Dialup UK Article - Understanding Dialup Connection Speed
Speed of Data transmission is one of the most important and
debated factor of a dialup connection. A common misconception
that many people has that once you connect to your ISP at
a certain speed; it remains at that speed through the session.
The truth is that the speed may vary right from the initial
connection and it may very though out the life of that intent
connection session. The speed may rise and fall or it may
even pause and then start after some time.
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. No matter what your modem reports
to you as your connection speed it may not be the true speed.
Both phone line quality and modem type play a major part in
the actual speed you receive when downloading data from the
Internet. If the phone line is of good quality then the data
will flow at high speed. On other hand, if the equipment is
poor then it may not reach a high speed and go down due to
errors. In addition, different types of modems can support
different speed. Overall speed depends upon overall quality
of the connection hardware. However, the real data transfer
is more important than connection speed.
The modem makes hissing and screeching sounds and then it
goes quiet while making initial connection. The hissing and
screeching is called initial handshake. It is during this
part of the connection process that your modem establishes
connection with ISP’s modem. You modem also establishes
as at what speed it can send and receive data from the ISP’s
modem. After this conversation is completed, the operation
system shuts off the modem's speaker. This is mainly done
to shut all the noise that modem makes while transmitting
data over the phone line. However, if the modem detects any
change in the phone line conditions, it will go through the
initial connection establishing process again. During this
time, data will not flow through the connection. This often
look like to users that the modem has just stopped working.
In most cases, the modem starts sending data again after it
is done the initial connection establishing. This retake of
the process can take up to 10 to 20 seconds, in extreme cases,
if the retake fails than the modem will disconnect the line.
Overall, different modems have different ways of handling
phone line noise and initial connection establishing.
The speed will also vary after the initial connection. Some
modems can connect lower speed and then as time passes, slowly
rise to go to significant speed. Some other modems may connect
high and then go down in speed over the duration of the call.
The Operation system and other software you may have may report
the connection speed you initially connected. Unfortunately,
there is no real way for you to know what your throughput
is using that information.