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Telinco Guide and Tips


I originally looked at the Telinco internet service when it was one of the first free ISPs available through the publishers of PC Direct. I have used it with great success for several years but it is no longer available to new users following a series of Takeovers. The new owner Tiscali offers similar services and uses the same excellent internet backbone. It was in competion with the Freeserve - and many other ISPs but was less "intrusive" in that it can be installed without any unexpected customisation taking place. This article is retained for reference and still needs some detailed updates to reflect a number of changes, mostly for the better with Tiscali.

Update in September 2001 - I use Telinco routinely for email and I have set up several other users on Telinco as it provides a fast reliable service. Freezone which hosts www.pcurtis.com uses Telinco as their backbone provider.

Update in August 2003 - I still use Telinco routinely for some of my email and check it most days. I recently needed to contact them to find out some details of access my web space and found that support has been transfered to Tiscali business systems at http://www.tiscali-business.co.uk with support at support@tiscali-business.co.uk . Email support was quick and efficient and it is clear that Tiscali have not abandoned the existing users of Telinco, quite the opposite and have recently brought in a webmail interface. If you Visit http://webmail.tiscali-business.co.uk you can Login in the system, using your email address as your username followed by your password. This will then allow you to send and receive mails while you are on the move. They plan also to launch a self-care system for you where you will be able to log in and create new accounts and reset passwords for your family members. The only other major change is to the FTP to the web space. The host address remains www.telinco.co.uk but the login is now ftp@yourusername.telinco.co.uk with the same password. You now do not seem to need to connect via a Telinco Dial-Up-Connection - my Tiscali Broadband connection works fine. The web space has been increased to 15 mbytes. This is impressive support for a system which has not accepted new users for three years.

What follows is mostly left over from earlier and where greyed out has not been updated since 1999.

Our own use: I registered for both Freeserve and Telinco and they will be used in parallel with rather than replace the existing CompuServe and OU access. The OU TCP/IP is currently much faster than CompuServe but is only available for OU and associated activities and now only to tutors. Freeserve seems just as fast as the OU TCP/IP link for general browsing and will offer an additional 15 Mbytes of web space which will be valuable. Pauline's OU presentations and the rest of her support material have taken up a considerable amount of our existing 5 Mbytes. It is too early to say with Telinco how fast and reliable it will be but we certainly got connected very easily and set up mailboxes and uploaded our web site within a couple of hours of discovering it on the PC Direct cover disk for January 1998.

Student Use: Students without an existing ISP or those who are happy to change their existing configuration should be able to load the software from the CD, register online and be up and running immediately with email and web browsing fully configured - it took me less only 10 minutes start to finish. My initial impression was that it was slow on the web but a week after my initial set up I did a download of the newsgroups which indicated that I collected the first 1 Mbyte in 1 minute 32 secs of connect time which is very fast even assuming a lot of data compression.

Avoiding Configuration Changes: I was concerned about unknown changes to our existing and highly tuned configuration so did load all their software from the CD and went straight to the registration stage using the option where no further software was installed. The registration process offers the option to download a configuration file which I thought would be only downloaded but in the event was run to implement all the configuration changes. There were no serious changes involving the Registry that I have detected (unlike Freeserve).

Email and Newgroups: I got everything working fine using Outlook Express. The first mail collection delivered a message telling me how to set up for an unlimited number of addresses by going to http://www.telinco.co.uk/email/hostmail and the newsreader address which is news.telinco.co.uk. Once we had registered for extra mail we can not only use pcurtis@telinco.co.uk but we can also collect mail from peter@pcurtis.telinco.co.uk and pauline@pcurtis.telinco.co.uk without having to register them separately - ideal for families. I may also integrated it into my existing mail system in Outlook 98. I have written up full details on how to do this in Using Multiple ISPs

Web Space: Telinco provides 5 Mbytes of web space which is immediately available, in our case at http://www.telinco.co.uk/pcurtis . They do not provide any software for uploading but direct one towards the standard freeware FTP programs such as WS_FTP (which I already had installed) and provide the settings you need to get it to work. It works fine and I uploaded the first 4 Mbytes of our existing site with no problems. It was accessible immediately - I keep a browser window open so I can see the new content as soon as each upload was completed. Your homepage should initially be called index.htm. I have now written a Novices Guide to Setting up a Web Site using only system software and freeware to get people up and running.

Downside to using a Telinco as an ISP:

Telinco Software

Telinco provide a copy of Internet Explorer and Outlook Express on the CD but I have not used it.

Telinco configuration of Outlook Express: Initially I found that if I did not connect at startup or have the Work Offline option set mail would not work on my configuration using the standard "Connect via my phone line" option. They can be made to work by using the "Connect using Internet Explorer or Third party Dialer" option but that leaves the TCP-IP link open and the phone connected at the end of the transfers. This is a common problem when the DUN is created using an .INS file and the solution is to create a new DUN connection called Telinco2 to replace the existing one and to use that connection - the initial install has a duff registry entry and it is much safer to make a new one than edit the Registry. Creating a new DUN is described below as part of the Procedure for Registering without the CD.

Procedure for Registering without the Telinco CD.

Introduction: You seem to be able to register from any other ISP by going to http://www.telinco.co.uk/zdnet/ . You will still have to make a Dial Up Network Connection using the username and pasword you get at registration. This approach is suitable for those who know their way round Windows and have previously made Dial Up Network (DUN) connections. If this is not the case consider loading the whole Telinco software - you will be able to access FirstClass and the internet OK.

Remember to note down your username as it is an odd letter and number string. Preferably print the page with registration details (and the welcome Email message which contains extra useful information when you receive it)

Detailed Instruction: The following instructions assume that one is adding Telinco to a machine with at least one current working Dial Up Network (DUN) connection. If you have any connection already, meaning the system is configured, it is very easy - I made such connections using the procedure below from an empty desktop to modem dialing out it 71 seconds and was connected and using the link in under two minutes! If one wants to install and configure Windows 95 for PPP connections and Install Modems and Optimise Modem connections from scratch there are instructions on my web pages in the Howto technical articles pages.

1. Creating your Dial Up Network connection to Telinco.

Follow the instructions in the Wizard - they may vary slightly in the original Windows 95 and Windows 98 from the OSR2 version here but the information you have to give is obvious. You can change everything latter.

Screen 1 - Call the connection Telinco and select the modem from the list of those you have installed - it should already be configured if you are using it.

Screen 2 - Add the telephone number for Telinco 0845 666 4445 for a standard v34 modem (you will be given alternative numbers for 56K and X2 modems) and check the country code is UK

Screen 3 - Check the name is what you want (Telinco) and click Finish

2. Configure the Connection

You now need to set the properties by going back to the Dial-Up Network screen as above and RIGHT CLICKING the Telinco connection and then clicking Properties on the menu. This gives you two or three tabs depending on which version of Windows 95/98 you have.

Scripting Tab - Ignore if you have this option - No Connection script is needed. Just like the OU DUN connection.

General Tab - This is where you can change the telephone number and modem type and configure the modem specifically for this connection. Chances are that it has been already optimised but you may want to set the maximum speed to 115200 with a 28800 or better modem after the connection is working.

Server types - This is the important one

Test your connection

You now have the Telinco DUN which will be used to log onto the system.

Configuring Email, Using Multiple ISPs and Changing your ISP

These are topics in their own right and there is a new page to cover this called Using Multiple ISPs which explains how to set your default Dial Up Network (DUN) Connection for your browser and the principles of how to convert and use Email when there are a number of ISPs and connections. This is directed at Freeserve at present but the principles are similar.

The basic information you need for Telinco is:

The views here are entirely our own and are not endorsed in any way by the Open University or Telinco Ltd. What is written on these pages is our own experiences and is not intended to replace in any way the documentation supplied with any of the Open University or Telinco software.

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Copyright © Peter and Pauline Curtis
Original 9th December, 1998
Content revised: 3rd June 2000, 26th September 2001 and 12th August 2003
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