Windows XP Modem Tweak Guide

Windows XP much like ever other Windows Operating System offers several improvements over the previous release (Most of the time) & Windows XP is no exception, offering some nice updates to the Networking features. This guide will take you through optimizing the performance, reliability & security of your Dial-up connection in Windows XP as well as several other tips.


Internet Connection Setup

Click on Start, Control Panel, then Network Connections. Right click on your Internet connection & select Properties. Then select Configure button.

Maximum speed (bps). Users of 33.6K Modems should set this to 56700, while 56K Modem users should select 115200.

Enable hardware flow control. Tick this setting to enable the use of hardware handshaking with your connection. For best connection stability & throughput ensure this setting is Ticked. Though in some (rare) cases you may find Unticking this setting can improve connection stability (Uses Software flow control instead).

Enable modem error control. Tick this setting to enable the use of Modem error control, which will attempt to ensure data integrity in the connection, resending any damaged packets as necessary. Iíd highly recommend enabling this. There are also Init strings available which can be used to disabled inefficient error control components.

Enable modem compression. Data compression provides faster uploads/downloads depending on the data which is getting compressed. Should you have a Winmodem then you can leave this setting Unticked as these Modems do not support hardware compression. For regular, hardware, modems Tick this setting to enable the Modem to perform any data compression, which provides lower CPU usage over using software compression. As a result Iíd recommend Ticking this setting for best system performance.

Show terminal window. Tick this setting to have a Pre-dial terminal session appear. If you need to use this youíll know. I canít think of any modern ISP that would require you to use something archaic like this, though some more advanced users might use this to test the Modem. For everyone else just leave this Unticked.

Enable modem speaker. Tick this setting to enable the speaker on the Modem to emit sound. This is fairly useful as you should be able to tell whether or not you can successfully connect or not just by listening to the connection when being dialled up. Untick this setting to mute the Modemís speaker.

Click Ok & select the Networking tab.

Type of dial-up server I am calling. Set this to PPP: Windows 95/98/NT4/2000, Internet unless your ISP has informed you otherwise, which is unlikely.

Now select the Settings button.

Enable LCP extensions. LCP (Link Control Protocol) extensions provide a way of establishing, configuring, maintaining, & terminating a PPP connection. You should leave this setting Ticked unless you experiencing problems connecting to your ISP as a result of its enabling.

Enable software compression. Tick this setting to enable software (CPU) data compression for your connection. This will provide faster uploads/downloads depending on the data which is getting compressed. Should you have a Modem which can performance compression in hardware then Iíd recommend you leave this setting Unticked & allow the Modem to perform any data compression Ė this should improve system performance slightly as the CPU will not be required to perform a task which can be done on separate, dedicated, hardware. Those would Winmodems should Tick this for optimal upload/download speeds, albeit it at the cost of some CPU cycles.

Negotiate multi-link for single link connections. You can leave this setting Tick unless you experience problems connecting to your ISP (Error code 733 according to Microsoft), in which case Untick this.

Click Ok after youíve made your changes.

For the most efficient Internet connection you should Uninstall as many unnecessary Clients/Services/Protocols as possible, e.g. Client for Microsoft Networks & QoS Packet Scheduler. As you may have noticed from my Dial-up connection only Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is installed.


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