Which plan is the best plan for me?
Your Priority system is unbelievably fantastic, I wish it had been my idea. I average about 50 hours a month and am frequently on during the 8-11pm heavy use times. Which plan is the best plan for me?
**** Of course the regular plan will work just fine but if you wish to avoid most or all interruptions during the heavy 8-11 PM time, we have found the following rule of thumb to be a good guide. Be sure you are on the right plan before the heavy fall and winter seasons start. About 90+% of our users choose the right plan for their needs, or avoid the heavy 8-11pm times, and are never interrupted.
We also have lots of heavy 100-300 hour per month users using our regular plan but they tend to avoid the busy 8-11 time period or get interrupted.
Click here to view your current priority in the Status Window.
Regular plan 0-50 hours per month (available from 1 city)
Professional+200 semi-dedicated plan above 200 hours per month for those that can't get dsl (plus national)
Dedicated service above 100 hours per month we recommend dsl. Click here for the best DSL pricing available anywhere.
Click here to change your account plan or click here for general pricing.
Click here to view your current priority and see which plan we recommend.
Old plans available by calling us:
Standard+30 plan 0-60 hours per month (available from 2 cities i.e. summer and winter homes)
Premium+60 plan above 60 hours per month (includes traveling national access)
Doesn't Unlimited mean all the time, at any
**** No definately not. That would be "Dedicated" Internet. Dedicated Internet can be extremely expensive but we have dedicated plans available for about the same price other companies offer Unlimited plans. Check out our semi-dedicate Professional+200 plan now only $15.99/mo. in MN.
Unlimited Internet is an industry standard term and has a historical development and a specific meaning throughout the Industry. The Industry standard term "Unlimited Internet" is understood by most users that have been around the Internet for a while, especially those work were around back when "Limited Internet" was the common product available. Unlimited Internet means there is not a charge, like $1/hr, if you exceed a specific number of hours. In all cases the availability of unlimited Internet is not guaranteed as it is a service shared by many users. Other services use busy signals, we have developed a priority system, which is much more fair, and offers greater availability and price performance for most users.
Unlimited, Limited, Subsidized and Dedicated
service - Standard terms and their meanings
Limited, Unlimited, Subsidized and Dedicated Internet service are standard, well known, terms in the Internet Service Industry and are commonly understood by most Internet consumers.
Dedicated Service is up to 24 hours a day 7 days a week, any time you want. The amount of data transfer may or may not be controlled depending on the plan. DSL is a typical dedicated service. USFamily.Net now offers Semi-Dedicated dialup for those that cannot get DSL for about the same price as DSL.
Unlimited Service is standard shared dialup Internet service. You may use as much as you like without extra fees. However availability depends on how the service is shared. All other internet services control availability at busy times with high prices or with busy signals, which often upsets about half or more of their customers. USFamily.Net however, has developed the only patented priority system for sharing, which upsets only a very small percentage of our customers. These would be the heaviest users and who sometimes wish Unlimited (no extra charges) meant Dedicated (available 24 x 7). USFamily.Net has Dedicated DSL and semi-dedicated dialup plans available to fit even the heaviest users.
The USFamily.Net priority system is the big attraction to our service and what keeps such a high percentage of our customers happy. USFamily.Net is one of the only Internet members of the Better Business Bureau.
Limited Service is the same shared service with a fixed number of hours each month before extra fees begin. Typically this is $1 or $1.50 per hour after some number of hours. This often results in accidental bills exceeding $100 or $200 in a single month. USFamily.Net does not offer Limited service options.
Subsidized Service is the same shared service with part of the monthly fees paid by advertising and release of personal data. USFamily.Net does not offer Limited service options. Most or all other inexpensive services are either Subsidized or Limited.
Complaints Complaints about our service are very very rare compared to other services, but they have occurred. They have always been by people who did not read any of our material, such as this info, or our contract. Most people are not heavy Internet users and may never even be aware of the priority system, they just receive the benefits. Neither the Attorney Generals Office or the Better Business Bureau have ever suggested any changes to our information.
What is the priority system?
**** Dialup Internet Access is a shared service. On any other internet service about 10% of the heaviest users often use up all of the resources leaving busy signals and frustration for the other 90% of the more typical users. Subsidizing these heaviest users drives up the cost of Internet service for all other users. USFamily.Net is the only priority based internet service and we have a patent on this new technology. At USFamily.Net we more fairly allocate the shared resources. Each user has a priority equal to their total hours online in the last 30 days. If the modem pool ever fills up, rather than a heavy user causing busy signals, he will have the lowest priority and be interrupted temporarily in favor of typical users always having perfect internet service. (Interruptions are not common and an interrupted user ALWAYS receives an explanatory email. Frequent disconnection is usually a modem problem not an Interruption by the priority system.) Since everyone can always get online there is an incentive to hang up the phone when you aren't actually using it. This substantially reduces the cost for everyone. If you ever find you are one of the lowest priority users you can purchase some additional priority to avoid interruptions. If you are an extremely heavy user and need dedicated instead of shared service we have DSL for $14.95+$29.95/uswest and semi-dedicated dialup available. Over 90% of our customers choose the correct plan and are never interrupted, typically this is the lowest cost "regular" plan.
Is it really unlimited?
**** Yes, but it is not "Dedicated" service. Unlimited means there are never any extra charges and some people stay online for many many hours each day. However those individuals who do, will have a low priority and can be interrupted temporarily to allow typical users on whenever they like. An Interruption to a low priority "heavy" user would typically only happen between 8 and 11 PM which is the heavy Internet usage time. About 5-10% of all shared service users do not find our shared dialup services adequate and may need to buy additional priority, move to a semi-dedicated dialup service or a dedicated service such as DSL (we have the best prices for dedicated service) still others choose to move to a busy signal environment elsewhere. We believe that each time a very heavy dialup user leaves our service they drive up to 20 typical users to our service, from other services, due to frustration with busy signals. Dedicated service is always available 24x7.
Can you provide me perfect Internet service
with no Interruptions and no busy signals?
**** Sure, we never have busy signals and to avoid interruptions you just need to select the right plan for your needs. Here are your options:
** Regular Plan - Stay under 50 hours/mo. using the main modem pool and you will rarely, if ever, experience an interruption, even during peak hours. About 80% of all users fit this plan.
** Regular Plan - Heavy user, 0-200+ hours. Avoid the heavy times, usually 8-11pm to avoid interruptions.
** Professional+200 is Semi-Dedicated Dialup - A virtually dedicated circuit just for you, but you must disconnect when not in use, at least 8-12 hours a day. Semi-dedicated dialup is now just 15.99/mo., we have tried to price it about the same cost as dedicated dsl for those who cannot get dsl. This is only available in our MN network. Because you are using 10-20 times more service than most others it sounds expensive, but there is never a busy signal and never an interruption.
** Dedicated DSL - Anyone over 100 hours should select a dedicated service like Dedicated DSL. There are no Interruptions possible with dedicated service and we have the lowest prices on DSL.
**** for options for the heaviest users go to http://www.usfamily.net/premium.html
** Standard Plan - Stay under 50 hours using the main modem pool and you should be fine any time, even peak hours.
** Premium Plan - Stay under 70-100 hours using the main modem pool and you should be fine any time, even peak hours.
I get Interrupted all the time and it is completely
**** Looking at your account I see you have never been Interrupted. Most people seldom are. You get an email from us each time you are interrupted so if you didn't get one you weren't interrupted by our system. The problem is that your modem is disconnecting. Try upgrading your modem firmware or get a new one. Check our FAQ page under access problems for help. We get dozens of emails daily thanking us for the fantastic service. If your service isn't perfect let us know.
Tips For Avoiding Interruption
What are Interruptions?
Less than 10% of our users ever experience an
Interruption. This is because most users purchase the best plan for their needs.
If you ever do get interrupted wait until after the 8-11pm high usage timeframe or we suggest 30 minutes before trying to log in again as you are likely to still be the lowest priority user. Dial up Internet is a unlimited shared service not dedicated. We do have the best dedicated DSL prices available also.
Interruptions can occur to a user ONLY:
if every available modem port in the modem
pool is full. This seldom happens but when does it will usually be:
- between 8-11 PM on a weekday.
- interruptions sometimes increase during a 1-4 week period while additional resources are being installed or tested.
- not all our modem pools are the same size. 651-393-2600 is our main pool. If you are not using that pool please try it.
if the user has the lowest priority (total hours in the last 30 adjusted for plan) on the modem pool. This means everyone else is paying more or using less. On any other system the Interrupted user would have caused a busy signal for typical users.
If you did not receive an email notifying you of an interruption you have not been interrupted by USFamily.Net. An unexpected disconnection is usually a modem or phone line problem. Caller id, poor quality phone line, or poor modem are the common culprits. Check out our modem trade in plan.
Avoiding Interruption for Standard and Regular Users:
To avoid interruption, conserve your premium
-This is simple, just logoff (disconnect) when not using your computer. If you need additional premium hours upgrade to a premium user.
- If you wish to remain a regular or average user but are beyond your premium hours and are suffering interruptions simply avoid the 8pm-11pm usage timeframe.
- Upgrade you plan to avoid interruptions.
Avoiding Interruption for Premium Users:
If you are a premium user, suffering
Interruptions due to low priority you may be helped by the following:
- conserve your premium hours by disconnecting when not using your computer. Simply logging off, as required by the acceptable use contract, when not using your computer works for most people.
- avoid 8pm-11pm weekdays. The other 21 hours of the day seldom result in any interruptions at any time.
- Get dedicated service instead of shared service. Get DSL this is a fantastic new service that is a 24 hour connection to the Internet about 10 times faster than your current connection. We have no additional fee for this service for individual premium home users. (You do need the DSL line from the phone company).
**** for options for the heaviest users go to http://www.usfamily.net/premium.html