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modems

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July 13, 2003 8:30:23 PM

Ok I know everyone on here has DSL or Cable or T1's but I live out in the sticks. I was using satellight but the lag is to bad for online games. (when i was in boston i was on cable)I finaly went and bought a 56k USR modem. But when i connect i only get connected at 26.5k. Now i called the phone company and there is no line noise. I am not multiplexed. I dont think i have any other extenions.
I was going to run a new line from the outside box to my inside box, but i wanted to know if the distance to the phone company could have anything to do with my speed being so low?

More about : modems

July 13, 2003 8:50:17 PM

Wait for someone more experienced to answer but here is my 2Cents

1) Speed depends on the service you bought. If you bought 28.8 then 25 is about what I'd expect. If your buying 56Kb service from your ISP I would expect 40+/-

2) Yes the quality of the line can make a difference.

3) Is it a win modem or a full hardware modem?
If you are running a "Win" modem on some very old/slow
system you might get poor performance.

4) Did you do anything to optimize the connection settings?
If you optimized for DSL or Cable you might have shot
yourself in the foot.





The loving are the daring!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Flinx on 07/13/03 04:52 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 13, 2003 8:58:05 PM

Maybe i did not explain. It's a normal 56k modem. like it dials a number and connects.
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July 14, 2003 12:05:06 AM

POTS modems can be very finicky creatures. But long before there were DSL and cable modems, that was the only way to go. People nowadays simply would not believe the hype that surrounded the release of a faster protocol back in the day. At one point, I paid over $200 for a 14.4 kbps modem. Then I had to carry it home in a an old lunch pail, uphill, in the rain, with no shoes, blah blah blah... :wink:

I have also worked for a nationwide ISP that supported dialup, 1-way cable, 2-way cable, and ADSL access, that operated <i>only</i> in rural areas (that was their target demographic, go figure), so I think I qualify to answer your question. Not suprisingly, that ISP, High Speed Access Corp, is no longer in business.

Anyway, I'll give you a short answer and a long answer. The short answer: Give up now. Most likely your rural phone lines are simply too poor to support 56k. And the long answer, that I would give you if you were a customer calling my ISP:

First lets start with the obvious stuff, which I am sure you have probably already covered. This <A HREF="http://www.techspot.com/tweaks/winxp_modem/index.shtml" target="_new">article at Techspot</A> covers all the basics. If you know you have the basics covered, just skip it.

Once you have that done, you can do some testing to find out where the problem is. The very first thing you should do is connect your modem to the telco's box outside your house, and see if you get any improvements. This will let you know whether or not the problem lies within your home's wiring or not. If you get higher speeds connected directly to the telco box, then your house is the problem. However, being in a rural area, I doubt you will see any improvements. Nevertheless, there is no point in troubleshooting any further if your modem is trying to cope with faulty wiring. If the problem is the indoor wiring, <A HREF="http://modemsite.com/56k/cat5.asp" target="_new">fix it</A>.

Once that is out of the way, we can move on to the fun stuff. Since you have a USR modem, you can test your line to see if it is 56k compatible. However this only works with non-softmodem USR models. If your modem has a chip on it that says "Conexant", you have a softmodem, a.k.a. winmodem, and the line testing feature will not be available. Assuming it is not a softmodem, <A HREF="http://modemsite.com/56k/x2-adconversion.asp" target="_new">read this</A> to learn how to test your line for 56k compatibility. If it isn't compatible, then you may as well give up, or try another ISP. A different signal path (telephone number) may yield better results. Then again, the problem could be the wiring between you and the CO, in which case, it wouldn't.

If your line is 56k compatible, and assuming your ISP is using up-to-date 56k modems on the other end of the line, there is still really nothing you can do to improve your speed to this particular ISP. Not the answer you were looking for, eh? Most likely there is some sort of signal degradation (which can be noticibly audible, or not) that is preventing your modem from connecting at the faster protocol speeds. But don't even bother complaining to your telco about lousy data throughput. Their policy is, if they can hear your voice on the other end of the line, then your service is working just fine. They will tell you that your phone line was not designed for data transmission, and they would be right.

Really your only recourse at this point is to try different ISP's. You may find a better signal path with another ISP, or perhaps they will be using better modems. Sometimes modems simply do not like each other, regardless of standardized protocols, and refuse to connect at the speeds they are capable of. But, even if you do find an ISP that allows you to connect at 34666 bps or higher, you may then run into problems keeping the connection alive, given your lousy phone lines. A v.92 connection is simply not as robust as a slower connection. It does not handle errors as well as one of the slower protocols. Sure, its supposed to automatically fallback to a slower speed, but when working for HSA, by far, our most common fix to dialup connectivity issues was to <A HREF="http://modemsite.com/56k/ms.asp" target="_new">disable 56k</A> entirely. What is worse, connecting at slow speeds, or not staying connected at all?

<font color=white><b>_________________________________________________</font color=white></b>
Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 14, 2003 12:13:15 AM

Great answer. Must have been a tough job with all those potentially unhappy clients!



The loving are the daring!
July 14, 2003 12:47:59 AM

Lol you have no idea... you have not lived until you have had to troubleshoot a 1-way cable modem (downstream cable, upstream dialup) with an irate commercial customer paying an outrageous monthly fee and losing money for every minute that his connection is down... AAGHH the NIGHTMARES!!

<font color=white><b>_________________________________________________</font color=white></b>
Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 14, 2003 1:05:23 AM

well...if the modem is old then that may be the problem...it seems (at least for my isp) that my old modem although rated 56k could only connect at 28.8 and on a good day 30kb/s...i looked into it a little and found that my isp had just switched to v90 and i was using a flex modem...so in other words if its old an new modem may help. Too bad tho...cause i liked that modem...was hardware accelerated.

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 14, 2003 5:15:16 AM

well i will try runing a line from the box outside to the modem. the modem is new. has v.92. it's about a week old.
a b à CPUs
July 14, 2003 7:26:39 AM

I think it's your distance from the telco's switchbox. I'm fairly certain the problem with rural locations is that the signal strength is not that good when traveling long distances over old lines. My mom connects at 26.4 also.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
a c 159 à CPUs
July 14, 2003 9:25:16 AM

If your phone line is split up into 2 sections, example-one for the kitchen, and one for the bedroom, then you won't be able to connect at 56k. Your signal strength will be half, even in a brand new house.
July 14, 2003 8:29:58 PM

If you mean two phone lines, then you could conceivably get cross-talk interference over the lines, which would certainly muck things up. A single physical phone cord has 4 wires in it, but only the inside 2 are used if you have a single line. If you have two lines, then the outside two are used as well. With all 4 thinly shielded lines in one wire, it can create interference.

However splitting a single line will not affect the signal strength. You could have a phone in every room of the house and still have a decent line, if everything is wired properly and the total length of wire does not exceed approximately 2 miles (can't remember the <i>exact</i> ITU-T limit on distance offhand).

<font color=white><b>_________________________________________________</font color=white></b>
Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 14, 2003 8:49:35 PM

It could be your modem or more likely the wiring between your modem and your ISP, but don't be fooled, it could very well be your ISP too.

I'm living right smack in the middle of town, have great wiring, have a hardware USR v.92 56K modem, and even had my aunt (who works for local telco) test my line to my ISP.

Yet I usually only get between 26K and 33K.

Why? I had no idea why until I found a friend that worked inside my ISP. It turns out that all of the minor price hikes over the last couple of years have been to ugprade broadband connection speeds and dialup connections have been given jack. As a result the throughput for dialups has degraded over the years while broadband customers have gotten more and more bandwidth.

So basically, if you're on a dialup, expect to be screwed by your ISP. They just don't care about you anymore. They have bigger cash cows to worry about and so long as you can still connect, no matter how slowly, they consider you well served.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 14, 2003 9:12:44 PM

Issues like this with modems are horribly hard to diagnose. In short, if you have a new clean installation of your operating system, and have properly installed the drivers for your modem then:
It could be your ISP call and ask them, but I doubt it
It could be your internal phone lines
It could be the external lines especially if the home is a little older.

Have you tried using another jack in the house yet?
Are you using any splitters or very long/old phone cable? 6 feet or less is preferred with NO splitters.
Since voice only requires very little bandwidth, the phone companies are only required to supply a minimum of 28.8 (which often looks like 26 on your modem)

...patiently waiting for 10Ghz processors and immersible virtual reality.
!