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Planet's online rate

Planet Internet launches its 0800 service next month, turning the traditional payment structure upside down. Instead of paying for the call and getting time free, you dial a free phone number and pay an hourly charge. If you cannot dial a local Net service, this has its advantages.

Planet says the cost is below the normal daytime phone rate. The weekday online charge is pounds 1.95 an hour - a local call would cost pounds 2.40. The weekend rate is pounds 1.25. The catch? Well, it's not such a bargain in the evening.

Planet is offering extra services, but the real test is how well the service works. It has poured millions into hardware, so there should be no connection problems. The starter CD includes full Internet software, including Netscape; ring quickly and there will no subscription until next year. Phone 0500 345400.

Free site guide

Computer Life magazine is giving away 150 copies of its book of Web sites to Independent readers. Computer Life's - over 1,200 great Internet sites will be sent to the first 300 people to send a postcard with their name and address to INDY/1200, PO Box 797, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1XF.

Mine's an e-mail and Orange

Demon Internet, the UK's largest dial-up service provider, has linked up with Orange, the mobile phone company, to help you send e-mails from the pub. Demon says that because no modems are involved, access time is just eight seconds. Ideal for collecting or sending e-mail, but with data transfer at only 9,600bps, you could get bored waiting for World Wide Web graphics to appear. Ring 0181 371 1234 for details.

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