Slooowww dialup connection to ihug

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Jonski, May 3, 2004.

  1. Jonski

    Jonski Guest

    Anybody with thoughts on getting a more reliable dialup connection to
    ihug?

    I dial and get the modem connection at around 44000 - 45333 bps. Using
    System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.

    If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    connection. For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.

    It seems the throughput is only a fraction of the bandwidth available.
    If I use another application (eg retrieve mail and usenet articles at
    the same time) there is no increase in the throughput, unlike what I
    would expect (eg those download assistants that make multiple ftp
    connections to minimise download time)

    I've set MTU to 1524, as per ihug's dialup terminal window
    information, which is valid for speeds 44000 and above. They use MTU
    of 1500 below that.

    I have also added CRC errors and incomplete frames to the monitor, but
    don't get any. Also, no alignment errors, buffer overruns, or framing
    errors. This indicates the MTU is correct and that line quality and
    noise levels are fine for the current connection speed. However, it
    seems that I still can't rely on getting data through at the expected
    rates. I'm starting to think that the ihug servers are not responding
    as they should. But then it wouldn't just be me. Comments?

    Time of day, weather conditions etc make no difference. I'm in the
    city and can get ADSL if I want it, so I'm not too far from an
    exchange. I never get disconnects and the modem doesn't appear to
    retrain to a lower speed at any time.

    I'm running W98se, with an onboard US Robotics 56k winmodem. PC is a
    Pentium II 400 Dell Dimension V400, 64 Mb, freshly loaded with the
    latest drivers. Not a blaster I know, but it should handle web, email
    and usenet.

    So to summarise: I know that the modem and line is capable of better
    speeds (although I've yet to connect at 56k). It's just that I can't
    rely on it to do so.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance
    Jon
    Jonski, May 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Jonski

    EMB Guest

    In news:,
    Jonski <!> expelled:
    > Anybody with thoughts on getting a more reliable dialup connection to
    > ihug?
    >
    > I dial and get the modem connection at around 44000 - 45333 bps. Using
    > System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    > 1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.


    Check what speed your modem is retraining to - windows only reports the
    initial connect speed, not the actual speed when in use.

    >
    > If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    > several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    > connection. For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    > with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.


    That's 5KB/sec which is a GOOD dial up connection.

    >
    > It seems the throughput is only a fraction of the bandwidth available.
    > If I use another application (eg retrieve mail and usenet articles at
    > the same time) there is no increase in the throughput, unlike what I
    > would expect (eg those download assistants that make multiple ftp
    > connections to minimise download time)


    What speeds are you expecting? You've got about 5KB/sec max available -
    most ftp servers are capable of using this to it's maximum.

    >
    > I've set MTU to 1524, as per ihug's dialup terminal window
    > information, which is valid for speeds 44000 and above. They use MTU
    > of 1500 below that.
    >
    > I have also added CRC errors and incomplete frames to the monitor, but
    > don't get any. Also, no alignment errors, buffer overruns, or framing
    > errors. This indicates the MTU is correct and that line quality and
    > noise levels are fine for the current connection speed. However, it
    > seems that I still can't rely on getting data through at the expected
    > rates. I'm starting to think that the ihug servers are not responding
    > as they should. But then it wouldn't just be me. Comments?


    As above - check what your modem is actually doing. I'd guess you've got a
    noisy line and it's retraining.

    >
    > Time of day, weather conditions etc make no difference. I'm in the
    > city and can get ADSL if I want it, so I'm not too far from an
    > exchange. I never get disconnects and the modem doesn't appear to
    > retrain to a lower speed at any time.
    >
    > I'm running W98se, with an onboard US Robotics 56k winmodem. PC is a
    > Pentium II 400 Dell Dimension V400, 64 Mb, freshly loaded with the
    > latest drivers. Not a blaster I know, but it should handle web, email
    > and usenet.


    Lose the winmodem, buy a decent external modem (IME Dynalink are ok, and
    3Com are even better), then report back what happens.

    >
    > So to summarise: I know that the modem and line is capable of better
    > speeds (although I've yet to connect at 56k). It's just that I can't
    > rely on it to do so.


    You'll never connect at 56K - max is about 50K with perfect conditions.
    Anything 46K and above is the best you can really hope for. Remember modem
    connect figures are kilobits per second. To get kilobytes/second yuo need
    to divide by about 10 (start bit, 8 data bits, stop bit per byte).

    >
    > Any suggestions?


    Have a google for a modem FAQ and learn a bit more about the subject or pay
    someone who understands what's happening to troublehoot your setup. And if
    you wnat/expect more than 5KB/sec throughput then get ADSL.

    >
    > Thanks in advance
    > Jon


    --
    EMB
    change two to number to reply
    EMB, May 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. Jonski

    Nihil Guest

    On Mon, 03 May 2004 14:38:17 +1200, Jonski wrote:

    > Anybody with thoughts on getting a more reliable dialup connection to
    > ihug? I dial and get the modem connection at around 44000 - 45333 bps.


    This is not necessarly a fixed speed, it can shift up and down at any time
    while you're connected but you would expect it to be relatively stable
    givin decent line conditions.

    > Using System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    > 1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.
    > If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    > several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    > connection.


    Not a reliable method of gauging the connection qaulity.

    > For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    > with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.


    If you were downloading from some arbitrary site then that doesn't mean a
    whole lot as it might have just been the luck of the draw. i.e. by the time
    of your 5th try their may have been less congestion and/or server load.

    > It seems the throughput is only a fraction of the bandwidth available.


    Well you're sharing bandwidth for starters.

    > If I use another application (eg retrieve mail and usenet articles at
    > the same time) there is no increase in the throughput, unlike what I
    > would expect (eg those download assistants that make multiple ftp
    > connections to minimise download time)


    Those download assistants are more suited to broadband connections
    overcoming throttling per tcp connection at the remote server. In your
    case, flooding your humble modem line with multiple connections to the same
    ftp server may do more harm than good. That is because the roundtrip delay
    calculations for the different tcp connections can interfere with each
    other causing suboptimal throughput and strange cyclic effects in
    transmission rates.

    > I've set MTU to 1524, as per ihug's dialup terminal window
    > information,


    Not necessary. Both ends negotiate the MTU at the beginning of a
    connection, and then use that MTU at both ends.

    > which is valid for speeds 44000 and above. They use MTU
    > of 1500 below that.
    >
    > I have also added CRC errors and incomplete frames to the monitor, but
    > don't get any. Also, no alignment errors, buffer overruns, or framing
    > errors. This indicates the MTU is correct


    None of that has anything to do with MTU. Modems receive and transmit an
    asynchronous character datastream, without packet boundaries. Internally
    modems also use packets for V42 but these packets have nothing to do with
    MTU or PPP packets i.e. V42 packet boundaries are determined dynamically by
    modems based on traffic flow, without relation to PPP packets or MTU sizes.

    > and that line quality and noise levels are fine for the current connection speed. However, it
    > seems that I still can't rely on getting data through at the expected
    > rates. I'm starting to think that the ihug servers are not responding
    > as they should. But then it wouldn't just be me. Comments?


    *snip*

    > So to summarise: I know that the modem and line is capable of better
    > speeds (although I've yet to connect at 56k). It's just that I can't
    > rely on it to do so.
    >
    > Any suggestions?


    Download a large binary file from a local Ihug FTP server under low load
    (i.e. late at night). If you get the expected throughput then but poor
    throughput from several arbitrary sites over sevral days then your problem
    is probably more due to your ISPs lack of bandwidth.

    --
    ....check out the nametag.. you're in MY world now grandma...
    Nihil, May 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Jonski

    Jonski Guest

    On Mon, 3 May 2004 14:49:45 +1200, "EMB" <> wrote:

    >Check what speed your modem is retraining to - windows only reports the
    >initial connect speed, not the actual speed when in use.


    Seems to be constant - I'm also using 3Com's modem manager to report
    this. Is there any other way of keeping tabs on the *current* connect
    speed?

    >> If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    >> several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    >> connection. For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    >> with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.

    >
    >That's 5KB/sec which is a GOOD dial up connection.


    Yes, after 5 tries. It's usually *much* lower. There appears to be no
    consistency to the data speed compared to the bandwidth. The connect
    is usually 44000, giving a potential bandwidth of around 5KBs, but the
    actual trhoughput is a lot lower, typ 1KBs

    >What speeds are you expecting? You've got about 5KB/sec max available -
    >most ftp servers are capable of using this to it's maximum.


    I'm expecting 5KBs. I'm not often getting it. Mail, ftp, news, web,
    any/all significantly lower than expected.

    >Lose the winmodem, buy a decent external modem (IME Dynalink are ok, and
    >3Com are even better), then report back what happens.


    Tempting. However, throwing money at a problem in the hope it goes
    away isn't really what I'm looking to do. I've learned the hard way
    that one should find out the actual problem and fix that. If the
    problem's the modem (not drivers, line conditions, net load etc) then
    that's fine. :)

    >Have a google for a modem FAQ and learn a bit more about the subject or pay
    >someone who understands what's happening to troublehoot your setup. And if
    >you wnat/expect more than 5KB/sec throughput then get ADSL.


    Well, I've always been happy AT'ing a modem directly, and I understand
    it as far as the first few layers. However, TCP/IP is a much more
    complicated beast, and I seem to be finding I can't apply first
    principles to it anymore :-(

    Thanks for your suggestions!
    Jon
    Jonski, May 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Jonski

    Jonski Guest

    On Mon, 3 May 2004 16:17:09 +1200, Nihil <> wrote:

    >> Using System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    >> 1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.
    >> If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    >> several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    >> connection.

    >
    >Not a reliable method of gauging the connection qaulity.


    Fair enough, but surely it's a rough-and-ready way? What would I use
    to be more accurate? I mean, it's easy to see on the monitor that
    ihug's news server stops responding for minutes at a time...

    >> For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    >> with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.

    >
    >If you were downloading from some arbitrary site then that doesn't mean a
    >whole lot as it might have just been the luck of the draw. i.e. by the time
    >of your 5th try their may have been less congestion and/or server load.


    I think I'm gonna test it with large ftp's from ihug's own servers.

    >> It seems the throughput is only a fraction of the bandwidth available.

    >
    >Well you're sharing bandwidth for starters.


    Sorry, please explain? If I've got say only one app downloading,
    who/what am I sharing with?

    >Those download assistants are more suited to broadband connections
    >overcoming throttling per tcp connection at the remote server.


    I've had success in the past with two, or a max of three simultaneous
    ftp connections on dialup. That was on a different PC though.

    >In your
    >case, flooding your humble modem line with multiple connections to the same
    >ftp server may do more harm than good. That is because the roundtrip delay
    >calculations for the different tcp connections can interfere with each
    >other causing suboptimal throughput and strange cyclic effects in
    >transmission rates.


    Hmmm, I'll need to do some reading here... :)

    >> I've set MTU to 1524, as per ihug's dialup terminal window
    >> information,

    >
    >Not necessary. Both ends negotiate the MTU at the beginning of a
    >connection, and then use that MTU at both ends.


    Does this mean those mag articles and tuning applets aren't necessary?

    >None of that has anything to do with MTU. Modems receive and transmit an
    >asynchronous character datastream, without packet boundaries. Internally
    >modems also use packets for V42 but these packets have nothing to do with
    >MTU or PPP packets i.e. V42 packet boundaries are determined dynamically by
    >modems based on traffic flow, without relation to PPP packets or MTU sizes.


    Fair enough. More reading coming up...

    >Download a large binary file from a local Ihug FTP server under low load
    >(i.e. late at night). If you get the expected throughput then but poor
    >throughput from several arbitrary sites over sevral days then your problem
    >is probably more due to your ISPs lack of bandwidth.


    Shall do, and report later.

    Cheers
    Jon
    Jonski, May 3, 2004
    #5
  6. Jonski

    EMB Guest

    In news:,
    Jonski <!> expelled:
    > On Mon, 3 May 2004 14:49:45 +1200, "EMB" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Lose the winmodem, buy a decent external modem (IME Dynalink are ok,
    >> and 3Com are even better), then report back what happens.

    >
    > Tempting. However, throwing money at a problem in the hope it goes
    > away isn't really what I'm looking to do. I've learned the hard way
    > that one should find out the actual problem and fix that. If the
    > problem's the modem (not drivers, line conditions, net load etc) then
    > that's fine. :)
    >

    With the amount of time I have wasted trying to make winmodems perform
    reliably (normally as a freebie for friends/family) I won't touch them any
    more. A quick sub-$50 purchase on trademe is worthwhile even if all it does
    is confirm a line problem, and an absolute bargain if it solves the problem!
    If you're in Auck I'll lend you an external 3Com to try if you want.


    --
    EMB
    change two to number to reply
    EMB, May 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Jonski

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "Jonski" <!> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Anybody with thoughts on getting a more reliable dialup connection to
    > ihug?
    >
    > I dial and get the modem connection at around 44000 - 45333 bps. Using
    > System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    > 1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.
    >
    > If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    > several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    > connection. For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    > with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.
    >
    > It seems the throughput is only a fraction of the bandwidth available.
    > If I use another application (eg retrieve mail and usenet articles at
    > the same time) there is no increase in the throughput, unlike what I
    > would expect (eg those download assistants that make multiple ftp
    > connections to minimise download time)
    >
    > I've set MTU to 1524, as per ihug's dialup terminal window
    > information, which is valid for speeds 44000 and above. They use MTU
    > of 1500 below that.
    >
    > I have also added CRC errors and incomplete frames to the monitor, but
    > don't get any. Also, no alignment errors, buffer overruns, or framing
    > errors. This indicates the MTU is correct and that line quality and
    > noise levels are fine for the current connection speed. However, it
    > seems that I still can't rely on getting data through at the expected
    > rates. I'm starting to think that the ihug servers are not responding
    > as they should. But then it wouldn't just be me. Comments?
    >
    > Time of day, weather conditions etc make no difference. I'm in the
    > city and can get ADSL if I want it, so I'm not too far from an
    > exchange. I never get disconnects and the modem doesn't appear to
    > retrain to a lower speed at any time.
    >
    > I'm running W98se, with an onboard US Robotics 56k winmodem. PC is a
    > Pentium II 400 Dell Dimension V400, 64 Mb, freshly loaded with the
    > latest drivers. Not a blaster I know, but it should handle web, email
    > and usenet.
    >
    > So to summarise: I know that the modem and line is capable of better
    > speeds (although I've yet to connect at 56k). It's just that I can't
    > rely on it to do so.
    >
    > Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks in advance
    > Jon


    Usually ihug connects at 52.0 Kbps, with the odd connect at 50.2 Kbps.
    Slingshot used to surprisingly enough connect at 52.0 Kbps as well. For
    some reason Slingshot has been constantly connecting at 53.2 Kbps.
    You might have to check your line connections to the PC and phone line.
    Could be worth trying another modem.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, May 3, 2004
    #7
  8. Jonski

    colinco Guest

    In article <>,
    scrooge@*shot.co.nz says...
    > Usually ihug connects at 52.0 Kbps, with the odd connect at 50.2 Kbps.
    > Slingshot used to surprisingly enough connect at 52.0 Kbps as well. For
    > some reason Slingshot has been constantly connecting at 53.2 Kbps.
    >

    All meaningless figures. After you hangup check the actual speed that
    the modem finally decided was workable on that connection.
    http://www.modemsite.com/56k/diag.asp
    colinco, May 3, 2004
    #8
  9. Jonski

    E. Scrooge Guest

    "colinco" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > scrooge@*shot.co.nz says...
    > > Usually ihug connects at 52.0 Kbps, with the odd connect at 50.2 Kbps.
    > > Slingshot used to surprisingly enough connect at 52.0 Kbps as well. For
    > > some reason Slingshot has been constantly connecting at 53.2 Kbps.
    > >

    > All meaningless figures. After you hangup check the actual speed that
    > the modem finally decided was workable on that connection.
    > http://www.modemsite.com/56k/diag.asp


    The connecting speed can be a healthy sign that all is well.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, May 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Jonski

    colinco Guest

    In article <>,
    scrooge@*shot.co.nz says...
    > The connecting speed can be a healthy sign that all is well.
    >

    Or it can be trouble when the inevitable downshift craps out.
    colinco, May 3, 2004
    #10
  11. Jonski

    Edward Kitto Guest

    In article <>,
    ! says...
    >
    > Tempting. However, throwing money at a problem in the hope it goes
    > away isn't really what I'm looking to do. I've learned the hard way
    > that one should find out the actual problem and fix that. If the
    > problem's the modem (not drivers, line conditions, net load etc) then
    > that's fine. :)
    >
    > >Have a google for a modem FAQ and learn a bit more about the subject or pay
    > >someone who understands what's happening to troublehoot your setup. And if
    > >you wnat/expect more than 5KB/sec throughput then get ADSL.

    >
    > Well, I've always been happy AT'ing a modem directly, and I understand
    > it as far as the first few layers. However, TCP/IP is a much more
    > complicated beast, and I seem to be finding I can't apply first
    > principles to it anymore :-(
    >



    I've been having the same problem with Paradise since Saturday. Good
    connect speeds but little throughput. The same on two different PCs one
    with a winmodem the other an external Motorola. Tech help is unhelpful, I
    think they are there for damage control.
    Edward Kitto, May 4, 2004
    #11
  12. Jonski

    Jonski Guest

    On Tue, 4 May 2004 18:45:28 +1200, (Edward
    Kitto) wrote:

    >I've been having the same problem with Paradise since Saturday. Good
    >connect speeds but little throughput. The same on two different PCs one
    >with a winmodem the other an external Motorola. Tech help is unhelpful, I
    >think they are there for damage control.


    Hi Edward

    It makes me wonder: I usually get 20% used bandwidth unless I redial
    several times and am not happy until I get something over 50%.

    It appears that the servers immediately upstream (news and mail) are
    deliberately throttling the connection.

    Today, I had to reset my connection four times because news and mail
    literally stopped responding. Perhaps there was a 4pm rush on clearing
    mail and getting updates news headers. The DNS servers obviously
    needed an espresso as I couldn't get a ping from anything. Sigh.

    Anyway, if I ever decide to get ADSL, I'm guessing that this
    throttling will continue to be the case, ie 20% load to local servers.
    So can someone remind me, what am I paying for?

    Cheers
    Jon
    Jonski, May 5, 2004
    #12
  13. Jonski

    K Guest

    On Mon, 03 May 2004 14:38:17 +1200, Jonski
    <!> wrote:

    >Anybody with thoughts on getting a more reliable dialup connection to
    >ihug?
    >
    >I dial and get the modem connection at around 44000 - 45333 bps. Using
    >System Monitor, I see that my data throughput is often averaging
    >1Kbytes per second, although it may occasionally peak to 2k.
    >
    >If I dial and check the speeds, and they aren't what I's like, I dial
    >several times again checking each time, until I get a decent
    >connection. For example now, I'm connected at a peak of 5055 bytes/sec
    >with the modem connecting at 44000. That's after 5 tries.


    Thats about the speed i normally get
    K, May 7, 2004
    #13
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