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Testing, Testing—Is Your Phone Line Ready to Rumble?

If you're wondering whether your phone line is the culprit that's causing your 33.6Kbps or slower connections, use the following Web site to learn about testing your phone line for 56Kbps support.

What can you do if your telephone line isn't up to snuff? Nothing. The telephone company's attitude is "You can talk on it, and that's all that matters." You'll want to redouble your research (read the rest of this book!) to get a high-speed Internet connection as quickly as possible.

Is My Phone Line Up to the Challenge?

3Com's Line Test page is located at http://www.3com.com/56k/need4_56k/linetest.html Follow the instructions on this page to test your phone line for 56Kbps compatibility.

Before you blame your friendly local telephone company for giving you such a lousy phone line, make sure you aren't part of the problem yourself. Try making the following changes one at a time, and then try testing your line and connecting again:

  • Unplug phones and other devices from the telephone jack of your modem.

  • Unplug other phones on the phone line, even if they're in another room.

  • Plug your modem's phone cord directly into the wall, instead of through a splitter or surge protector, for example.

If any of the following changes give you a faster connection, try making that change permanent, or at least change your setup when you use your modem.


If you find that your modem speed increases when you unplug your modem from a surge protector, don't skip surge protection completely. Every summer plenty of people wind up losing their modems, and even their computers, to power surges coming over telephone lines. Instead, install a better surge protector that also provides features such as line noise filtration and line polarity checking and correction. Some of the products with these features include

These products can also be purchased from other online merchants.

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