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America Online (AOL), Prodigy, and CompuServe are Internet Service Providers (ISP). As part of their software they each provide an internal web browser that allows users to browse the web. Often, these web browsers are either customized and/or older versions of Internet Explorer (IE). Rarely do these internal web browsers include Netscape versions. This is true even when using the most recent version of the ISP (i.e., AOL 6.0).

CAUTION: Using the internal browsers may cause sporadic problems with an online course. To minimize the possibility of browser-related problems, the help desk strongly recommends using an external browser when accessing our online courses and also when taking our Browser Test.

Most computers have an updated version of an external browser pre-installed.

It's easy to use an external browser:

  • Connect to the ISP, but do NOT go to any websites on the Internet;
  • Minimize the ISP window;
  • Open the browser, click on the address bar, type the web address (or URL) of your online campus and press the enter key to access the online campus homepage;
  • Login, as usual.

Download Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 for Windows now

Download Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 for Mac now

CAUTION: When an ISPís internal browser is not in use, the ISP will consider the user inactive and will disconnect the user after a period of time. To remain active and avoid being disconnected, return to the main page of the ISP (every half hour or so) and click on a link, or check email, or check the weather, or open a chatroom on your ISP. Following one or all of these tips will reset the ISPís "inactivity timer". Then continue working on your online course.

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