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Q: How can I access my shell account?
Pacific Online runs Windows servers so we cannot offer Unix shell accounts.  However, you can still perform many shell account features through an FTP program.

Q: Do I need to disable call waiting, or how do I disable call waiting?
If you have call waiting, and do not disable it, incoming calls will knock you offline.  To disable call waiting simply place *70, before the local dial up number you are using.  For example, if you were dialing our 56k Santa Rosa number, you would use *70,581-0170.

Q: Do I need to worry about hackers getting into my computer?
There are many threats on the Internet - viruses, worms & spyware to name a few. Please visit our Tools Page for more information on keeping your computer secure. Someone may not have direct access to your computer, but any of the above mentioned items can cause you a lot of aggravation. 

Viruses and worms are a common problem on the internet. Some viruses will kick you offline as soon as you connect to the internet. Some worms may prevent you from accessing certain programs on your computer, other viruses may corrupt certain critical windows files. Viruses and worms can cause alot of damage and cause millions of dollars in lost productivity each year. A good antivirus program is Norton us.norton.com . A free anti virus program is AVG. www.grisoft.com 

Spyware is a type of program that can be auto installed on your computer simply by visiting a website or opening the wrong type of email. Spyware are essentially programs that monitor your day to day activities online - normally so that they can target you with pop up ads based upon the sites you visit. A classic symptom of having spyware is your "start page" in your browser changes to a search engine type website. An anti-spyware program that we recommend is called Spybot, found at www.safer-networking.org 

Firewalls are programs that block certain ports on your computer. Some ports are vulnerable to certain types of worms and viruses. A good firewall program we recommend is Zone Alarm found here: Zonelabs
Q: Can I change my dial up password?
For security reasons users cannot change their dial up passwords online.  If you feel your password may have been compromised, or would simply like it changed, please call inform Pacific Online at
707-636-2000 during our normal business hours.  Frequent password changes, of more than once per month, may be subject to a service fee.

Q: Can I change my e-mail password?
You can change your e-mail password at any time, by going to http://email.pon.net , logging into our web based e-mail client, clicking on the "settings" tab in the upper right hand corner - then simply type in your old password and the new password in the fields provided and click on "Save".  

Q: Which 56k standard do you support?  Will my x2 modem work with your service?
We support the latest in v.92 technology for these area codes: 408, 415, 510, 650, 707, 831 & 925. Many (but not all) dialup numbers in our national 56k dialup plan also support v.92. The main advantage of having v.92 modems is that if you have call waiting, you can be online and answer or make a phone call and still remain online.

Q: Can you recommend any sites for the latest Internet software?
There are literally hundreds of thousands of web sites with software available for download.  Those included below, are ones that Pacific Online has found most helpful.

     www.tucows (Windows)
     www.versionTracker (Windows)

Q: I'm moving and will be changing my phone number.  Do I need to inform PON?
A call to Pacific Online with your modem is no different than calling with a normal phone You do not need to inform PON of this change.  However you should always keep us informed with your current mailing address (s) and phone number (s) so we can keep our records updated.  You should also verify that at least one of our dial up numbers will be local to your new residence. In other words verify that you will not be paying toll charges to connect to Pacific Online. We have instructions for how to change your phone number HERE.

Q: Does my computer have to be online for people to send me e-mail?
No.  All of your incoming e-mail is stored on our mail server, which is online 24/7.  Your email stays in your mail account until you next check your e-mail. Email is not limited geographically. However as of date, there are no mail servers located on Mars, so interplanetary email communication remains a dream of the future.
Q: I receive a ton of Spam (Junk Mail).  How can I stop it?
Unfortunately there is no 100% way to keep from getting junk mail (Spam). Spam is a serious problem on the internet and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by the Internet industry to combat this plague. Pacific Online does run Spam filters and we literally catch hundreds of thousands of Spam emails a month. To see the spam we catch visit the quarantine tab of your webmail: http://email.pon.net All spam we catch is held for 10 days before being automatically deleted.

To prevent yourself from becoming added to additional Spam lists, avoid using your real e-mail address while posting in newsgroups or chat rooms because many mass mail programs simply strip the e-mail addresses out of messages and store them for future use.

You can also add filtering to your email program or to your webmail. Please visit the Spam Filtering section on our support page for more details. www.pon.net/support Please make a note of any e-mail abuse and report it to abuse@pon.net 

Q: I have children, how can I make sure they don't access inappropriate sites while online?
There are many third party software programs available that will do just that.  Check with your local software retailer or computer store, and ask them for a program to suit your specific needs. Net Nanny is a good inexpensive 3rd party software you can use which can be setup to restrict inappropriate sites and monitor your child's online activities. 

Q: I try and connect to the Internet, but it tells me "No Dial tone" What do I do?
You or someone else in the household may be using the phone line, or it may be off the hook.  If this is not the case, check to make sure that the line is plugged into the slot on the modem that says "line" and not "phone".  If the problem still persists shut the computer off, and then restart the computer and try again.

Q: I try and check my mail, but it won't let me.  What next?
Check your mail settings.  Make sure you have the proper POP3 and SMTP settings entered.  If you aren't sure what those are click hereNext if you have an @pon.net email, make sure that you are using your userid for the POP3 Account, and not your real name or full e-mail address.  For instance, if your e-mail address was john@pon.net the user id would be john. However, note that if you have a domain name email (i.e. .com or .net, your userid NEEDS to be your FULL email address.

Q: My US Robotics modem frequently disconnect or I cannot connect.  What can I do?
We have found that USR modems may have trouble with compression called LAPM. Until a global solution can be found we have found that the best way to solve this problem is to turn off that compression using a modem init string (located in your modems documentation) and turn off Data Compression in your respective dialer. You may also wish to refer to the US Robotics Support Section.

What Windows Operating System do you recommend I get?
We recommend either Windows 2000 or Windows XP. At all costs, stay away from using Windows Millennium (ME). As techs, we find the most problems occur with this operating system.

Q: What is the difference between a POP3 and an IMAP mailbox?
The difference lies in how you setup your email on your email client on your computer. A email box setup as a POP3 will automatically download the mail from our server every single time you check your email. 

An email box setup as an IMAP on your mail client on your computer will leave the mail on the server every time you check the mail box. IMAP boxes are good for those who have multiple people checking the same mailbox from different locations. 

As an additional note if you are using Outlook Express; if you have multiple email boxes and you want to set them up on the same computer (ie, multiple people will use the same computer for checking their individual email boxes) you may want to set them up as Identities. More information about setting up identities in Outlook Express is found here

You are receiving anti-virus or anti-worm notifications in your email indicating that a virus was sent from "you" - However you know that you do not have a virus or worm on your computer. What is going on?

Your email address was found on a virus/worm infected computer (probably belonging to someone you know or have emailed or received email from in the past - it does not necessarily mean you have a virus on your computer). In addition to the virus attempting to send itself to youremailaddress@pon.net, which was most likely stopped by our server side anti-virus software, it sent itself to others using your email address as the FROM. (i.e. it faked your email address). 

In other words, once these worms/viruses find a list of emails (usually in people's address books) - they use that persons computer and those emails not only to send "To" people, but will also to use the "From" address. So if your email address is on a computer that is infected the virus may "fake" the From address as "your address" and try to propagate that way. 

When those emails reach their destination, some mail servers will try to send a notification back to what they "presume" is the correct email address. In the past a virus would actually show the real FROM and sending back notifications made more sense, but these days the FROM is almost always forged using either the method mentioned above or just a completely fake email address. This is why most mail servers no longer send out notifications when they find infected emails, but some still do.

In a nutshell the worms/viruses infect computers and turn the computer into a mail server propagating itself by sending itself to any emails that are stored within that computer. 


Q: I get an error in Win95/98 when trying to connect: "Dial-up Networking could not negotiate a compatible set of network protocols you specified in your Server Type settings..." What do I do?
Either something has gone wrong with your Dial-up Adapter or TCP/IP Protocol.  The first thing you can try is doing a cold boot.  Completely shut your computer down, leave it off for at least 2 minutes and then turn the computer back on and try it again.  If that does not fix it your Adapter or Protocol may not be installed or may be corrupted.  You will need your Win95/98 disks and/or CD-ROM.

1. Go into your Control Panel, and double click on Network.  In the window that appears, there should be a list of network components which are installed on your machine.  Dial-up Adapter and TCP/IP should be installed. If one or both of them are not there, skip ahead to step 5.

2. Click on the Dial-up Adapter and then click remove, also make sure you remove the TCP/IP Protocol.  When everything is removed click OK, and when your computer asks you to restart say "No".

3. Now close Control Panels,  and open up My Computer, then double click on the Dial Up Networking folder.  In it you should find an icon named Pacific Online, right click on it, and then click on delete.  Make sure that you do not delete the "Make New Connection" icon.

4. Now close the Dial Up Networking folder, and close the My Computer folder.  Click on the  start button, and then click Shut Down, then restart your computer.

5. Open the Control Panels, then open the Network control panel.  Now press the Add button. In the next window scroll down the list of manufacturers until you see Microsoft. At that point, click on Adapter, and highlight Dial-Up Adapter, then click Ok.

6. You should now be back at the Configuration screen.  Once again click on Add except this time choose Protocol.  Select Microsoft then TCP/IP Protocol then click ok. At this point you will be back at the Configuration screen.  Click ok, and when prompted supply your Win95/98 CD or disks for the files to be copied from.

7. Restart the computer when prompted to do so, and open Dial Up Networking which is located  under My Computer.  Next follow the instructions for creating a Dial-Up Networking icon for Pacific Online, as provided in the Win95/98 instructions supplied by Pacific Online.

Q: How do I get Win95/98 to save my password?
In order to save your password you are required to have "Client for Microsoft Networks" installed on your system.  To make sure you do, open Control Panels, and under the Configuration tab, look for Client for Microsoft Networks.  If you do not have it, simply click on Add, select Client, and once again select Microsoft.   Highlight Client for Microsoft Networks and click Ok.  You may be prompted to insert your Win95/98 disks and/or CD ROM.  Allow it to copy files needed and then restart your computer.  The next time you open up the Connect To screen for Pacific Online you will see that the "Save Password" option is now available.  In order for it to take effect however, you must click on the box, and then connect to PON.  If you do not connect, and then disconnect, it will not save your password.

Q: How do I change my Dial-up Number in Win95/98?
Open Dial Up Networking which is located in a folder under My Computer.  Inside you will find an icon that says Pacific Online.  If you double click upon that icon it will open a "Connect To" screen.  There you will find the number that your modem is going to dial.  Simply change that phone number to match the dial up number that you normally use to connect to the Internet. For more instructions on changing your dialup number click here.

Q: I get online, however I cannot view any web sites.  Why is this?
You may be missing the TCP/IP protocol or it may have become corrupted.  The first thing to try is to shut the computer off, leave it off for a few minutes, then restart the computer and try going to a website again.  If that does not fix the problem, open "Control Panels", and open the "Network" panel.  Under configuration you should see TCP/IP.  If you see a TCP/IP or TCP/IP -> AOL you will need to remove them.  Also remove any Dial Up Adapter -> AOL that might be present.  Click on Add; you want to add a protocol.  The manufacturer will be Microsoft and you want to select the TCP/IP protocol.  Once it appears in the Control Panel, close the Control Panels, and it should copy files and tell you that a restart is needed.  Restart your computer, and return to surfing the web as usual.  If that does not fix the problem please contact Pacific Online for Technical Support.

Q: I get these strange Dial Up Networking Error Messages.  What do they mean?
A list of what each error message refers to is far too extensive to post in this FAQ.  However we have compiled a complete list in text format here for you to review.  Some of these messages are fairly self explanatory, while others are a little more difficult to understand.  If you are unsure of why you are getting one of these error messages or what they mean, please feel free to contact us Additionally if you type in the following in GOOGLE.com 
TM "error number 
###" where ### is the error number you get, you will find a list of sites that will provide you with a lot more information about the particular error number.

Q: I upgraded to Windows98 and now I'm having trouble getting online.  What can I do?
Consider upgrading to Microsft Windows 2000 or Windows XP. However, if you have upgraded to Windows98, your problem may be caused by a network component called "Microsoft Family Login".  This is a component that is added to your network control panel by Win98.  To find out if you have it, open the control panels (My Computer - Control Panels) and then double click on the Network Icon. Listed under configuration, you will find a list of the install components. If you see MS Family Login, highlight it and click remove. Components that you should have listed, and that are required to successfully log on are Dial Up Adapter and TCP/IP Protocol.  Once you have removed Microsoft Family Login (if you have it) click on close, and restart your computer.  If you are still having trouble connecting after that point, you should contact us for technical support.


Q: My Mac Dials to the Internet by itself every 5 hours.  What's going on?
This only occurs when using the "ConfigPPP" control panel to connect.  To fix this problem, simply click the "Hard Close" button to disconnect from the Internet.

Q: Netscape reports "unable to create a network socket connection" what should I do?
Often times this error means you are simply not connected to Pacific Online.  If this is the case, make sure "Connect Automatically when starting PPP applications" is selected within your dialing program.  If it is not, a file named MacTCP DNR may be corrupted.  To fix this do the following:
     1)  Open your hard disk, and the system folder
     2)  Throw away any files named MacTCP DNR
     3)  Open the preferences folder.
     4)  Delete the MacTCP Prep if present.
     5)  Restart your Mac, and try going to a web site again.

Q: I can only connect to the Internet once, then I have to restart the computer if I want to connect again.  Why is this?
This problem is most common with older Macintoshes, however in most cases it can be fixed.  You will simply need to download the latest PPP dialer.

Q: ConfigPPP says "PPP wait time-out, waiting on OK" What does this mean?
This error happens when your modem cannot respond properly to your dialer's commands.  Fixes for this may be as simple as shutting off the computer, and the modem (if external) restarting the computer and trying again making sure that your modem is turned on, and plugged in. If this is not the case, open the ConfigPPP control panel and click on the "Config" button.  Then change the modem init string to AT&F1. Click "Done" and then click "Open"  If you still receive the error message repeat the above steps using the following strings; ATZ, AT&F, AT, AT&F2.  You may also try leaving the init string box blank. If you still receive an error message, consult your modem's manual for an init that will work with your modem.

Q: How do I change my dial-up number for my Mac?

If you are using ConfigPPP follow the instructions below;

Open the ConfigPPP control panel.  Click on the "Config" button, and change the phone number to the new access number.  If you are unsure about which access number to use, please refer to our online dial up list here .  Please verify any dial up number with the phone company before you dial.  
Pacific Online will not accept any responsibility for any toll charges incurred.

If you are using Open Transport PPP follow the instructions below;

Open the PPP control panel.  Change the phone number to the new access number making sure not to enter in the area code unless it is necessary to complete the call.  If you are unsure about which access number to use, please refer to our online dial up list here .  Please verify any dial up number with the phone company before you dial.  
Pacific Online will not accept any responsibility for any toll charges incurred. 

Q: I can not send or get my e-mail properly. What should I do?
Double check your mail settings to make sure they are all correct.  If you are not sure what the mail server settings should be you can verify them here.  If that does not fix the problem we recommend you download Eudora Lite located on our website here.


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Last Updated:
03/06/17 11:11 PM

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