Netzero bought FreeInet around 1998. FreeInet was the first free national internet service provider. NetZero was released in October 1998, founded by Ronald T. Burr (original Chief executive officer), Stacy Haitsuka, Marwan Zebian and Harold MacKenzie. NetZero grew to one thousand,000 users in six months. NetZero’s model was free Internet connection to bring in a crowd for highly targeted advertising. The ad providing technology has over nine patents and NetZero was the very first company to invent real-time URL targeted advertising based on surfing patterns under US patent 6,366,298  Monitoring of Individual Internet Usage. The founders raised $60 million in venture capital in four separate equity financings.
Venture investors included idealab, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital, Clearstone Venture Partners and Compaq. NetZero signed a distribution cope with Compaq and was the only ISP to become included in the out-of-box experience (OOBE). In September 1999 NetZero went public on the NASDAQ exchange using the symbol NZRO. Mark Goldston was hired as CEO, Charles Hilliard was hired as CFO and Ronald Burr took the job of President and Chief Technology Officer. In December 1999, NetZero and NBC Sports decided to an important deal that could see NetZero replace Prudential Financial because the sponsor for the network’s NBA halftime studio show, titled “NetZero @ The Half”, which gave NetZero a much larger audience for the product.
In late 1999 a number of other companies begun to copy the headquartersnumbers.net free access model including Juno Online Services, (which since August 1996 had offered E-mail but not Internet access for free), Spinway launched with Yahoo! and AltaVista, Freei and BlueLight Internet, that was originally owned by Kmart. They claimed to provide free Internet service forever, in exchange for displaying ads, either over a permanent toolbar or on a “banner” which was shown when online. NetZero sued them for infringing on the banner ad patent. Right after the dot-com bust at the begining of 2000, NetZero acquired its competitors as each went bankrupt. Furthermore NetZero acquired AimTV which displayed full video quality 30 second ad spots along with Simpli and RocketCash.
Starting in January 2001, NetZero began charging for access time over 40 hours per month. Users who exceeded 40 hours were directed to the company’s “Platinum” service, which provided unlimited access for $9.95 per month. With the income statement reinvigorated through charging heavier users from the system, NetZero merged featuring its rival Juno Online Services and made a new holding company, United Online which traded on NASDAQ under the symbol UNTD until Netzero was acquired by B. Riley Financial in July 2016. NetZero later lowered the threshold for his or her free service to 10 hours monthly.
NetZero has versions of their proprietary dial-up software for computers running Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X. NetZero previously offered a Linux version in the NetZero software advertised for being for Linspire, though the software might be set up on any Debian-based i386 or x86-64 Linux distribution; NetZero can also be installed on any RPM-based Linux distribution so long as Alien is utilized to transform the NetZero Debian package into an RPM package. Additionally, the Linux version requires the Java Runtime Environment to become installed before utilization of the NetZero dialer. Nevertheless the current Linux version from the dialer no longer functions properly using the service since 2009.