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Free Dialup UK Article - Dial-up Modems FAQ's (Part 1)


Q: Why my modem is not getting Dial Tone?

A: There can be many reasons for this problem. You can try and take following troubleshooting steps.

1. Make sure that your telephone line is properly plugged into your modem. If this connection is loose then your modem may not get dial tone.

2. There may be a problem on your telephone line or the telephone cable may have gone faulty. In this case, you can verify by connecting a regular telephone or connecting modem to another line.

3. A common problem is plugging your telephone line into the wrong jack on your modem. Many modems have two jacks, one for the telephone line and one for a telephone handset. Make sure that you have hooked the telephone line in correct plug.

4. Make sure that all other devices connecting to the telephone line are properly connected. This problem may arise if some other device like a telephone answering machine on the same telephone line is not connected.

5. Make sure that you can get a dial tone on a telephone handset connected to and through your modem when the modem or computer (in case, you have an internal modem) is turned off.

6. Many voicemail systems use a "stutter" dial tone or beeping when you pick up the phone to indicate that you have voicemail waiting. These unexpected sounds can make the modem think there is no dial tone.

7. In extreme case, your modem may not be designed for the phone system in the country in which you are trying to use it.

Q: Why do I sometimes get abruptly disconnected?

A: This is a common problem that most dial up connection users face often. Here we discuss possible causes…

1. If you have Call Waiting feature in your modem, the incoming call "beep" may sometimes disconnect you. To avoid this problem, you may be able to temporarily disable Call Waiting when you make a data or fax call.

2. If your modem may receive some errors while transmitting data. If your modem fails to correct the error then the uncorrected transmission errors may make the transmitting remote site may disconnect you.

To avoid this possibility it is better to have error correcting connections. In this case, if the negotiation of error correction fails then the modem will fail to connect. However, this will allow you to configure your software to retry the connection automatically.

3. Disconnections may be caused by certain comm applications when they produce DTR. By default most modems respond to a drop of DTR by hanging up. With most modems you can work around this problem by disabling DTR.

Q: Why do connections sometimes seem to run slower and slower?

A: A lot of people using dial up connections face this problem of modem getting “slower”. The modem may start at good speed and then drop speed or in some cases; it may run well for some time and then suddenly fall.

There are many different causes for this problem...

1. Your modem is dying. Over a period of time, the modem may experience technical issues or give low performance because it is getting old.

2. Sometimes it is observed that the modem may constantly fall back to lower speeds gradually. There may be rise and falls in the modem speed. However, in this case, the modem speed falls constantly without ever being getting faster or moving to higher speeds at anytime. Here, the line conditions may would have permitted a higher speed (This may or may not have been true. It can definitely be said only after conducting tests with proper equipments.

3. Sometimes the modem does go back to high speed after dripping to original speed. It will not go higher then that speed. The modem sometimes takes the previous connection speed and sometimes goes back to the original connection speed, but it will not go higher then that.

In this cases, you may try Disconnecting and reconnecting internet connection. However, this may not actually produce result if the quality of the connection is poor. This it self may be one more cause why you get slow connection...

This problem does depend on the connection as well. Therefore, some dialup users do encounter it on some connections and some other with better quality connection may never encounter it.

Another very rare case, that has been observed is that adjusting the speaker volume control while accessing internet on your dialup connection causes the modem to get slower!! In this case, higher connection speeds may be possible if the volume control is turned slower before getting connected the initial negotiation or leave the volume as it is after getting connected. But, remember, this is a rare case; it may not be very effective in most of the cases.

There are some fixes that you can try…

1. If possible try a different modem and see if the problems persist or not. IF yes then the issue is with the line and if no, then your modem is problem.

2. Try to improve quality of your telephone line or the connection to modem. Quality of wiring does contribute to speed of the modem.

3. Try turning the volume control all the way down before connecting.


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