A modem is a modem is a modem. Right? WRONG!

Your modem plays a HUGE part in how well you connect, how fast you connect, and how well you stay connected.

General information about modems: 56K info | Software modems

We HIGHLY recommend if at all possible that you install a HARDWARE modem. These modems work best with the high-end Cisco servers that Graphtronics uses, and seem to perform better in cases of mild line noise and weather or phone line disturbances. Although software modems will work with Graphtronics' service, they may be unreliable. Customers using software modems may or may not experience problems with initial connections, disconnects or other problems.

The following websites have great information on 56K modems, troubleshooting, tips for better connections, and much more.

3Com | Modem Troubleshooting | 56K = v.Unreliable | Modem Central

Is there any way I can get faster speeds on my 56k modem?

    Check the website of your modem's manufacturer to see if a newer firmware revision is available.

    If you're already running the latest firmware, make sure all the connections are clean. Using rubbing alcohol and a Q-Tip works well to clean out the phone jack.

    Last, but not least, try disconnecting any other devices from the line. Fax machines, answering machines, caller-id boxes, and other phones all add load to the line and (so we've heard) decrease the speeds you can expect. If your phone line is plugged into a surge suppressor between the wall and the modem, try plugging it straight into the wall jack.

Can I expect to achieve 56Kbps transmission over existing phone lines?

    With 56K modem technology, the negotiation of connect speed is driven by the client modem. Not all client modems are created equal, but all have the task of identifying various network limitations and compensating to achieve the highest data rate for a given connection. That means that while Pangea has the ability to connect at the highest possible speed allowed, connection speed still has to be negotiated by the client modem, which will most likely dictate a slower speed.

    The condition of your line to the telephone company will determine the actual performance level achieved. Some lines will support >50Kbps all the time, while other lines are not capable of supporting it at all.

    Your connect speed will vary depending on the quality of your phone line and distance to your "CO" or Central Office (local telephone facility). With a reasonably good phone line and if you live within 3 1/2 miles from your CO, you should get connect speeds between 40K and 50K. The Telephone Network was designed to carry voice traffic, not the flood of data transfer it is being used for today, and is only capable of 53Kbps at a maximum (side note: the telephone company will only guarantee 14.4K over a voice line).

Some of these articles you may find useful:

Getting the most out of your 56K modem connection

Tweak your modem

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