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WinME Modem Tweaking Guide

By: Cameron Wilmot | Guides | Posted: Jul 12, 2001 4:00 am

Modem Tweaking


Since we have got some updated modem drivers and the networking side of things are tweaked it time to tweak the all mighty modem. To access the modem options, click Start --> Settings --> Control Panel --> Modems. This will bring you to a screen similar to the one below...



Highlight the modem which your Internet connections uses and click Properties... In the general tab it basically gives you the option to increase or decrease of the modem speaker. Now click the Connection tab and untick Cancel the call if not connected within x and Disconnect a call if idle more then x. Now click Port Settings and you'll be see a screen similar to the one below...



If you have a reliable connection (eg unexpected disconnects) change the Receive Buffer and Transmit Buffer to Maximum respectively. After changing these options and you find yourself getting unexpected disconnects and drop outs simple click the Defaults button to revert back to default settings.


Under the Advanced tab in the connection tab using Error Control and Flow Control as well as adding initialization (aka init) strings...



I recommend you keep Use error control enabled as is (in the image above) same with Use flow control. Although it's well worth disabling error control and seeing how the connections reacts. If your not having trouble connecting or staying connected to the internet DO NOT change Extra settings (init strings) as this is only required when you are having connection problems or want to enable certain protocols or connect speeds (bps).


Proxy Servers


Proxy servers can be either good or bad. The good is faster webpage loading times the bad is _sometimes_ not get latest pages (cached pages). Generally though, if your ISP has a public proxy server give it a shot and see if it is much faster (or slower) for you. Ask your ISP how to enable use of proxy servers.


Dialup Networking Options


Once you have created a Dialup Networking Connection click Start --> Settings --> Dial-up Networking. Under the general tab there are is only one option worth changing, that is area code (eg 03 in Australia) if you are dialing a ISP PoP which is a local call there is no need for a area code. Now click networking and you'll find a screen similar to the one below...



Above the default shipping options in WinME, there is no need to change any options here, unless you are running a server and chose to change the type of PPP server. In tests I have found keeping Enable software compression better being Enabled. As always, trying enabling and disabling this options to find out which is best. The Security options just gives you an option of changing your Username and Password (as well as domain), other options included advanced encrypting options which we don't really have to worry about. The scripting tab gives you the option of using a script (*.SCP) file to connect to your ISP (this isn't used much nowadays). Unless you wish to bind 2 modems together, the Multilink tab is useless and finally we have the Dialing tab with pretty basic options which are based upon your needs. However there is one handy option I suggest enabling when attending a LAN, this option is Never Dial a connection. This will stop such games as Half Life checking for updated versions and drivers via the web.


Port Tweaking


I'll make this section easy for everyone... Click Start --> Settings --> Control Panel --> System --> Device Manager --> Ports. Depending on what port your modem uses, highlight each Communications Port and click Properties then the Port Settings tab and change all the options in this tab so they match the settings in the image below...



Modem Cache


Yeah, even your modem has memory to be cached. To enable modem cache follow the following instructions...


Click START, RUN, type system.ini (C:windowssystem.ini)


Find the section [386Enh] and add this:


If your modem is on Com 2 replace X with 2, and to find out what your modem IRQ is (enter Control Panel, Modems,


Diagnostics, More Info) replace X with your modem's IRC...




Remember brackets '()' are not needed, save and close.


Short Gaming Options


Now that the Windows side has been tweaked, many games such as Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake2 and Quake3 use options (or commands) called 'Rate' and 'Pushlatency'. Changing these online options will have different affects for everyone (better or worse). Below are some short guidelines on recommended 'rate' and 'pushlatency' settings you can try:


When your connected in to a game (Quakeworld, Quake2, Q3, Half LIfe etc...) Bring up the console by pressing (~) then type the following:


rate 2500 - 3000 (for 28 Bps - 56 Bps)


rate 5000 - 10000 (network, isdn or cable)


Try anywhere between 300 and 10000, find what feels best for you...


pushlatency -xxx


(replace -xxx with your current ping)




Although this guide is filled with pretty 'basic' settings they do work and increase the performance of your Dialup PPP Internet Connection in WindowsME! Many of the options are flexible, meaning different values will result in different performance gains (or loses) on different computer systems. I'm happy to say that WindowsME (unlike Win9x) comes with a lot of preset options which are already at a optimal level...


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