Home > Articles

Don't Just Call Any Number (Choosing the Correct Dial-Up Number)

Even if your modem is has the latest v.90 firmware and drivers installed, you can still have problems if you use the wrong dial-up phone number, especially if you are located in a mid-sized city or small town. In most cases, an ISP's v.90 number will work for both v.90 and standard modems that run at speeds of 33.6Kbps or lower. Because v.90 and K56flex are similar, you still might be able to use a K56flex modem with these same numbers and attain similar speeds.

Move Over and Let Me Do the Driving

You can have a v.90 modem, but like most everything in the world of Windows, a modem is just a hunk of plastic, IC chips, and solder joints without software.

If any of the usual modem problems (slow downloads, can't connect, connections drop dead) show up while you're using your modem, you should follow the steps in the previous section to download new driver software.

In most cases, if you install new modem firmware, you'll also install new driver software.

Speed Zone...Watch Out!

Despite the name, so-called 56K modems are restricted to 53Kbps downloads by FCC regulations. This restriction is due a regulation known as Part 68. Part 68 restricts the amount of power that can be run through a phone line, and running 56Kbps modems at speeds above 53Kbps would exceed the limits of Part 68. Until the FCC drops the Part 68 limitation, your 56Kbps modem won't be permitted to run as fast it was intended to.

However, if you use a dial-up number meant for 33.6Kbps or slower modems with your 56Kbps modems, you've given your modem a digital lobotomy—it can't run any faster than 33.6Kbps! Many ISPs still offer 33.6Kbps dial-up connection numbers as well as numbers for faster modems.

Refer to Table 3.1 to help your modem run as fast as possible when you connect.

Table 3.1  Matching Your Modem Type to the Best Dial-Up Number

Modem Type

Connection Number Type

Resulting Connection Maximum Speed

Acceptable?

33.6Kbps or lower

56K, v.90, X2, K56flex, 33.6

33.6Kbps

OK!

X2

X2, 56K

56Kbps

OK!

X2

56K, V.90, K56flex

33.6Kbps

No Way!

K56flex

56K, V.90, K56flex

56Kbps

OK!

K56flex

X2, 33.6

33.6Kbps

No Way!

V.90

56K, V.90

56Kbps

OK!

V.90

X2, 33.6

33.6Kbps

No Way!


In the table, any combination of modem type and connection number type with an OK! in the Acceptable column can provide the maximum speed your modem is capable of—up to 56Kbps.

On the other hand, connections labeled No Way! limit the maximum speed of your modem to 33.6Kbps—a big decrease.

If you aren't sure which dial-up number to use for your modem, contact your ISP's tech support help-desk or look at their online help to see what the best dial-up number is to use. Remember, you can connect to 33.6Kbps or slower dial-up numbers with your 56Kbps modem if you don't know what dial-up number to use.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Related Resources

There are currently no related titles. Please check back later.