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Modemsite Premium Access FAQ

Last update: 26-May-04

What is it?

What is 'Premium Access'?
What happened to Free Access?
Why do downloads require Premium Access?
How to get Premium Access
How Long do I have to wait?
It Costs Too Much - This Stinks!
Are cookies required even if I don't want Premium Access?
What kind of ads do I get without Premium Access?
Privacy & Data Collection
Availability - Modemsite & Forum56

How it works

Sign Up
Logging In
Downloads - Log In
E-mail preferences
Cookies & Multiple Computers
Are Cookies Required?
Expiration & Renewal
I Forgot my password or userid
Multiple Subscriptions / Gifts
Terms of Use
Incompatible Browsers
Logging Off

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR PROBLEM NOT ANSWERED HERE, or if you want to request a refund, click here for Customer Service.

What is 'Premium Access'?
Premium Access is a subscription to and that offers faster, ad-free access to the sites, as well as access to exclusive member-only content and downloads.

What happened to Free Access?
There really isn't any such thing - there are costs (real dollars and time) in producing a web site. Until recently, most quality websites were able to cover their costs by displaying advertising. You were effectively paying for the content by viewing pages containing advertising. There is an extreme supply and demand imbalance which has led to ad rates that are approaching zero, and it is no longer possible for costs to be recovered from advertising alone. In April, 2002, changes in hosting and bandwidth costs have made it necessary to move some of the previously "free" content to Premium Access.

Why do downloads require Premium Access?
Bandwidth costs money. A single download uses significantly more bandwidth than viewing pages. Before moving downloads available from Modemsite to Premium Access, over 30gb/month of bandwidth was consumed by downloads alone.

How to Get Premium Access:
You can sign-up and pay as little as $1.59 for a 35-day subscription. Payments are processed by Modemsite Direct or PayPall. You can pay from almost anywhere in the world using MasterCard, Visa, AmericanExpress, or Discover. You can use the USMail to send a subscription payment. I also give complimentary subscriptions for information from Feedback. (Please note - feedback that earns a free subscription must usually be new information that I use on the site. I decide and there may be a delay of up to several weeks - I'm really over-worked!)

How Long do I have to Wait?
You will be able to activate and choose your username and password immediately upon completion of your subscription payment. Once you have activated, you've got premium access! (Note: If you pay via external checking account using PayPal, the transaction isn't considered completed until the funds clear to PayPal; however you will be able to activate a temporary account immediately upon completion of the e-check transaction.)

It Costs Too Much - This Stinks!
I couldn't agree more. Think about it - until now, I was able to run a "free" ad-supported site. Nearly everyone was happy. How hard could you complain about something here when it was all "free"? Now, not only do I have to work on keeping the site updated, accurate, and even better - I also have to deal with accounting, customer service, and being called names by people who can't spare $1.59. I would like to be able to charge much less, but the current reality is that micro-payment processing just isn't possible today. Things will change, but it will take time. If all I've done here and made available to you isn't worth $1.59, well - it's time for both of us to move on to something else.

What kind of ads do I get without Premium Access?
I do my best to keep ads like this off the site. While I do not have complete control over the ads that may be displayed, I reject many ads including: Casino ads, adult or provocative ads, flashing "seizure" ads, pop-up ads, and scam ads.  Pop-under ads that are displayed should not spawn other pop-up or pop-under windows, nor should they be difficult to close.

Privacy & Data Collection:
Modemsite Direct Payment - Modemsite retains a record of your card information, name, and address. This information is sent via secure gateway to the Interbank network to authorize the transaction, and is not otherwise shared with any third party.

PayPal: PayPal supplies Modemsite with your name, e-mail address, and necessary details of your transaction to allow activation. Your credit card, telephone, or bank account information is kept confidential by the payment processor and is not shared with Modemsite or any other third-party. Data passed to Modemsite is stored in a non-public database that is used to activate and manage your subscription.

Premium Access Subscription data is maintained in a separate non-public database. This database stores your chosen username, password, expiration, and logs your sessions. It does not include your name or any other personal information.  The purpose of this database is to allow subscribers to log in, and to allow detection of user ids that are used by more than one individual in violation of terms of use.

Every access by every visitor - with or without premium access - creates a log entry in "server log files" that includes an IP address.

Modemsite does not share any personal information about any of its visitors with any third party. Your e-mail address, if collected, is not rented, sold, published or otherwise disclosed to any third party without your permission. (Exception: If you ask about a problem and I know of a trusted expert that may be able to help, I might ask that person to respond directly to you.)

(Also See:Modemsite Privacy Policy)

Premium ad-free access is provided on all pages at and Premium access is not available on the mirror of Modemsite at Premium Access subscribers who view pages from the mirror will be see advertising. (Every time the site is updated, updates will be available first from, and then the mirror.) As of April 7, 2002, Premium Access is required to access the Forum56 message board.

How it Works:
: All the payment methods allow for activation upon completion of your transaction. (E-Check payments via Pay-Pal aren't considered 'completed' by PayPal until the funds clear, but you will be able to activate a temporary account until the transactions clears.)

Upon completion of the payment, you will be given a link to a URL to activate your subscription. The URL will depend upon the payment method you used. You will also receive an e-mail from the payment processor confirming your payment.

The activation screen allows you to choose a Username and Password. When you complete this form, you are taken to the Log In screen. You only need to complete the activation once - after that, you use the Log In page to access the site (or, automate the login with a cookie).

If you use PayPal: You will also receive an automatic e-mail from Modemsite with the activation URL upon completion of your Pay-Pal payment. (The e-mail is sent to the address you enter on the Modemsite/PayPal page - after the payment completes, you will be taken to the activation page with the address you entered pre-filled. If you made a mistake - complete the activation with the incorrect e-mail address, then correct it from the Login screen.)

You will receive another automatic e-mail after you have completed activation confirming your subscription, user name and password.

If you have problems activating:
If you used PayPal - check your PayPal Account History to see if the payment to Modemsite has been processed. Check to make sure that you are using the e-mail address you entered at sign-up. If you still have trouble, contact Customer Service.

If you used Modemsite Direct - verify that you have received an e-mail receipt for your payment. This e-mail will have a clickable link to activate your subscription. If you haven't received an e-mail receipt, you may have entered a bad e-mail address, or the transaction may not have completed. Contact Customer Service.

All URLs on the site are available to all users - however, the content displayed will depend upon whether you are logged in as a subscriber.

If you set the cookie on the Log In screen,  you will be automatically logged in whenever you access (almost) any page at This is the easiest way! (A separate cookie is used for Forum56, so you'll need to Log In and set the cookie for separately to get ad-free access to the Forum.)

Otherwise, you can log-in from the Home Page with the Log In link at the top. Or, all other pages have the log-in link at the very bottom of the page. (Ads will be shown until you log in.)

You will remain logged in for a session. Sessions expire after about 12 minutes of inactivity on the site. (However, if you have the cookie set, you will be automatically logged in whenever it is needed.)

How to tell if you are logged in: The Home Page will display 'Logged In' on the main navigation bar if you are logged in. 'Log In' will be displayed if you're not logged in. Most pages will also display 'Logged In' in the bottom footer if you are logged in.

If you want more direct access to other pages without cookies, you can create a bookmark to the Login page which contains information about the page you want to view. For example, if you wanted to bookmark the Latest Updates page ( ), you could create a bookmark to The key to this method is to use the URL:  followed by the page name with no space after the equals sign. You will still have to log-in, but can then go directly to the target page.

Downloads - Log In:
A separate authentication may be required when you download premium content. A pop-up window (Connect to, or Enter Network Password) may appear requesting a User name and Password. The User name and password to use will be displayed on the page under the pop-up: you may need to drag the pop-up window to see the id & password. You cannot use your personal user id and password here - you must use the id and password displayed on the download page. If you do not enter the correct id and password, you will get a Download Access Error page telling you to use the id/password displayed on the page with the download links. You can re-try by using the BACK button on your browser. SOME POPUP BLOCKERS PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING THE LOG-IN PROMPT FOR DOWNLOADING: disable the pop-up blocker for Modemsite - Modemsite doesn't deliver any pop-up advertising (or banner) advertising when you're logged in for Premium Access.

E-mail Preferences:
Go to the Login screen to change your e-mail address or preferences. Your e-mail address is never shared, and unless you select additional options, the only time you'll be sent e-mail is if you request a Password Reminder. The additional preferences you can select allow you to get 'Hot Flash' driver upgrade notices by e-mail, and/or an e-mail renewal notice for expiring subscription. (Hot Flash notices are sent only if your subscription has not expired.)

Cookie & More than 1 computer:
The cookie is only valid on the last machine on which a cookie was saved. For example, if you access the site with your desktop computer and set a cookie, then use the same login on your laptop and set a cookie, you will have to manually log in the next time you access the site with your desktop machine. (The automatic log in with the old cookie will fail and you will get a message that the cookie isn't valid on that machine and will be prompted for your user id and password.)

Are Cookies Required?:
There is no requirement that you allow permanent cookies to use the site with or without premium access. To be automatically logged in with a subscription, you must allow a permanent cookie. The log-in cookie stored on your machine contains your Modemsite username and password, but does not contain your name or any other personal information.

In order to access most of the site with or without premium access it is necessary to allow temporary cookies - also known as session cookies from This cookie has no personal information whatsoever - it has the text ASPSESSIONID and 'meaningless' letters and numbers. My server uses this to identify your session so it can maintain variables in memory that indicate whether you are accessing with or without premium access. The cookie disappears from the server and your machine at the end of a session.

Expiration & Renewal:
The expiration date of your subscription is shown when you log-in.
You can renew your subscription from the Login screen. You can use either payment processor to renew no matter which one you used originally. Renewals will not be available for Web900 subscriptions - you will need to create a new subscription to renew at Web900-processed subscription. (If you are automatically logged in by a cookie, you can still go to the login screen by using the Log In link at the bottom of any Modemsite page to check your expiration date, or to change your password or e-mail address.)

I Forgot my Username or Password:
The Password Reminder page will e-mail you the username, password and expiration date of a subscription. The e-mail is sent to the address on file with your user id (you must have a valid e-mail address with your user id for this to work). If you do not have a valid e-mail address on file, you'll need to contact Customer Service.

I offer an unconditional 5-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you sign up and want a refund, you can request a refund within 5 days of your transaction. Please use the Modemsite Customer Service form to request a refund. 

Multiple Subscriptions & Gifts:
Modemsite Direct and Pay-Pal do not restrict you from purchasing more than one subscription. You may purchase more than one subscription and give the subscription to another individual. You can activate the subscription on someone else's behalf, or forward the activation message to the person you are giving the subscription to.

If you desire to purchase more than one subscription for workstations in a business, please contact Customer Service.

Terms of Use / Violation:
Subscriptions entitle the purchaser to create and use a User ID to access Modemsite ad-free, and to gain access to site content not available without a subscription. While every effort is made to make the site available 24/7, and to provide accurate information, there is no guarantee that the server will not experience downtime, or that the information contained on the site will always be accurate. Each subscription is intended for use by a single individual.

If you violate the terms of use by making your user id and password available to other persons to gain Premium Access without an individual subscription, your subscription may be terminated and there will be no refund. An e-mail notice will be sent to the address associated with the user id explaining the termination.

Incompatible Browsers:
Browsers that do not support session cookies, including the Amiga browser, are incompatible with Modemsite.

Logging Off:
Log off is automatic after about 12 minutes of inactivity on the site. Log off will also occur if you close your browser window(s). It isn't necessary to manually log off by closing your browser windows unless, for some reason, you want to view the site with advertising. You can also force a log out by going to the log in screen - which has a log out link.

If you have a problem or question about your Premium Access Payment or Subscription: Customer Service gets priority attention.

If you have a comment about Premium Access or any other part of the site - use the Feedback Form.

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