Trouble Connecting or Staying Connected (Dial-Up)

I can't log on.... OR...It was working just fine the last time....

  • In the "Connect To" screen make sure your username is spelled correctly.

  • Make sure that you entered your username in all lowercase letters.
  • Just your username...not username@boreal.org...that's your e-mail address!
  • Check to make sure that your Caps Lock key is not on.
  • Make sure that you spelled your password correctly.
  • Remember...usernames and passwords are ALWAYS case sensitive. The password Rover29 and rover29 are not the same...What?? you don't use your pets name as your password?
  • Check the Phone Number. It should read 3879555 or 387-9555. If it has 1-218...or any other area code, it won't work...unless you're calling long distance. To remove the area code permanently:
    • Win95/98- Click the "Dial Properties..." button and put 218 in the "Area Code:" box. Click OK.

    • Windows 2000/XP- Click the "Properties" button, then click the "Rules" or "Dialing Rules" button. Click "Edit" and put 218 in the "Area Code" box. Click OK, OK, OK.
  • If you have Windows XP - From the Start menu, select "Connect", "Show All Connections", or select "Control Panel" and double-click the "Network Connections" icon. In the window that appears, right-click on the Boreal dial-up connection and select Properties. Click on the Options tab and make sure that Include Windows logon domain is unchecked. If you're still having problems, try going back to the same Properties window, clicking on the Advanced tab, and unchecking the line that says "Protect my computer and network by limiting...".

I can connect but it's sloooooow or I keep getting dropped.

  • Do you always get dropped right after you check your email? If so, you may have your email software set to disconnect your computer after it checks your mail. To turn this setting off:
    • Outlook Express:
      • Click the [Tools] menu, and click [Options].
      • Click the [Connection] tab in the window that appears.
      • Make sure "Hang up after sending and receiving" is UN-checked, then click OK.
    • Eudora:
      • Click the [Tools] menu and click [Options]
      • On the left side of the screen, click "Internet Dialup".
      • Make sure "Hang-up after receiving and sending" is UN-checked, then click OK.
  • Make sure that you have the latest driver installed for your modem, especially if you have a Winmodem. You can usually get the latest driver from your modem or computer manufacturer's web site.

     

  • When you are connected, look at your connect speed. (You can do this by double-clicking the connection icon next to your clock - it looks like two screens flashing.) If it's normally 33,600 or less, one of the best ways to get a more stable connection is to disable v90. To do this:
    • First determine what type of modem you have. To do this, go to the Control Panel and double-click the "modems" icon. You'll see your modem listed there.
    • Go to a site like http://modemhelp.net/quickref.shtml and use the chart to find the right string to disable v.90 for your modem. (It's usually a series of symbols, letters and numbers, like +MS=v34,0.)
    • Enter this string under the extra settings for your modem. To do this:
      • Windows 95/98 - Click Start, Settings, Control Panel. Then double-click the Modems icon. Click the Properties button on the bottom of the screen, and in the window that appears, click the Connection tab. On this screen, click the Advanced button. In the window that appears you'll see a box labeled "Extra settings" - type the string in this box and click OK, OK, Close.
      • Windows 2000/XP/Vista - Click Start, Settings (Windows 2000 only), Control Panel. Then double-click the "Phone and Modem Options" icon. In the window that appears, click the Modems tab. Click the Properties button, then click the Advanced tab in the window that appears. You'll see a box labeled "Extra initialization commands" - type the string in this box and click OK, OK.

      NOTE: The string can be case sensitive, so be sure to enter it exactly as it appeared in the chart, with capital and small letters as shown.

       

  • Assuming that the modem is installed and configured correctly, poor connections are most often caused by the quality of your phone line. Just because you can talk over a phone line doesn't mean you can get a good connection with that line. It takes a much better phone line to maintain an Internet connection than it does to talk.

     

  • Remember that the phone lines in this area were never designed to be used at the speed that the fast modems of today can attain. Users at the end of the road...Gunflint, Grand Portage and beyond are not likely to see the maximum speed that their modem is capable of. That however does not mean the speed can't be improved.

     

  • Phone line quality is affected by things like damp weather, frost, and old or lower quality wiring. We can't change these things, but we can take steps to work around them.

     

  • Pick up the phone and listen - if you hear static, popping noises, or a hum you won't be able to maintain an Internet connection on this line. These are problems the phone company will usually fix - call them and ask them to test and repair your phone line.

     

  • Make sure the phone cord runs directly from your PC to the phone jack in your wall. It should be as short as possible, should not run past any sources of interference such as stereo speakers, and should not be run through splitters, surge protectors or extenders.

     

  • Make sure that you have the most direct connection possible between your modem and the telephone company's demarkation box or wiring block, which is where the phone company's wires are terminated and your house phone wire begins. This is usually a gray box mounted on the outside wall of your house or sometimes on a power pole near your house. The fewer (read none) devices, such as other phones, fax machines, credit card readers, etc... that are on your modem line the better.

     

  • If possible, disconnect your house phone wires from the phone company's box and connect your modem directly to the box. Be sure you are using a good quality phone cord. If you notice an increase in speed your house wire is suspect.

     

  • If you have Call Waiting on the phone line that your modem is using it must be turned off when the modem is using the line.

     

  • If you're not being dropped, your connect speed is good, but it takes forever for web pages to come up, you may have some malicious software on your computer, such as spyware or viruses, that's using your connection.  Take a look at these pages for more information: http://www.boreal.org/drupal/how_do_i_find_and_more_importantly_get_rid_of_spyware and http://www.boreal.org/drupal/help_i_have_a_virus_what_do_i_do.

 

It's not even dialing!

  • If you are using an external modem, make sure that it is turned on and the phone line is connected. Try turning the modem off and back on again.

  • If you're using an internal modem make sure the phone line is plugged in.
  • With any modem make sure the phone line is plugged into the "Line" or "Telco" port...not the "Phone" port. The "Phone" port is for plugging in a regular phone.
  • Make sure you have a dial tone on the line that is plugged into the computer. If you have a phone connected to your computer, lift up the receiver and listen for a dial tone. If not, try unplugging the phone line from your computer, plugging it into a regular phone, and listening for a dial tone. Be sure you plug the phone line back into your computer when you're done!
  • Some settings may have changed or not been installed correctly. Try reinstalling your modem.
  • Did this start after a thunderstorm went through the area? A lightning strike may have caused a power surge on your phone line that burned out the modem, even if you're using a surge protector. If this is the case you'll need to replace the modem. Boreal carries modems for desktop computers.

Still need modem help?