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Help File: DSL Without A Phone Line; Locked Music Purchases

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By Rob Pegoraro
Sunday, July 19, 2009

QCan I buy just DSL from Verizon, without also paying for phone service? I use my cellphone for all my calling anyway.

AVerizon doesn't exactly advertise the option many call "naked DSL" (it prefers the more decorous term "stand-alone DSL"); a company vice president got lost trying to find this offering on Verizon's Web site at a meeting Wednesday.

But it's there, and it's worth a look if you've outgrown fixed-line phone service. Go to Verizon's regular page for digital-subscriber-line service (http://www22.verizon.com/residential/highspeedinternet), click its "Plans" heading, and you'll see it listed at the right side of the page.

You will pay slightly more for the privilege; where Verizon's standard DSL starts at $17.99 for downloads up to 1 million bits per second (Mbps) and uploads up to 384,000 bits per second (Kbps), the stand-alone equivalent costs $19.99. A $29.99 stand-alone plan offers up to 3 Mbps for downloads and uploads as fast as 768 Kbps, while a $42.99 stand-alone service ups potential download speeds to 7.1 Mbps. But the savings from dumping a land line -- one of the more heavily taxed telecom services around -- will easily outweigh those differences.

Note, however, that some say they've had orders for stand-alone DSL declined, sometimes without much of an explanation.

Verizon also offers its faster Fios fiber-optic service without phone service attached. That adds $5 to its advertised Fios rates, making the entry-level 15 Mbps service $49.99.

I bought a few songs through Yahoo's MusicMatch. They worked fine until my computer caught a virus and I had to reinstall everything; now, MusicMatch says they "need authenticating." How do I fix this?

Sorry, but you can't. Yahoo shut down its Yahoo Music store last year (after sending a few warnings via e-mail about the change). Customers had until the end of March to request coupons for free, no-authentication-needed MP3 copies of purchases.

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or robp@washpost.com. Visit http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward for his Faster Forward blog.


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