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Boosting your dialup connection


The modems can speed shift up and down after the initial connection. This surge and fall is dependant on the particular connection and the equipment used. This includes the hardware equipment used on both end. Some modems connect at a relative speed and then quickly speed up if the connections allow. On other end, modems may connect at a quite impressive speed initially but it may quickly go down on speed or lose performance due to excessive errors.

If you have software monitoring the internet connection, it may report speed that is not accurate. Unfortunately, it is not possible to monitor the actual modem speed during the connection for most modems.

On a 56k modem, you may consistently get speed as high as 52k or 53K. If you consistently get speed in this range then there may not be much that you can do to go faster. This is because it is not possible to achieve the highest 56K speed on most phone circuits. However, if you consistently connect at lower speeds then this then there are some steps that you can try to boost your connection speed…

Watch out for dial in numbers that are being forwarded to a distant location. Many BBS (bulletin board systems) and ISP (Internet service providers) use call forwarding technology to extend their local calling areas. Although, this can work fairly well at lower speeds, the extra length in connection can degrade the signal enough to limit the speed to ordinary to very mediocre. Hence, always see that your access number is truly local.

Try to connect your computer with some reputed access numbers. Particularly, use an access number that gives you an online reading of connection quality. This will at least let you know whether the problem is at your end or the other end of the connection.

Some modems may not work properly if they get hot. In general, it is a good idea to make sure that the modem does not get too hot.

If you have a laptop computer, use a PCI modem and try to run laptop on battery alone disconnecting the computer from AC power.

Listen carefully to the quality of your voice connections. Note that good phone lines may exhibit excessive noise until you actually connect. After you connect, if you hear more than a faint hiss or hum then you probably have a line problem.

If you have your modem connected to the phone line through a surge suppresser, try to connect it without the surge suppresser. The speed may boost. The reason for this is that many surge suppressers do interfere with modem communications and limit their speed.

If your connection is running slow then the possibility is that the problem is in your premise wiring. Premises problems include faulty or poor quality wiring or equipment like poor quality phones and fax machines or the modem itself. All this factors contribute to connection problems. Test for premises problems by disconnecting all your premises wiring and equipment from the incoming and hooking your modem directly to it. If your connections are better, you have a premises problem that you may be able to isolate and fix.

While a “quiet” access number can ensure that your incoming line is problem free, there are other line problems that can reduce your speed, mainly a bandwidth distortion. It is difficult to test for this kind of problems without proper test equipment, but what you can do is to try and connect to an access number that will send you test tones. Listen carefully the sound of the connection for audible problems.

You may be able to get your phone company to improve the quality of your line. Or in extreme cases, you may cancel the current line and subscribe a new access number.

If you report slow connection then you may be told that you need a special "data" line that will give you better data transfer rate. This line is generally more expensive than a standard line.

Some people also consider using noise filters. The fact is that most of the modems already have the filtering it can use. A common add on filter will do mostly nothing to improve the performance. But, it may well make things worse.


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