I'm just beginning to research this, but I'll post it here hoping for advice while I do that.
My Inspiron w/"Lucent Win Modem" is about 2 1/2 years old and I use dial-up service with several ISPs. They've been OK mostly because I could typically get speeds of about 42kbps or thereabouts. One day about two months ago the speeds for all of them--AOL, MSN, and another--all dropped by about half. Now I am lucky to get 28.8 and often it is closer to the teens! Too slow even to get e-mail.
I really thought it was a change in my local phone line, local wireline software or some such thing (and I asked Qwest (Colorado) a lot of questions). I've also had serious spyware, trojan, and virus problems--I thought maybe that was a factor--but now I am very confident my laptop is clean. Part of the reason is I just bought a desktop and "cleaned off" the laptop and did a bunch of other things. The new desktop always connects at 44-46kbps using the exact same phone cable and same ISPs/software.
What is wrong with my Dell or its modem? I have heard that modems can degrade over time but I don't quite understand that. Do I need to replace it? Could it be a software problem?
I read most of the links and FAQs on this board and am going try the modem test described.
Any experience, advice, or suggestions? Thanks much.
Message Edited by PeterinCO on 09-16-2004 08:08 PM
I wouldn't be running out and buying a modem just yet. I'm not 100% sure the modem is the main issue here. I think it might be partially, if not completely, the laptop that is causing the problem. I say this for this reason: I have attached an external 3Com Sportster 56K modem to the Inspiron 2500 with the same results speed wise. I believe that the speed issue is inheirent to the composition of the laptop. All my tests have been performed over 2 different phone lines with 2 different modems.
Thanks, J&K and wolfey. Sorry, I misunderstood--I thought the "same results" meant same fast speeds with the different modem. So there's something about the COMPUTER preventing higher speeds... FYI, I used to work for the local phone company here (actually spent years in cellular) and I've researched the situation with my local phone lines pretty thoroughly; I think I got to the right person and am fairly satisfied that's not related. The post about working faster elsewhere brings that to mind. But hey, the same thing seems to be happening with others elsewhere. And here's a coincidence--if I'm really, really lucky I can get exactly 31.2 also.
And yeah, those of us who took the time to search and post here are trying to solve the problem. This forum seems really popular but there ain't much happening with this page or thread. I'm gonna see if maybe I can change that.
Message Edited by PeterinCO on 09-15-2004 09:42 AM
Ahhh but it can! The Actiontec softmodems are very susceptable to line noise and load, as verified many times over the 3.5 years I've posted here when the Actiontec modem had trouble connecting or did so at much slower speeds than other notebooks or desktops.
Having a major drop in connect speed happen is usually indicative of a line or load change, which can include the surge suppressors, or of the modem being partially damaged from a surge.
Message Edited by johnallg on 09-15-2004 08:37 PM
So John, does that mean that you have tried another modem(external) on your laptop at your house and got faster times? All I'm saying is that a soft modem certainly is affected by noise etc but unless you have tried an external modem on your laptop and received better results than maybe the problem with the 2500 or Dell laptops isn't all to do with the modems that they use.
This problem seems to have many facets and may even be getting worse. What is a soft modem, why is it inferior, and how do you correct or replace it? Why doesn't Dell provide any appropriate warnings or information? Who are the 1,300 users who seem perpetually online? Can one assume that they are Dell employees, logged-on when they get to the office, but they don't DO anything? Why hasn't Dell explained the problem and its solution, here, on the phone to wolfey, or elsewhere? Don't they want owners to use their Dell computers, buy Dell again, and generally be satisfied? Why did the Dell moderator instruct me to clear my hard drive and reload anitiquated Windows? Is this forum really just a sales conduit?
John: thank you for your input but can you please explain your role? You provide a link to a Dell-owned parts site yet you don't sport the Dell logo and you appear far more active on the forum than those that do. Are you with Dell?
It seems we're all pretty knowledgeable here, and expending all kinds of effort, yet we are getting nowhwere.
You have a right to be frustrated, just as we all are. Unfortunately, your anger and frustration aren't being channelled in the right direction. You must do what I have been doing when I have time, and that is to phone their tech support. Don't be scammed into paying for it either. This is a problem that has been around a long time as John has stated. The only way that Dell will listen is if they get enough phone calls and threats of no future business. Customer dissatisfaction is not a problem if the seller doesn't know about the problems.
I am not saying to stop using this forum as it is a viable way to possibly solve the problem. All input is good input until it has been chewed up and spat out as garbage. We all aren't experts in all facets of software and hardware diagnostics. Therefore, it is essential to combine all our resources. That might not just include technical knowledge or resources, but friends, media, politics, etc..... That may sound rash, but the mighty sometimes have to be cut off at the knees to wake up and smell the coffee.
Keep up the good fight!