Improving dial-up speed?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Vanessa S., Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Vanessa S.

    Vanessa S. Guest

    This is for my parents. They have a old Dell with a 350MHz processor, 256MB
    RAM and Win98. They are getting increasingly frustrated with the slowness
    of their dial-up connection (they routinely connect between 40-45kb) and
    high-speed internet is not available where they are in the boonies of the
    Eastern Shore. They have the most frustration when trying to access
    websites such as eBay or some financial websites that have a lot of bells
    and whistles.

    They had a trial membership with Earthlink and tried their Accelerator, but
    it didn't really help. They dropped Earthlink and are continuing to use

    They had someone they know come to the house with a new laptop with a 2.6GHz
    processor and there was a very pleasant increase in surfing speed.
    Therefore, they concluded they should bite the bullet and get a new, faster
    computer, albeit still stuck with dial-up.

    They went to Best Buy, where they were convinced by some people there that
    they could "tweak" their current computer to make it perform better. One of
    the things that was mentioned was "programs running in the background". I
    had my dad check the startup tab to see what was starting up on the
    computer, and there is very little going on there.

    Is is a waste of time and money to have the Best Buy people work on it? I
    Googled on "improving dial-up speed" and came up with plenty of hits. Many
    are very technical, however, I found a few that could be helpful.

    I need some help here. I want to help my parents and don't want to see them
    waste even more money on this situation. If someone could walk me through
    some steps to take, or direct me to a reliable website for instructions, I
    would appreciate it.
    Vanessa S., Apr 29, 2004
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  2. Vanessa S.

    Wizard Guest

    I'm sure that if the system was mine I could spend many hours "tweeking"
    so that everything was faster but when all was said and done it might
    only achieve 5 or 10% increase. Dialup sucks, is too slow for most web
    sites that are active. You need to investigate other alternatives ...
    DSL ...BB ... Satelite .... isdn ... etc.
    Wizard, Apr 29, 2004
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  3. Vanessa S.

    Camel Toe Guest

    Judging by the specs on your parents' computer, I would say it has an old
    modem as well, maybe 28.8? The 2.6GHz laptop you tried would definetly have
    a 56.6 modem, so that would certainly help. I think a modem is only like
    20-25 bucks, or if you can borrow one from someone just to see if that
    improves speeds. Also, keep your Internet temp files cleaned out, and it
    wouldnt help to scan for spyware (download adaware from
    as that crap can even kill a high speed connection. Also if you run
    msconfig (start -> run -> msconfig -> ok) it will show what is starting up
    when Windows boots if you go to the startup tab. Just dont disable your
    antivirus. Make sure there is lots of free hard drive space (go to my
    computer, right click C: drive and select properties, then go to the disk
    cleanup wizard).............thats all i can think of right now.....

    Camel Toe, Apr 29, 2004
  4. Vanessa S.

    Wizard Guest

    You must haved missed this ....... "they routinely connect between
    40-45kb". It is obviously a 56k modem.
    Wizard, Apr 29, 2004
  5. Vanessa S.

    Captain Ron Guest

    The CPU speed really does nothing to increase internet connection speed. You
    could start by checking you firewall settings, closing uneeded programs and
    services may help. 40 to 45 kb is really not too bad for dialup. One thing I
    did notice when I had dialup, one phone was causing interference with the
    modem. I disconnected all the phones in the house and the dialup connection
    went up to over 50kb. With the phone in question connected I was lucky to
    get 28 kb. You may also check to see if there could be an updated driver for
    your modem.
    Captain Ron, Apr 29, 2004
  6. Vanessa S.

    Thor Guest

    This is pretty much average for a 56K connection.
    Either it had a little better connection rate, or their slowdown problems
    aren't due to modem speed.
    Would advise doing a spyware check with a spyware scanning program like
    "Spybot Search And Destroy", or "Adaware". It could be that there are
    spyware programs on their computer and they may be eating some of the
    bandwidth on the connection. Also, installing some kind of pop-up ad blocker
    may help webpages load in quicker.
    Thor, Apr 29, 2004
  7. Vanessa S.

    Captain Ron Guest

    Since satelite is very expensive; you may want to see if you have neighbors
    who would like to pool together and get satelite. Then you could setup a
    wireless network.
    Captain Ron, Apr 29, 2004
  8. Vanessa S.

    VWWall Guest

    40-48kb is about the best you can expect from dial-up.

    You might try a program like Proximitron. I've used it on sites with a
    lot of bells and whistles, and it can be set to eliminate much of this.
    It's not too easy to set up, but does much better with this kind of
    thing than conventional "pop-up stoppers".
    Your phone line is a "pipe" to the ISP and then to the net. You can't
    pull more through it than its capacity. Some tweaks may slightly
    improve download speed, but will have little effect on normal site viewing.

    Virg Wall
    VWWall, Apr 29, 2004
  9. Vanessa S.

    w_tom Guest

    You are confusing modem speed as the only reason for
    bottleneck. Let's use this machine as example - a Compaq 486
    - 66 Mhz. But first most, it is not using the Windows 9x
    based OS that so badly slows down hardware. This machine uses
    Windows NT which means hardware executes about 20% faster.

    Second, your data could be arriving at 48K. But continuous
    or in blocks with big delays? Verify the integrity of their
    ISP is to ping some websites. (on command line or MS-DOS
    window, enter Ping Delays of 300
    milliseconds and higher says ISP does not provide data

    Many users have dialup and get everything just fine.
    However the bottleneck is often not the dialup. Some programs
    are so poorly written or use such extensive and complex
    functions as to take forever on a sub-500 Mhz machines.
    Netscape 6.0 and higher is one of the worst. Avoid Netscape
    products completely. Adobe Acrobat reading graphic data is so
    complex as to be slow. Internet access using Internet
    Explorer is many times faster than Netscape. Anything
    involving extensive graphics will take more seconds -
    especially using the Windows 98 OS - due to how those obsolete
    Windows (9x 98 & ME) used video. I access Ebay on this 486
    just fine.

    Do they have too many background programs running or will
    more memory increase speed? Indication is how much disk
    swapping occurs when changing programs or with each internet
    click. If little disk activity, then tweaking by removing
    background programs or increasing memory will do little.
    However is disk is swapping hard during a video update, well
    background programs probably do exist. But then you can see
    the number of programs running on the Windows 98 by
    Cntrl-Alt-Del to look at a list of programs loaded. Most
    memory resident programs will appear with icons next to clock
    in bottom right corner and may be removed there. Does that
    increase speed? If so then eliminate those 'resident'
    programs which load and execute on Startup but don't appear in
    the Startup Menu. An example of such trashy programs are the
    AOL icons - installed so you will always think about AOL even
    if you never use AOL.

    I cannot express enough the most typical bottleneck -
    Windows 98 and how it interfaces with video. When Win 98
    arrived, it was already obsoleted by NT. NT is why I still
    use 486s for Internet access. 486s remain fast enough for
    most activities such as internet access.
    w_tom, Apr 29, 2004
  10. Vanessa S.

    msi Guest

    it is impossible to speed up dial up or any connection for that matter. it
    goes as fast as it connects at.
    msi, Apr 29, 2004
  11. Vanessa S.

    msi Guest

    the person said they connect 40-45k.

    msi, Apr 29, 2004
  12. Vanessa S.

    Wizard Guest

    Nonsense ... One can adjust MTU, RWin, TTL and many other things to
    improve performance of any type of connection.
    Wizard, Apr 29, 2004
  13. Vanessa S.

    VWWall Guest

    ---or by applying some of the non-sense w_tom wrote.;-)

    Actually, I've never seen any tweaking give more than ~10% improvement,
    and then only on continous downloads.

    Can you give us some details as to the correct "adjustment" of MTU,
    RWin, and TTL? I'll be happy to try them.:)

    Virg Wall
    VWWall, Apr 29, 2004
  14. Vanessa S.

    Wizard Guest

    Those settings are different for however you connect so experimentation
    is required. I recommend you download one of the many TCP/IP optimizers
    available like "mtuspeed", "NetTweakPro2", TCPOptimizer .... etc.
    Wizard, Apr 29, 2004
  15. Vanessa S.

    msi Guest

    no, try to download faster then 3mb with a 3mb line and you can not. maybe
    burst mode only. try to download faster then 56k when connected at that and
    you can't. you can not speed up a car faster then 70 miles n hr if it only
    goes 70 now can you? that is my point. there is only so much MTU etc can do,
    but it will not speed up downloads faster then what yer current max capapble
    is at. it will help if you are underrated below the connection speed yer
    connected at.
    msi, Apr 30, 2004
  16. Vanessa S.

    msi Guest

    i have a 3mb and if you say i can go 3.5mb or faster I'm all ears, but you
    can't go faster then what yer connection is while you download. not like i

    God bless though, :)
    msi, Apr 30, 2004
  17. Vanessa S.

    Trent© Guest

    High-speed Internet (satellite) is available almost anywhere in the
    U.S. You just hafta wanna pay the price.
    Get and install...

    Pop-Up Stopper...Ad-Aware...C W Shredder...and maybe get a firewall
    program that can stop incoming ActiveX programs. If they're running
    real-time anti-virus...and they're just browsing...they can turn it
    off when they browse. Just make sure you run the complete anti-virus
    program at least weekly.

    And they need to have enough free space on their hard drive for
    optimum performance.

    You might also try a program called Vopt...a defrag program which can
    also help you tweak up some important settings.
    Their connection is actually pretty good.
    They DO have a bottle neck of sorts...on how fast the computer can
    process the information received. A faster computer would probably
    perform like the laptop...along with its newer operating system, of
    Best Buy will probably use some of the programs suggested above. You
    might want to try it yourself first.
    Take a look at satellite Internet. Its expensive...but a lot less
    than buying a new computer.

    Good luck.

    Have a nice week...


    Certified breast self-exam subcontractor.
    Trent©, Apr 30, 2004
  18. Vanessa S.

    w_tom Guest

    I bought this fancy shower head that actually lets pipes
    deliver more water. It also does this without increasing my
    water bills! Something about a backpressure swirl that causes
    water to flow faster in the pipes while keeping the water
    meter from seeing that larger water flow.

    Also found a good deal on an East River bridge. Interested?
    w_tom, Apr 30, 2004
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