do I need a modem?
A1: A modem is a device which
converts the digital signals of a computer to analog
signals that can be transmitted over the telephone
lines and vice versa.Your computer only understands
digital signals whereas signals tranmitted over the
phone lines are in analog form. Therfore in order
for you to be able to dial into another computer system
over telephone lines, you need a device which can
act as a translator for the two signals. Modem is
the device which does this for you.
is the difference between an internal and external
modem? Which one should I get?
A2: An internal modem is part
of your computer as it is built in the system itself.
Normally it also comes with fax capability which enables
you to fax to a remote system. The advantage of an
internal modem is that it does not need an additional
cable or power supply. The disadvantage is since it
is built-in, you can't take your internal card from
your PC and use it in your Macintosh for instance.
You would also have to install the modem yourself
or get someone to install it for you.
An external modem on the other hand is separate from
your computer system. The advantage of an external
modem is you can detach it and use it with any other
PC or Macintosh. The disadvantage is you need and
an additional cable and power supply.
modems comes in various speed? How fast a modem should
A3: Yes. Modems do come with
differring speed such as 14.4 Kbps, 28.8 Kbps and
36.6 Kbps. It is advisable to get a modem with a speed
of 28.8 Kbps or higher. This is because a 28.8 Kbps
modem is backward speed compatible in that it can
negotiate with a modem which is slower. Most services
available may not support higher speed.
How do I install an
A4: When you purchase a modem,
instructions on how to install it often comes with
it. You should follow the instructions. Below is merely
Examine your modem. There will be a modular jack on
the modem which is the insertion point for the phone
line. You would have to connect the modem to the serial
port in your PC with the serial cable (Note: some
modems might have an actual cable built-in to the
case itself). Most computer system comes with serial
ports unless you specifically requested otherwise
from the vendor.
A Mac's serial port is not like that of a PC. It has
a 'phone port'as indicated by the phone icon located
on the back of the Mac. The port has a 9 pin connector
which is very different from that of the PC. Therefore
a Mac needs a special adapter to properly attach the
modem to it.
doesn't the modem go off hook to dial a number or
does not answer the phone?
A5: The connection of the phone
line might be loose. Make sure the phone cord is connected
at the phone jack of the modem to a phone wall jack.
If that connection is not loose, then check the software
manual to see what DTR operations are required. Make
sure that your software has auto answer enabled and
for modems with DIP switches, set the DIP switch to
5, that is, up (off).
is it that the modems seem to exchange carrier signals
but fail to establish a communication link?
A6: Sometimes connection could
be troubled by distortion between the line. The transmission
of telephone line differs with every call. Try calling
again. If that doesn't work, call a different modem
to see if the problem persists. The problem may be
with the modem you first tried to call.
does my 28800 bps modem does not connect at 28800
A7: You can try connecting
again or initialize the modem with :ATZ .
Q8: How come I don't hear
the dial tone when I try to establish connection to
A8: Unfortunately there are
many reasons for the problem. Check if the volume
of the volume control switch on the modem is on (if
your modem has one). If that does not work, check
the phone cable connection of the wall jack and the
modem jack. If necessary, reconnect the phone cable
correctly. Then try the Dial command again, ATD .
Check your Comm. Port and IRQ settings as well.
Q9: My screen displays random
or garbage characters during file transfer. Why is
A9: Make sure that your software
and modem are set to the same flow control setting.
Sometimes an extra transport protocol is needed. If
the extra protocol required is non-existant, the receiving
computer will have difficulty translating the message
from the transmitting computer.
I like to work late
at night and I don't want to make any noise. How can
I get my modem to be quiet as it dials?
A10: Some modems comes with
volume control, so just turn it down. When a modem
attempts to dial a number, you will hear tone pulses.
You will also hear the responding carrier tone of
the receiving modem once a connection is established.
The advantage to hearing these "noises"
is that it assures you that the modem is working.
Some modems have lights to indicate activity. There
is an "AT" command that will suppress modem
noise. Once a line is established, type:- ATM0 ( 0
is "zero" )
When you get an error
message as this "The computer you are dialing
cannot establish a Dial-Up Networking Connection.
Check your password and try again."
A11: Please check your user
name and password. Try to log in again and if "bad
password" appear , please contact your ISP support.
If this is not the case, check your computer configuration.
Remove TCP-IP and reinstall it again if the configuration
Q12 : When
you get an error message as this " The modem
is being used by another dial-up Networking program."
A12 : Check your modem in the
"Control Panel /Modem". You should have
only one modem. Remove all the other modem. Close
all applications before connecting to your ISP. Remove
and reinstall TCP/IP and the modem.
Q13 : When you get an error message as this " Unable
to initialise modem."
A13 : Switch the modem on and
off and try again. If this does not work, try another
modem driver such as standard modem or Hayes compatible.
Check whether the communication port the modem is
connected to is fine.