I recently had the pleasure of trying to straightening out a machine from a office with 2 highspeed connections
the connection(s) is load balanced one to cable the other to a T1
This particular machine or the problem between the keyboard and chair (The Boss) decided since the AOL people wanted to give him 5 free years to give it a try..
Well the nightmare came true.. He opened up AOL it opened its TCP connection to the WEB on one connection while his MS-TCP was connected to the other web connection.
A couple of things started right away. (this wasnt caught right away)
Files started to get scanned and within a week his BIOS in his computor was hacked and the timers on the BUSS offset to the point that the Mother board had to be replaced..
Now because of time I dont have the exact link but on the SANs website(Securitys) they showed how AOL will allow you to be hacked with the additional open ports.. try here http://isc.sans.org/
under theyre search for AOL
Because AOL itself will sell to any advertiser I wouldnt in my opinion advise using anything AOL.
SO the moral of this story is: IF its FREE from AOL it comes with a Motherboard price along with new DDR memory and a harddrive.. The Harddrive wasnt bad just didnt need more to go wrong with the machine that stays on 24/7....
ThE bad part is that if AOL went out of business tomarrow the only real people Ide feel bad for is the employee's BUT heck while Ide feal bad the turn over rate at AOL is extreem.. Say anything that isnt on there help screens and they get let go..
As for alternate Chat software MNO has posted his feelings on that.. Me I cant tell you what I use AOL might cut me off