]!

TIPS:

  1. Use Windows 95/98 System Monitor tool (SYSMON.EXE, located in your Windows folder), to monitor your modem connections, as described in "DUN MONITOR - Part 1" + "DUN MONITOR - Part 2", also in MYTIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

  2. For extensive details/specs on analog/digital modems, Win95/98 communications, TCP/IP, DUN and more MTU/TTL/RWIN/etc tweaking programs, check out these reference links.

MANDATORY UPGRADES: You might also see modem speed improvements over the Internet by installing these free Microsoft communications upgrades:

FIND OUT YOUR ISP'S MTU:

You may need to switch back to AOL's default "mtu" value of 1500 if your connection slows down (you have to wait a while longer to access web sites/download files), depending on your location, phone number/protocol used to connect, or if you use a 3rd party ISP to connect to AOL that requires a MTU value of 1500 at server end.

To determine the EXACT MTU value used by your ISP/Online Service, especially if you connect to the Internet/AOL using an ISP other than AOL, apply one of the following methods:

BTW: ... Almost forgot: [:-)] ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR FILES TO A SAFE LOCATION BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES!
Respectively:

Happy surfing!

Back 2 Contents
10-14-98 Updated Win9x/AOL ©Trick in MYTIPS95.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


ISPS KNOWN MTU VALUES
[UPDATED 10-14-98]


If you connect to the Internet using:you might find useful to determine exactly the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) value used by your ISP/Online Service, to change it accordingly in the Windows 95/98 Registry for maximum performance.
Windows 95/OSR1/OSR2's default MTU, found in the Registry as "MaxMTU" (String value), is set to 1500, if you haven't added/changed it, under your TCP/IP "NetTrans" keys. Fortunately you can adjust the MaxMTU to ANY value, to MATCH your ISP's at server end. Read "HOW FAST CAN YOU GO? - Part 1", also in REGISTRY.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], for details.
Windows 98/98 SE's default MTU, found in the Registry as "IPMTU" (String value), is set to: Large (1500), Medium (1000) or Automatic (1500, 1000 or 576), under the TCP/IP "Net" keys, but ONLY IF the Control Panel Network Dial-up Adapter Properties Advanced "IP packet size" is set to "Automatic" (changes dynamically to one of these 3 values depending on the MTU used by your ISP/Online Service).
Win98's limitation is that it does NOT accept a MTU smaller than 576 (by default, but I found out HOW), even if your Internet Provider uses a lower value. :) Read "FASTEST INTERNET 98 - Part 2", also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], to learn how to adjust Win98/98 SE's IPMTU to ANY value you want.
Therefore you will see significantly improved performance in most cases (faster downloading speeds), IF you MATCH Win98/98 SE's IPMTU or Win95/OSR1/OSR2's MaxMTU with your provider's (used at server end).
This is a list of known MTU values used by some popular ISPs:

ISP/Online Service              Location        MTU value
---------------------------------------------------------
America Online (AOL)            USA             1500 [*]
America Online (AOL)            Canada          1500 [*]
AT&T Worldnet                   USA             576
CompuServe (CS)                 USA             576
Concentric Network              USA             576
EarthLink                       USA             576
Verizon                         USA             576
MicroSoft Network (MSN)         USA             576
NetZero                         USA             576
Prodigy                         USA             576
SNiP                            USA             576

[*] = AOL in USA/Canada: MTU = 1500. But AOL servers do NOT support the "do not fragment bit" protocol, therefore you NEED to use MTU = 576 with AOL for maximum performance! For details on how to tweak your AOL connection to the MAX, read "AOL MAXMTU REVISITED", also in AOLTIPS.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

To obtain your ISP's EXACT MTU value:

  1. Log on to your ISP/Online Service, open a DOS box and run this PING command (parameters are case sensitive):

    PING -f -l MTU www.your_isp_name.com

    or for ISPs that have the "net" suffix instead of "com":

    PING -f -l MTU www.your_isp_name.net

    You MUST use a MTU packet size (i.e. 576) IDENTICAL with or LOWER than the one in your Registry [see "FASTEST INTERNET 98 - Part 2", also in TIPS98.TXT (part of W95-11D.EXE), for complete details!], to obtain non-fragmented "pings". Using a MTU larger than the one in your Registry will return ALL packets as fragmented! Replace "your_isp_name" above (don't type the quotes) with your actual ISP name. Example:

    PING -f -l 576 www.att.net

    if using AT&T WorldNet as your ISP.
    Compare the PING times with different packet sizes and adjust your MTU for maximum speed, as described in "FASTEST INTERNET 98 - Part 2", also in TIPS98.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

    NOTE: In certain cases you need to add 28 to the MTU value returned after pinging your ISP's server, because some ISPs do NOT account for the IP or ICMP header values when reporting their MTUs!

  2. Ask your ISP's tech support (by e-mail or phone call) to tell you the MTU value they are using at server end. Unfortunately, some ISPs do not release this information. :(

  3. Run Rob Vonk's EasyMTU v3.0 for Windows 9x/NT/AOL [includes FindMTU, 360 KB, freeware].

  4. Read "FIND YOUR ISP'S MTU", also in TIPS95.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE].

  5. Check out these MTU reference links for more info.

The table below contains the Win95/98 recommended Internet settings for the following ISPs and AOL, valid in USA and Canada:

ISP             MTU     RWIN    TTL     Cachesize       Port speed      Modem speed     FIFO Buffers    COMBoostTime
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AOL             576     2144    128     16              921,600         115,200         Full            4
AT&T Worldnet   576     2144    64      16              921,600         115,200         Full            4
CompuServe      576     2144    64      16              921,600         115,200         Full            4
EarthLink       576     2144    128     16              921,600         115,200         Full            4
MSN             576     2144    64      16              921,600         115,200         Full            4
Prodigy         576     2144    64      16              921,600         115,200         Full            4

IMPORTANT: To learn how to modify your MaxMTU (Win95 users) or IPMTU (Win98 users) values, and many other important Win95/98 settings (DefaultRcvWindow, DefaultTTL, cachesize, COM Port speed, COMBoostTime etc) to boost your Internet connection to the MAX, read these related topics, also included with W95-11D.EXE:

NOTE: If you have knowledge of MTU values used by other ISPs not listed here, recommended settings for your ISP, or have corrections regarding this topic, please e-mail me.
I will NOT post your name or e-mail address here for privacy reasons, because some ISPs don't like to have their MTU values made available publicly (?), but your time and concern are greatly appreciated nonetheless.

Back 2 Contents
2-23-99 Win3.1x/9x/ME AOL ©Trick in AOLTIPS.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


AOL PROXY SERVER


Using a proxy server with ISPs that support it (including AOL), enables anonymous ("stealth") Internet browsing. This means that a web site using server based Java, JavaScript, CGI, Perl or any other tracking technology cannot detect your IP, IP point of origin or e-mail address anymore.
Normal browsing allows this detection, and further more, by using one of Netscape's or other 3rd party 32-bit WWW/FTP browsers with built-in e-mail capabilities, a server you access can "extract" your personal e-mail info, and also use IP detection for sending and/or reading cookies to and from your browser (only if your browser is set to accept cookies). MS IE 3/4/5/6 browsers make an exception, and therefore are "safe" for "stealth" browsing, because they don't have a built-in e-mail tool.
Another advantage of using proxies is an increase in browsing speed, due to the ISPs/Online Services capability of caching web pages and graphics files locally on their servers, thus accessing various web sites faster from the cached pages.

IMPORTANT:

The AOL MTU ©workaround, also in AOLTIPS.TXT [part of W95-11D.EXE], needs to be applied AFTER enabling the AOL proxy feature, in order to make the faster AOL MTU of 576 work properly!
Also, enabling the AOL proxy in your browser might revert the AOL MTU back to 1500 on some Win9x systems! In this case, if you'd like to speedup your AOL connection by using a MTU of 576, you might need to disable it.

The AOL proxy server works ONLY IF YOU:

  1. Are an AOL (America Online) member.
  2. Connect to AOL ONLY by using one of AOL's proprietary networking protocols, NOT through a 3rd party ISP using AOL's TCP/IP protocol!
  3. Use 32-bit AOL client software 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 for Windows 9x/ME, and
  4. Use a 32-bit proxy capable web browser, like Mozilla Gecko/Firefox 1.xx, Netscape Navigator/Communicator 3/4/6 (freely distributed), or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6 (also free) for Windows 9x/ME.

AOL PROXY SERVER USING NETSCAPE BROWSERS:

... Appears courtesy of Jason, and updated courtesy of Ben:

  1. "You MUST be a member of AOL using AOL 32-bit for Windows 9x/ME.
  2. Go to the Netscape web site and install the latest version of Netscape Communicator 32-bit.
  3. Run Netscape and go to: Edit Preferences Advanced Proxies.
  4. Choose "Manual Proxy Configuration", and click on View.
  5. On the HTTP space, type:
    vip-tn.proxy.aol.com
  6. On the small space just to the right which is the Port, type:
    80
    for unsecure sites (HTTP), or:
    443
    for secure sites (HTTPS).
  7. Netscape will work with AOL perfectly and FAST!"

AOL PROXY SERVER USING MICROSOFT BROWSERS:

To use the AOL proxy server feature with your 32-bit Windows 9x/ME Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6 browser (started separately, NOT using AOL's custom IE interface from within AOL), apply these easy steps, courtesy of The Captain, and updated courtesy of Ben:

"This works with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0x 32-bit (instructions for 1.0x, 2.0x, 3.0x, 5.0x + 6.0x are slightly different) and AOL 32-bit software in Windows 9x/ME.

Open IE4 click View Internet Options Connection tab. Place a check mark in "Access the Internet using a proxy server". Type in:
vip-tn.proxy.aol.com
in the Address field, then type:
80
for unsecure sites (HTTP), or:
443
for secure sites (HTTPS) in the Port field, and check "Bypass proxy server for local (Intranet) addresses".
Click OK twice.

Open IE5 click Tools Internet Options click "LAN Settings" under the "Connection" tab to list the "Proxy Server" options on the bottom half of the window that comes up. Place a check mark in "Use a proxy server". In the "Address" box type:
vip-tn.proxy.aol.com
In the "Port" box type:
80
for unsecure sites (HTTP), or:
443
for secure sites (HTTPS).
Click OK twice."

NOTE: If you use another ISP besides AOL as your alternative or primary Internet connection (and then eventually log on to AOL through AOL's TCP/IP protocol), you need to disable the AOL proxy in your web browser while connected to your other ISP, and eventually enable the specific proxy for your ISP, if available.

More info.

UPDATE: [Thank you Ben!]
"I investigated the AOL proxy server option further, and discovered that "ie3.proxy.aol.com" and "www3.proxy.aol.com" must be "generic" names for all "vip-**.proxy.aol.com" servers.
Maybe they're juggling this around because too many users who aren't "Very Important People" (VIP) are using the "ie3.proxy.aol.com" setting. :)
If "ie3.proxy.aol.com" is used, the actual server will vary:

vip-wo.proxy.aol.com
vip-wn.proxy.aol.com
vip-tn.proxy.aol.com
etc...

To see what I mean, run:

PING -a -l 548 ie3.proxy.aol.com

eventually changing 548 to various packet (MTU) sizes."

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7-7-98 Win3.1x/9x/ME AOL ©Trick in AOLTIPS.TXT, part of W95-11D.EXE:


AOL WEB BROWSING


Courtesy of Ojatex.

"Any AOLer should ALWAYS use their browser as a STANDALONE and NOT under the AOL shell, which cripples AOL's internal (built-in) browser (eg. MS Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6) in several ways. Some Java and JavaScript problems disappear when one loads a web site using MS IE/Netscape as a standalone, outside the AOL interface.
Many AOLers (especially newbies) don't realize that STANDALONE browsing is possible and BETTER. It also gets rid of the annoying AOL toolbar that hogs the screen."

FYI:

  1. AOL 32-bit software 3/4/5/6/7/8/9 for Windows 9x/NT4/2000/ME/XP/2003 have Microsoft Internet Explorer 3/4/5/6 32-bit browser built-in. I recommend to use the free Mozilla Gecko or Firefox 32-bit browsers to access the Internet instead, while logged on to AOL.

  2. AOL 16-bit software 3/4 for Windows/WfWG 3.1x has a built-in proprietary web browser, which is primitive, BUGgy and does NOT comply with basic HTML standards (like Frames, Tables, Font Faces, Forms etc). I recommend to use the free Netscape Navigator v4.08 16-bit browser to access the Internet instead, while logged on to AOL.

  3. Learn how to make Netscape browsers work with AOL software.

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