Tips on Modems and Phone Lines


Tips on modem or phone line problems

  • If your phone line has call waiting and you're using a modem to connect to the Internet, then you must turn off call waiting. If you need more information about how to turn off call waiting, contact your phone company. Most area phone companies use *70, to turn off call waiting.
  • If you're dialing Webbworks, Inc. (Your ISP) from a business that requires a "9" for an outside phone line, you must add a "9" prefix to your dial-in string (the phone number you dial to connect to your Webbworks, Inc). To change the dial-in string, use the setup dialog box provided by your dialer. If you need more information about modifying your dial-in string, contact your Webbworks, Inc.

Tips on modem problems

  • Verify that your modem is plugged in and turned on.
  • Check that your modem's phone cord is securely inserted at both ends of the connection.
  • If you have an external modem, check that the phone line is securely plugged into the proper modem socket.
  • If you have an internal modem, check that the phone line is securely plugged into your computer's modem socket.
  • Check that you are using the correct dial-in string to contact Webbworks. (545-9134)
  • If you're dialing Webbworks, Inc. from a business that requires a "9" for an outside phone line, you must add a "9" prefix to your dial-in string. To change the dial-in string, use the setup dialog box provided by your dialer. If you need more information about modifying your dial-in string, contact Webbworks, Inc.
  • Your computer's ability to use its modem port may be hampered if you are running telephony or communications software (for example, fax software). If you're using such software, try the following.

    1. Close the telephony or communications software.
    2. Move the telephony or communications software from the Startup program group to another Windows group.
    3. Restart your computer and then reconnect to the Internet.

Tips on busy signals

Before switching to another ISP, contact your current ISP and ask them the following questions:

  1. Do you offer a premium service with call availability guarantee? For an additional fee?
  2. How many users are there currently in your geographical area?
  3. How many dial-in phone numbers are there for your geographical area?
  4. What is the ratio of users to dial-in numbers?

When evaluating the ratio of users to dial-in phone numbers, use the following guidelines. ISPs should have no more than 15 to 20 users per dial-in phone number in an area. If an ISP has more than 20 users per dial-in phone number, it usually means you'll routinely get a busy signal. Before switching to another ISP, ask the prospective ISP these same questions.

Tips on unanswered calls

If you have dialed Webbworks or your ISP and your call rings endlessly, here is some information that could help:
  • Unanswered calls are usually caused by your phone company, which provides the dial-in lines, and not Webbworks or your ISP.
  • A message "A Circuits Are Busy", or a "Fast" busy signal, are caused by your phone company not having sufficient lines to handle their customers basic communication needs. Phone companies over the years have double and triple sold the same services and facilities and in most cases are no longer equipped to provide for the basic needs of their customers.
  • Most ISPs use trunk hunting and groups of dial-in lines called hunt groups. Trunk hunting is a method used to switch incoming calls to the next consecutive or available number in a hunt group. If the first number called is busy or unavailable, the call should be automatically switched to the next number in the hunt group. Webbworks uses a different approach. We use DSS (Digital Switched Service). This is a group of 24 lines that are switched digitally by the phone company. We do not have hunt groups or individual lines, that could hang, overheat, lockup etc...
  • Problems related to hunt groups are difficult to detect and troubleshoot. Consequently, to protect yourself against such problems, ask your ISP for a list of your hunt group's individual phone numbers. If you have this list of phone numbers, you can dial any of these direct phone numbers to connect to your ISP rather than dialing the hunt group's dial-in string.

Tips on dropped connections

When you're connected to the Internet and unexpectedly disconnected, this is called a "dropped connection." The following information may help you deal with this situation:
  • The cause for dropped connections are difficult to pinpoint and fix.
  • If you're experiencing dropped connections, you may want to contact your phone company. It is recommended that you only contact your phone company about chronic problems. It is recommended that you wait until drops exceeds ten before sending an E-mail. This practice will minimize flooding your phone company, Webmasters, system administrators, and ISPs with E-mails about intermittent problems. This, in turn, will enable them to focus on solving chronic problems that plague your online connections.

Tips on modem connection rates

  • Most modems sold today sense and adapt to the quality of the phone line. For example, a 28.8 kbps modem adapts to the quality of the phone line. Because of this adaptive behavior, the modem's speed can fluctuate between 19.2 kbps and 28.8 kbps.
  • Because the average phone line was not originally designed to transfer data, such techniques as data compression are used to increase the amount of data that can be transferred over phone lines. If your modem is connected at a speed greater than 9.6 kbps the modem connection speed may be faster than 9.6 kbps at certain times.
  • The various brands and models of modems vary significantly in their ability to adapt to poor-quality phone lines and to the wide range of modems used by ISPs. For more information about a specific modem, check for newsgroups that discuss modems (for example, the UseNet newsgroup named comp.dcom.modems ).

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