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:: Modem Strings


Background

:: For a modem strings more specific to your modem

56k Troubleshooting
This document is written to help 56K modem users understand the problems with getting a 56K connection, you can skip to the "Changing your modem string" if you do not want to read about the theory behind 56k modems.

Connection Speed
Please note this is written from what we, as an ISP for 4 years, have observed and we could be wrong. But we have seen it for a LONG TIME now. Not only do 56K modems assume that you have a perfect phone line, but did you know that 56K modems have a maximum speed of 53K due to an FCC regulation? Some of you will recall the 33.6K modem that, if you were lucky, you received a 28.8K or 31.2K connection, again where you lived was key. Distance to your Central Office (the first one that your home connects to), and the quality of the lines in your home and any noise that might be on them (transformers from answering machines, a line too close to a florescent light fixture, etc.) are all key factors that affect your connection speed.

Surfing in the Rain
Another reason that some may experience bad connections, some areas of Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, we have noticed after a good rain (we do get a lot rain in Florida) speeds are slower for their connections, and last if the phone company has a lot of people online, they give you whatever they can (which is why one day you get 48K and the next you get 28.8K). They give you plenty to talk on, BUT they only guarantee 9.6K baud, call and ask them.

Method to the madness
The new 56k modems are designed to use a digital channel that your ISP had to start buying about a year ago (which is why the costs did not drop, AOL went up, & AT&T put a limit on hours), and this allows your modem, if you could get a clean enough phone line, to reach the speed of 53K baud, about twice what 33.6K people have, and 4 times for 14.4K people. Not bad.

Now the problem we have found, is that most phone lines are NOT capable of 53K (56K modems). We find the 56k modems will start at 53K and work their way down. The problem seems to be that the modem does not verify that it has a good connection and negotiation speed before saying "we have a carrier." One slip by the phone company, and you are dropped. If it is not a big enough slip to drop your machine, your computer will attempt to log you in with corrupt information. Our servers receive this "garbage" as your username and password, and you are then told by your operating system that you have a password problem. So by now, most have figured out, "hey that is what I am getting. Great, how do I fix it.."

First, this is not guaranteed to fix it, your lines might be so bad that you may want to turn off the 56k due to contact drops, but we do have a trick/test for you. First off, if you do this procedure and the modem no longer responds, you do not have a 56K modem, or you have one with older code. If the modem stops responding, skip to "Putting Everything Back" and reboot the computer and realize on your next purchase you might want to buy a 3COM modem (NOT a Winmodem), they give us the least problems of any. And yes they cost a little more, but only $10-$20.

For a modem strings more specific to your modem.



Changing your modem string (more info first)

1.Double click "My Computer"

2.Double click "Dialup networking"

3.Right click (right mouse button) the "US-IT" icon (the one you use to call us) and then chose properties.

4.Click "Configure," then "Connection," then the "Advanced" tab.

5.Click in the empty "extra settings" area (normally a white box/strip). If it is NOT EMPTY do not proceed, write down the line and call USIT Technical Support). Otherwise, insert the following string:

If you have a v.90 modem (all newer modems)
+MS=12,1,28800,44000

If you have an X2 modem (older modems before the v.90 standard was released)
S15=128S27=64S33=32&K0&I0

6.Click OK until you are returned to "Dial-Up networking," then Shutdown and reboot your computer.

This is not a guarantee to fix your lines, but we tested it with a problem line and were very happy with the results. Just so you know, these "high tech modems" can raise your speed if more bandwidth becomes available, so as you are on, there is a good chance your modem is going faster than you think, do not let the initial connection speed fool you, also, there are a lot of people on the Internet, if you want to hit a site for a speed check, use www.us-it.net. If you pick www.yahoo.com on a bad night the problem could be in another state not with your modem.



Putting everything back

1.Double click "My Computer"

2.Double click "Dialup networking"

3.Right click (right mouse button) the "US-IT" icon (the one you use to call us) and then chose properties.

4.Click "Configure," then "Connection," then the "Advanced" tab.

5.Click in the Extra settings (normally a white box/strip) and delete the srtring you entered above from the white box/strip

6.Click OK until you are returned to "Dial-Up networking," then Shutdown and reboot your computer.

[END]