C

clockman

With a dial up connection, what does download speed depend on? When I
connect in the first place I get a message that reads "Connected at 40
kbps or 24 kbps" or whatever number comes up. Why isn't this the same
all the time? And download speeds aren't even half that. And also the
speed starts out at say 10 kbps and quickly drops to 4 or 3. Would
someone tell me how a dialup connection works. Help!!

F

Frank Saunders, MS-MVP OE

clockman said:
With a dial up connection, what does download speed depend on? When I
connect in the first place I get a message that reads "Connected at 40
kbps or 24 kbps" or whatever number comes up. Why isn't this the same
all the time? And download speeds aren't even half that. And also the
speed starts out at say 10 kbps and quickly drops to 4 or 3. Would
someone tell me how a dialup connection works. Help!!

It depends on noise on the lines. Also, the beginning download speeds are
always reported higher than real because of the way they're being
calculated. And, while the connected speed is given in Kbps, the download
speed is given in KBps.

P

POP

clockman said:
on? When I connect in the first place I get a message that
reads "Connected at 40 kbps or 24 kbps" or whatever number
comes up. Why isn't this the same all the time? And
starts out at say 10 kbps and quickly drops to 4 or 3.
Would someone tell me how a dialup connection works.
Help!!

If your connection speeds are varying from 24k to 40k you have
what's called a "dirty" analog line. A Very Good speed would be
in the order of 47k to 50k.
Pick up your phone and dial a number, just one digit; you're
not going to make a call. Listen to the phone: Do you hear
static or pops and clicks?
If the noise comes and goes, that's usually why you'll get
varying connection speeds; it's a timing issue with what's on the
line when your modem tries to communicate through the noise.
If you hear any noise, you can usually get the phone co. to
take care of that with a call to the trouble section.
Before you call though, disconnect your phone lines at the
demarc (where it comes into the house) and plug a phone in there.
If you still hear the noise, it's coming in on the phone lines
and it's the telco's job to bring them up to required standards.
If you do not hear the noise under this circumstance, then the
computers, all sorts of things can put noise onto the lines, but
this is not normally what happens.
The phone company can't charge you for working on the lines up
to your demarc point (the box where the wires come into the
house). Beyond that, it's your nickel, and if you let them work
on that, they'll charge you and it's likely going to be
expensive. Better to get a local guy to come in if you can't fix
it yourself.

The above takes care of over 90% of the cases of poor connections
and speeds.

The "speed" you mention is usually called through-put: The
actual speed of data passing through on the modem carrier. There
are often buffers involved in the modems which means the initial
"speed" will be high, until the buffer empties. As I recall I
used to see up to 17kBps at that point. On a good connection, I
think 5 to 7 k was the Very Good figure, not positive. I used to
figure anything above 5 was OK because a lot of other factors
contribute to thru-put speeds, including the server you've
connected to and the internet itself.

If the phone lines are audibly quiet and your house wiring it
good, then you should get pretty consistant connection speeds of
say 43.3 and up, to a maximum possible of 53.something, 53.6, I
think it is.

Also note the difference between units another poster mentioned:
One is measured in k BITS/S (kbps), the other in K BYTES/S (kBps)

Luck,

Pop

K

Ken Blake, MVP

clockman said:

Lots of things. It depends on your local lines and how much noise there is
takes to get to that web site, etc.

When I
connect in the first place I get a message that reads "Connected at 40
kbps or 24 kbps" or whatever number comes up. Why isn't this the same
all the time?

For the same reason that when you make a voice call, sometimes the voice
quality is good and sometimes it's noisy. The specific lines your call is
routed along is different each time, and noise levels vary.

You're comparing apples and oranges. Connection speed is measured in BITs

And also
the speed starts out at say 10 kbps and quickly drops to 4 or 3.

The speed changes as the condition of the line changes. Noise on the line
tends to come and go. If the line is noisy, data has to be retransferred and
speed goes down.

C

***** charles

clockman said:
With a dial up connection, what does download speed depend on? When I
connect in the first place I get a message that reads "Connected at 40
kbps or 24 kbps" or whatever number comes up. Why isn't this the same
all the time? And download speeds aren't even half that. And also the
speed starts out at say 10 kbps and quickly drops to 4 or 3. Would
someone tell me how a dialup connection works. Help!!

Modems that use the telephone network have many things that affect them.

Line noise. varies over time.
Quality of modem on each end of the connection.
Protocols that are being used.
Number of hops between you and the server to which you are trying to
connect.
Speed and load on the server to which you are trying to connect.
Speed and load on the computer in front of you.
The ISP to which you are connected.
etc.....

The reason for the appearent speed drop is due to the fact that the
algorythm
used starts at the theoretical max and then uses an averaging algorythm.
Before newer protocols, the max speed one could get was 28800 bits per
second and that was on a crystal clear line and your location was across the
street from the "CO". Now with V92 and newer technologies the best one
These rates are regulated by the FCC and if someone says they can do it
faster they are fibbing. The number you see in the download box is bytes
per
second and it roughly 10x slower than the bits per second listed above.
Before I got DSL my place was a long way from the CO and was lucky to
to the phone office and they would lock in at 5.3, the max you could get. I
was really jellous, until now. If you are getting from 2.1 on up that is an
average quality link. The biggest affect on modem speed is the distance you
are from the CO, the farther away you are the suckier your speed will be,
pure physics. One thing you can try is running a solid pair of 24g wire
directly from the terminal unit into your modem. The terminal unit is where
the responsibility of the phone company stops and you start. That may help.

Alternatives to dialup: satellite, cable and dsl. There are faster
connections
but they are usually REALLY expensive and reserved for businesses.

good luck......

CO = central office