Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Dial-up connections can drop because of noise on the line. There are several sources to look for and only one remedy.
I have Microsoft ISP and I occasionally lose phone connection while I'm working on the Internet Explorer. Is there something that I'm doing wrong? Are there settings that need to be addressed or what? A few days ago I had a problem with a machine and I had to go to system restore. Could this have anything to do with it? I'd really appreciate your suggestions.
In this excerpt from Answercast #85, I look at some possible reasons why an internet connection on a phone line might be regularly dropping.
Well, I'm actually surprised that anybody is still using Microsoft as an ISP. I thought they stopped being an ISP many years ago.
You used to be able to purchase MSN connectivity, but it was almost always in conjunction with a different ISP. Locally here, it was actually a function (I believe) of either Quest or Comcast at the time. And they were the ones who were actually providing your internet service. They may have been branded as Microsoft or MSN but in reality it was the local phone company.
In any case, this brings us back to our phone.
In reality, the thing that is most likely to cause a dial-up connection to drop is a noisy phone line. So the thing to do is to listen to your phone line. When you should expect silence, if you hear static or other kinds of noises, that kind of stuff can interfere.
In fact, it's probably at least slowing down your internet connection and it can, in fact, cause things to drop.
The other thing that comes to mind, of course, is if you've got extensions on that phone - and somebody happens to pick it up while you are connected then that shows up as noise.
Sometimes, it may not really be enough noise. Usually, the person will hear the sound of the modems talking to each other and immediately hang up the phone. But if they are experiencing a lot of background noise in the room when they pick up their extension or they're talking or whatever, things just get noisy as a part of this process. Then again, that can cause the connection to drop.
So, those are the things that I would look at. I would certainly pursue the noisy phone line scenario.
That to me is the most likely scenario. If that's it, you'll actually end up talking to your phone company to see what they can do about quieting your phone line.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 85 - Should I reboot into Linux to do my online banking?
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