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FreePort is NCF's original method of connecting people. It is a text based system accessed directly or via Telnet.


Today most people have Windows, Mac, Linux or BSD-based graphical operating systems on their personal computers, but it wasn't like that when NCF started in 1992. Back in 1992, most people had DOS, which supported only 25 rows of 80 text characters.

The text-based system that NCF operated back then was called FreePort and it still exists. FreePort consists of text-based mail readers, information menus, newsgroup readers and so on. Later there was even a text-based web browser, called Lynx, which displays text, but no images.

Though today most NCF members use web browsers, Freeport still works! Some NCF members still enjoy using the text-based Freeport to check email and read newsgroups as it is simple and fast and works well for special needs. However, Freeport does not support more advanced NCF and internet services.


Telnet into NCF's FreePort. Note that the phone number given is out of date!

There are three ways to connect to FreePort:

  1. direct modem connection
  2. using telnet (via PPP modem or over the internet).
  3. using ssh


To connect to Freeport via telnet, go to telnet://telnet.ncf.ca.

You can access this from your computer's command line at:

telnet telnet.ncf.ca.


To connect via ssh from the command line:

ssh -lxx123 telnet.ncf.ca

where "xx123" is your own NCF ID.


  • NCF users who joined in 2007 and earlier still have FreePort accounts. Members who joined after 2007 do not have FreePort accounts.
  • To log in use your NCF ID and your original password. Because FreePort is unsupported it does not have any new passwords or password changes.


NCF's FreePort system is very old and dates from the mid-1990s. It runs on an old unsupported Sun OS operating system through a compatibility layer on a very old server. Due to the age of the software it will not run on a newer operating system or on newer hardware. This all means that while FreePort is still available for now, the server may become unserviceable at any time and FreePort will no longer be available.

NCF can no longer provide tech support for FreePort, but you may be able to get questions answered on the NCF Help Discussion Group