Frequently Asked Questions
 
How does my computer connect to Dnet?
  Normally, your computer uses a modem to dial out to Dnet over the same voice-grade lines that your telephone uses. The call is routed through a maze of copper telephone lines and a series of switches and other equipment to the telephone company's central office. From there it is routed onto a digital line that comes straight to the Dnet equipment (a bank of 56K compatible modems), which tries to establish the highest possible safe transmission speed. In other words, the two modems on each end communicate with each other to see how fast they can send and receive data over the current path without losing too much data. Each connection can take a different route to the phone company, which explains why connection speeds and ease of connection can differ from one dial-up to the next.
Is Dnet Internet Services V.90?
  Currently all of the modems that you connect to at Dnet are V.90 and compatible with all other standard dial-up modems. We have digital lines that run from each point of presence (POP) to the equipment here at Dnet in Franklin, NC.
Why don't I connect at 56K when I have a 56K (V.90) modem?
  First of all, 56K modems can receive data at speeds of up to 56Kbps, but due to FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rulings on maximum permissible transmit power levels during download transmissions, speeds of 54Kbps are the maximum allowed by law. Actual data speeds received will vary greatly depending on the quality of your phone lines and how well your modem handles them, which will also affect whether you can connect and stay connected.
Here are some major modem help sites where you can learn more about your modem
  http://www.modems.com/
http://www.modemhelp.com/
http://www.modemhelp.org/
http://www.modemsite.com/
Line Noise, Your Phone Company, And Your Modem
  Your modem can only perform to its full potential when it is connected to a phone system that can clearly transmit the tones required for high-speed communications. If you’re plagued by slow downloads, low connection speeds and frequent disconnects, you could be experiencing problems with phone line quality. We realize that the phone company is not required to provide data-grade service and that in some areas the telephone company is still utilizing technology deployed in the 1970's, but we do want to assist you in what you need to know for inquiring about your phone service. We estimate that telephone line quality problems account for at least 25% of the connection problems called in to us. To make situations even worse, most phone companies will only guarantee a standard residential phone line to transmit data at 2,400 bps. Whether or not they'll help get your phone line working above 2,400 bps is largely a matter of how helpful your local phone company is. Some phone carriers offer special grade phone lines for extra monthly fees. These phone lines provide better signal to noise ratios and lower loss than standard phone lines and should perform quite well with high-speed modems and fax machines.

The phone company has a variety of devices that may be present on your telephone line(s) that can adversely affect your ability to communicate at high speeds with a High Speed Modem:

  Bridge Taps & Half Taps
  Over the years, extra wires are connected to your telephone service as a result of normal service and maintenance. These can cause buzzing and radio frequency interference on your phone line.
  Loads
  Loads are transformers used to increase the volume on a telephone line. They can create distortion in critical parts of the phone signal, which can cause problems when trying to communicate via modem. In extreme cases, phone lines may be unable to support touch-tone dialing. Standard telephone lines are also susceptible to a variety of problems such as "return loss", "pure loss" and "frequency distortion". The phone company can test for these conditions by running a Frequency Test (also called Frequency Slope Test or Frequency Twist Test) and a Loss Test (also called Return Loss Test).

There are a couple of steps that you can take to minimize line problems without involving the phone company.

  Remove extra phones from the line the modem is using.
  The more phones on a line, the more likely extra noise or interference will be introduced. Be especially wary of "novelty" phones that have neon lights or special "ring" sound effects. Also cordless phones, answering machines and fax machines offer interference on the phone line that will block modem signals.
  Have your phone jacks professionally wired.
  Jumper wires and homemade solutions for telephone wiring will likely work fine for voice and 2,400 BPS modems, but can cause serious problems with high-speed modems.
I keep getting disconnected? Am I being cut off?
  Actually, the most common reason for disconnects is that the modem port speed on the user’s computer is set too high (usually 115,200bps) which can garble the information sent from your modem. The modem port speed can be lowered in Windows 95, 98 and ME by going into My Computer> Control Panel> Modems. Once in Modems, highlight the modem that you are using and click the Properties button. Look at the bottom of the next box and it will show your modem port speed. You can use the down arrow at the right side of this box and scroll down to select a slower speed such as 57,600 or even 38,400bps.
Other settings on your computer could be responsible.
  Time spent composing and reading email or viewing web pages that are already loaded is not considered active, and your Internet Options may be set to disconnect during such periods of inactivity. To check this setting, click My Computer> Control Panel> Internet Options. Click the Connections tab, highlight the connection that you are using and then click the Settings button to the right. In the next box, go down to Dial-up settings and click the Advanced button to the lower right. In the Advanced Dial-up box that appears, the third item down is a check box you can select to "Disconnect if idle for xx minutes". Make sure that this is not set too low. The Windows default is 20 minutes, but you can change or disable it if you wish. Once reset, click the “Apply” button at the lower right hand corner and then click “OK”.

If you use Outlook Express, it may be set to terminate your connection as soon as it finishes checking your email. To check for that setting, open Outlook Express, click “Tools” on the toolbar at the top and then click “Options”. When the Options window opens, click the “Connection” tab at the top middle. Make sure there IS a check in the box that says, "Ask before switching dial-up connections" and make sure there is NOT a check in the box that says, "Hang up after sending and receiving". If there is a check there, remove it by clicking on it. Once the check is removed, click the “Apply” button at the lower right hand corner and then click “OK”.

We hope this has given you at least some idea of the complexities behind your connection to Dnet and how easily it can be affected, and there still more factors not covered here. As online customers ourselves, we know how frustrating a poor Internet connection can be, but the information above can help you get the best possible connection in your situation.