The BBS Corner - BBS Users Frequently Asked Questions 

Are you new to the world of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)? You've come to the right place to look for information on a great place to hang out and have fun with your online friends. Play games, read and post messages, and transfer shareware files. Here are some commonly asked questions (and answers) to help you get started. Still confused? You're more than welcome to Contact Us for some help.

Q: What is a Bulletin Board System?

A: Think of a Bulletin Board System (BBS) like you do the Internet, but on a much smaller scale. It is a self-contained online community that is operated by a System Operator (Sysop) and provides activities such as Message Forums, Shareware Files, E-mail and Online Games. Think of it as almost like a miniature Facebook. Before the Internet, you would "dial" a BBS system using an analog dial-up modem. Most modern BBS systems have transitioned to using a process called Telnet which uses the Internet to access BBS systems. If you are new to BBS systems, please visit our Introduction to BBS Systems page.

Further Information: What Is A BBS?

Q: What Does A BBS System Have To Offer?

A: BBS systems have a number of things to offer. Most BBS systems offer the following:
  • Message Forums (read and post messages to other users)
  • Shareware Files (download and upload files)
  • Online Games (play games against the computer or other users)

Further Information: What Is A BBS?

Q: How do I access a BBS system?

A: The traditional BBS system is accessed by "dialing" a BBS with an analog dial-up computer modem (remember the days of "dial-up" Internet providers?) These days BBS systems can be accessed through your Internet connection using a process called Telnet. Your computer already has Telnet applications installed (Vista and Windows 7 users will need to turn it on).

There are also third-party Telnet applications to make the experience better by allowing you to go "full screen" mode and to allow for file transfers to and from your computer and the BBS.

Further Information: Accessing BBSes

Q: Where can I find a list of BBS Systems?

A: See our List of BBS Lists to see a variety of BBS listings from all over the world. The BBS Corner operates a site of Telnet and Dial-Up (US/Canada) BBS listings called the Telnet BBS Guide with over 400 Telnet BBS listings.
Further Information: List of BBS Lists | The Telnet BBS Guide

Q: What does it cost to access BBS systems? Will I be billed for accessing them?

A: Your will *NOT* be charged be accessing a BBS. The vast majority of BBS systems are absolutely *FREE*. However, there are a very select few BBS systems that do request payment to access their system. Those that do charge will inform you when you log onto a BBS that you must send the System Operator (Sysop) a payment (personal check, credit card, PayPal, etc.). Each system is different. But it is your option to utilize these systems, and you won't receive any surprise billings on your Internet bill. (Your Internet provider doesn't charge you extra for visiting other websites or sending E-mail. Same goes for BBS systems.)

Q: Can I access BBS Systems via the Web?

A: The general answer to this question is no. The vast majority of BBS systems that are available the Internet use a process called Telnet. BBS systems requires more of a one-on-one system approach. There are a select few BBS systems that have either a Java interface or a Flash player interface from your web browser - but you lose the ability to see the BBS in full screen mode or to have file transfers. If you are unfamiliar with the process of Telnet, or want a "Telnet Client", please vist our Accessing BBSes page for more information.

Further Information: List of BBS Lists