Improve modem speed and reliability

A modem (MODulator DEModulator) is very old technology that uses an analogue signal to transmit digital data; the first modems were developed in the 1950s for North American air defence communications. It is therefore vital that the lines, equipment and software are all in first class condition; even then it is still old technology and prone to problems. If you are using a modem to dialup to the Internet then be sure to check the following tips for as good a connection as possible.

Line diagnostics
The line (or extension cable) must be in excellent condition to support data, whereas voice calls will still work even on poor lines; additional connectors or socket doubling devices may degrade the quality of the line. Here's some tests to improve your line quality:

  • Is there a constant (unbroken, unpunctuated) dial tone using a standard telephone voice handset?
    • Yes: proceed to next step.
    • No:
      • If the dial tone is punctuated (short silent pauses) then have you got any Call Feature like Call Waiting, Ring Back, Reminder Call, etc.? Some may interfere with your internet access connection.
      • Disconnect all equipment from the main socket (including extension cables) and test again
      • If you have a dial tone, connect one piece of equipment and repeat test until you find the faulty item
      • Contact the vendor of the item, or your telephone line supplier to obtain a solution
        • BT faults can be reported on 0800 800 151 (home) or 0800 800 154 (business)
  • Additional line diagnostics (Contact BT to request tests 1 and 2)
    BT can be contacted on 0800 800 151 (home) or 0800 800 154 (business)
    • Ask BT to perform an HR check (high resistance); they will fix any problems found
    • Ask BT to perform gain modification (increasing the gain on the line will improve data reliability)
    • Ask BT if a DACS line sharing device is fitted as this will restrict your speed to just 28k. If you have DACS then insist that it be removed. You can use our broadband checker (choose 'broadband signup' from our website) to check your telephone number for DACS; click 'BT notes' to see if a DACS device is fitted to your line.

Software diagnostics
The software in your computer may need resetting, re-installing or simply not be certified to work with Microsoft Windows. These are the most common solutions and checks:

Still no improvement? A new V92 external serial port modem may prove more reliable than USB or PCI modems.

Need more help? Please raise a ticket with 123vISP Support.

Article ID: 61, Created On: 10/20/2008, Modified: 10/20/2008

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