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Dial Up Service and Modem Speed

Computer and Internet Services

Dial Up Modem Speed

Due to government regulation by the FCC, dial up service over telephone land lines is capped at 53.3K in the US. However, most residential customers usually connect with a dial up modem at a speed of around 42K to 53K. This speed is considered fast by dial up Internet standards. Most dial up modems are designed for a maximum speed of 56K, although some older model modems only have a maximum speed of 33.6K.

Connecting to the Internet

After signing up for dial up service, consumers will get a local access phone number, user name and password. Next, a user will set up and then connect to the Internet. A user must enter and save their connection information on the computer, including the ISP’s name, as well as their user name and password.

The modem, computer and the telephone should be all connected. Next, the modem will dial the access phone number and establish an Internet connection. The user name and password will be verified. Then the user is officially logged on, and can open a web browser to start exploring online.

Factors That Affect Speed

Often times Internet service providers (ISPs) may offer connections at lower speeds due to telephone infrastructure issues. In some rural areas, amplifiers or repeaters are used on telephone lines. These repeaters magnify a weak phone signal, and then the signal is split and sent to several households. As a result, residential dial up service may be significantly slower than 53.3K, especially in remote or very rural areas.

Other factors can also affect modem connection speed. Older telephone lines, line noise and even weather can reduce modem connection speed. Also, different dial up modems also respond differently to phone line noise. Most ISPs recommend use of external dial up modem versus an internal model. Consumers may need to try out different brands or even older models of 56K modems to receive optimum connection speed.

Additional Advice

Talk to your Internet Service Provider about any additional tips or tricks to increase the dial up connection speed. Users can also contact their local telephone companies about repairing or doing line maintenance to improve service. Some ISPs also offer accelerated or turbo dial up Internet service, which can help improve download speeds and times.

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