Dialup FAQs

My modem hangs up each time after I check my email

The most likely cause of your modem hanging up is a setting in your email program.  

To fix this problem in Outlook Express, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook Express. 
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Options.
  3. Click on the Connections tab.
  4. If the Hang up after sending and receiving option is checked, click it to clear the option.

To fix this problem in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook. 
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Options.
  3. Click on the Mail Delivery tab.
  4. If the Hang up when finished sending, receiving or updating option is checked, click it to clear the option.

My modem disconnects unexpectedly

Modem drop-outs are a very common problem and may be caused by any one of a number of factors, such as noise on the line, poor lines, or electrical interference. Usually it requires some trial and error to determine the cause. Some common problems to check for are:

Call waiting - If you have call waiting enabled, many modems will disconnect when a call comes in. Try disabling your call waiting feature. You can do this by entering the prefix *44 (Telstra) or #87 (Optus) before your Voice dial-up number (i.e. *44 1832 84233030). This will automatically disable Call Waiting and then after your Internet session is over, Call Waiting will automatically switch itself back on. You can store this dialling number sequence in your dial-up settings

Phone equipment - some phones, in particular older phones and rechargeable portable phones that periodically draw electrical current. Try disconnecting suspect phones while you are connected to Voice.

Modem quality - The quality of your modem or the cable used to connect your modem with your phone line could cause random disconnections. This may be solved by slowing your modem speed.

Long phone extension cables - If you have your modem connected with a long phone extension cable, this can cause drop-outs. If a long cable is required, you may need to purchase a high-quality cable.

Electrical appliances - Occasionally dropouts can be caused by electrical equipment such as TVs, radios, or major appliances that are close to your modem.

Poor phone lines - If you are in an older house, you may have poor lines to your house. You can contact your phone company to have this checked this for you.

Line noise - Line noise such as background static can interfere with your modem. This is a likely cause of problems if it occurs during or soon after rain or high humidity. To test for the presence of line noise,  plug your phone handset into the line used by the modem and dial any digit to stop the dial tone. Then listen carefully for any static or noise.

Shared phone lines - Other equipment, including telephones, fax machines, call display, answering machines or alarm systems that are connected to the same line as the modem, can cause speed and disconnection problems. Try disconnecting all other such devices when you are using your modem.

Lifting a phone handset - Lifting the handset of a phone that shares the telephone line with your modem can cause a modem disconnection.

Mobile phones - A mobile phone in close proximity to your modem can cause interference, even when not in active use because they communicate regularly with the nearest base station.

My 57.6 K modem is connecting at 115,200

Most modem displays the speed that the modem is communicating with your computer rather than the speed it is communicating with the ISP.  You may be able to change this reported speed by changing your modem initialisation string. Refer to your modem manual for details.

My 57.6 K modem is connecting slower than 57,600

Your modem speed is affected by many factors, such as interference and poor phone lines as discussed in the FAQ entitled My modem disconnects unexpectedly.  The most common factors include the quality of the lines in your exchange or local area, the wiring to your house or building, and the distance from your exchange.  Even with optimal conditions, few internet users connect consistently at 57.6k; 40 to 54K is a more common actual connection speed.

If you have a software modem -  one that relies on your computer's CPU (common to inexpensive modems) you will find that your modem may experience periodic pauses while your CPU is busy with other programs that are heavy resource users.

If you have tried to eliminate all possible local factors but still are experiencing slow and unreliable connections, try taking your computer and modem to the house of a friend with good internet connections. If your system works well there, your phone connection is the most likely problem, and you will need to contact your phone company to have your lines tested and hopefully repaired.

If your phone line into your premises happens to be delivered by 'pair-gain' then your dialup speed will be impeded - contact your phone carrier for more information.

Still having problems? Contact us and we will see if we can offer an alternative that is suitable to your home or business requirements.

How do I change my dial-up modem speed?

If you are experiencing connection problems and unexpected hangups, you can try reducing your modem carrier speed. This may give you a more reliable connection.

The reason is this: when your modem is trying to retain a high-speed connection, but your phone lines aren't up to it, this can lead to unexpected disconnections and poor online performance. 

A possible solution is to lower your modem speed and monitor performance. Gradually increase the speed until problems arise again and then drop down to the optimal speed.

  1. Click on the My Computer desktop icon.
  2. Click on the Dial-Up Networking folder.
  3. Right-click on the Voice icon and select Properties.
  4. Check to ensure that the correct modem is displayed in the Connect Using box. Click Configure.
  5. From the Maximum Speed drop-down list, select 38400.
    (this speed is the port speed in bits per second)
  6. Ensure the Only connect at this speed option is cleared.
  7. Click OK and then OK.

    Test your modem at this speed. If you are still having problems, change the speed to a lower speed and test performance. If performance is improved, change to a higher speed and test performance. By doing this, you can determine the optimal speed for your phone lines.

You might also find that your connection speed is slow because at some point it was lowered but no longer needs to be. This may be the case if when checking your modem speed, you find that it has been set to less than the optimal 115,200 speed. Increase the speed and see what happens!

I set up my Voice details, but now my dialup connection doesn't work anymore

The first thing to do in this situation is ask yourself what has changed since you made your last successful dial-up connection.  If you previously connected without any problems, the most likely cause would be your Voice dial-up details.

  1. Click on the My Computer desktop icon.
  2. Click on the Dial-Up Networking folder.
  3. Double-click on the Voice icon to display the Connect To window.
  4. Check your connection settings:
    Check to ensure that your User name is correct. 
    Note that the username is not your email address, and does not include "@voice.net.au".
    Check to ensure that the dial-up Phone number is correct.
    Check to ensure that the correct modem is displayed in the Connect Using box. 
  5. If all of these settings are correct, re-enter your password. Remember that passwords are case-sensitive, which means that the connection distinguishes between upper case, lower case.  You can also re-enter your password when you are dialing up.

My email now asks me for a password and  does not accept the one I have always used.

This can happen if you recently changed your dial-up password (through the Voice website) but didn't change the password in your email program. This is because in most cases, your dial-up password is the same as your email password. 

To resolve this situation, make sure that the Voice email password in your email program is the appropriate one, and that the Save Password option is selected.

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