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          Most modern connection issues can be repaired by checking the computer for spyware or a virus. Spyware causes the computer's processor to be consumed by the activities being performed by the spyware or virus causing the connection to appear slow or be unstable. Removing the spyware or virus will not only improve the performance of the internet but the computer in general.

          Most brand name computers come loaded down with software. A lot of that software isn't needed for proper operation of the computer. Each time the computer is powered on there are typically 5 to 15 programs that are started that really aren't necessary. Disabling those programs will increase power on time and usually improve computer and internet performance.

          If you have a 56k modem you will need a computer fast enough to handle the information coming in from the modem. If your computer's processor (CPU) uses a something older than a first generation Pentium processor or your computer has less than 16 megabytes of RAM your computer may not function properly on the internet.

    Items that need to be checked are:
    1. Computer speed - At least a Pentium II processor.
    2. Memory - At least 16 megabytes of memory should be installed in any computer with Windows 95 or 98.
    3. Compression - Normally you want as much compression as possible. However, if you are a gamer you would usually have compression turned off. This keeps those ping times lower.
    4. Operating system - 56k modem technology was designed for modern computers that could operate Windows 95/98/NT. 56k modems were not designed for older computers with Windows 3.1
    5. UART chip - For computers with external modems you need a high speed serial port. A high speed serial port is identified as a 16550 UART. If you have an external modem and do not have one of these then your modem is not operating at full efficiency or is causing speed and/or disconnect problems.
    6. MTU - maximum transfer unit - Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 by default use an MTU of 1500. Some computers may notice a speed increase by changing the MTU to 576. At ftp://www.vci.net/pub/ there are two programs that allow you to change the MTU with Windows 95. One is called PPP Boost and the other is MTU Speed. After the MTU is changed you must reboot your computer. Windows 98 adjusts the MTU automatically.


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