AOL is a software that acts as an online suite for the "walled garden" online community through its own standalone browser. It is inspired by its mother company, AOL Inc., that is a multinational mass media corporation, composed of various website brands. As a suite, AOL houses various tools, plugins, and integrated applications including: AIM for Windows, AOL Toolbars, McAfee VirusScan Plus - Special Edition from AOL, AOL Parental Controls, AOL Computer Checkup, Price Check by AOL, PerfectSpeed, System Mechanic, SugarSync, Winamp, AOL Edition of IE9, AOL Edition of Firefox, and Mobile AOL Apps.
Although the AOL software in itself is a freeware, using the online services that comes along with it is charged monthly at a fix rate after its hourly fee regulation was abolished in 1996. It is a light yet advanced program that is capable of providing local content and national content depending on the set-up of the user account. It presents professional content: from editorials, user-generated posts and to business listings. Content is also based on the membership or subscription package of the user. The different packages are: Lifestor.com, Mobile, AOL, Mail, AIM, Abou.me. While AOLL Mail deals with proprietary email user accounts, AIM is for proprietary instant-messaging that supports audio and video chat all the same. Mobile is a set of mobile web applications comprising: Moviefone, Shoutcast, TechCrunch, MapQuest, etc. On the other hand, About.me is for service profiles while Lifestore.com is for products, services, and online utilities.