Although there is a increasing amount of internet users using cable and satellite connections, the majority are using standard traditional Dialup modems to access the internet. For us users who do not have cable (or satellite) in their area let's face it, Dialup modems will never be as fast as cable and satellite connections. However, there are many settings and options we can change in WindowsME to increase the performance and speed of your Dialup modem. We can improve such things as latency (lag), connection quality, general download speeds and more! This guide will work with all modems, internal or external, 56k or v.90. Now that we have clarified what this guide will do for you let's begin...
Before we even begin to start changing settings, update your modem drivers. it's more then likely that WinME will include the most updated drivers. Although make sure to check, http://www.56k.com, http://www.drivershq.com or http://www.updates.com for latest modem drivers. Also consider upgrading your modem to v.90 if it isn't already... Such websites as http://www.56k.com and http://www.v90.com have more information on this much debated subject.
Poor connection quality or line quality can be the main cause for slow or poor internet connections. I'll admit it's hard to get your Telephone Company to fix phone line 'noise' problems. Older homes with poor wiring will find this problem more common then newer houses etc. If you suspect your phone line is off poor quality, there is a short procedure to find out for sure if it is or not...
Pick up your phone, Dial 1, you shouldn't hear any 'noise' or 'static' sounds while attempting this. If you hear any slight noise or sound, ring your Telephone Company and tell them your problem and get them to fix it. Simply say to them, "My telephone line is of poor quality and when I pickup my phone I hear static and odd noises..." It is usually the Telephone Company's obligation to fix this problem. I found this same problem on my phone line...
The result in this problem being fixed will be improved reliability which = less drop outs / disconnects, and you should see increased connection speeds. Now, check all your modem line connectors between your modem and phone line jack, untangle any knots. Your modem + modem cord shouldn't be any further then 30 meters to the front of your house, over 30 meters this is where problems start to occur (eg Lag). The other big dilemma is how far you and your ISP are away from your local telephone 'Exchange'. Your exchange should be no further then 10 km's (6 miles) from your house and your ISP...
While checking for updated modem drivers and checking telephone line quality is vital, it is also important that you check to see if your telephone line has a feature called "call waiting" enabled. Call waiting is a feature provided by telephone company's so when you are on another call, the phone will beep notifying you there is someone waiting to speak to you. When you are on the internet and this happens it will 95 out of 100 times disconnect you because of the line interference.
- For Australian Telephones: Dial #43# to disable and *43# to enable.
- For NZ Telephones: Dial *52 to disable.
- For Canadian Telephones: Dial *70 or #70
- For USA Telephones: Dial *70
If these don't work I suggest you ring your telephone company asking how to disable call waiting.
There are certain options we can change and remove in WinME Networking for increased performance... If your either on a LAN (Local Area Network) or not on a LAN you can still change various settings to improve internet speed, not network speed. Since this guide is focused more on Internet or networking, will feature non-networking settings. Although some of the following tweaks will apply to persons who are on a LAN.
First we will need to access Networking Options, to do this click Start --> Settings --> Control Panel --> Network. If your computer is not part of a LAN you should only have 3 network components installed:
Client for Microsoft Networks
Each are need to be able to access the internet. If you have any other network components installed, remove them. Although if your ISP has installed certain network components and protocols leave them be and don't change or delete them as you may need them to access the internet.
There is no need to change any options in Client for Microsoft Networks as this only handles logging onto local network and remote network (ISP). So let's skip to Dial-up Adapter options, highlight Dial-up Adapter and click Properties, now click the Advanced tab. In the property box click Enable Point to Point IP and click NO. I've found the IP Packet Size automatic value in WinME _better_ then Win9x. Try generally experimenting with this value to find out which is best for your connection. By default, Record a log file is disabled, I see no real point for this to be enabled unless you want to record a log of connections and errors... The last option in Dial-up Adapter, Use IPX Header compression is not need and disabling will speed up the connection.
The TCP/IP options in WinME have been somewhat cut down compared to Win9x and there is no apparent need to change any options in TCP/IP. Remember the options changed in Dial-up Adapter are for non-network Internet users ONLY, changes some options may decrease local network performance. Some NIC's have there only separate protocols and options. If you are on a LAN and wish to try tuning Dialup options do so but ONLY change Client for Microsoft Networks, Dial-up Adapter and TCP/IP and only them. Changes any other with a slight change (eg TCP/IP for realtek...) in the name, otherwise it will change local network settings and not remote ISP settings which we are aiming to tweak...