|How does my computer connect
|| 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
||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
|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
|| 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
|| 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
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.