Configuring a Modem
When you install a new modem, the modem installation
wizard uses an appropriate set of default parameters for that modem. You might
need to change those settings to optimize the modem's performance or tailor
it for specific applications.
To configure a modem, open the Control Panel
and choose the Modems object. From the General modem property page, select the
modem you want to configure; then choose Properties. Windows 98 displays a property
sheet for the modem.
The General property page enables you to specify
the port to which the modem is connected, the volume level for the modem's speaker,
and the connection speed you want to use for the modem. To specify the port,
just select the appropriate port from the Port drop-down list. To set the modem's
volume, move the Speaker volume slider control. Most modems support four volume
levels: off, low, medium, and high. Set yours according to your preference.
When you set the Maximum speed for the modem
on the General property page, you need to take your modem's capabilities into
account. If you set the speed too high, you could experience problems with the
modem. To determine the optimum setting, run the diagnostics on the modem as
explained in the section "Testing a Modem," later in this chapter.
One value the diagnostics reports is the maximum speed for the modem. In general
you shouldn't go any higher than the diagnostics-specified maximum.
If you want the modem to connect only at the highest possible speed and not
renegotiate the connection to a lower speed, enable the check box labeled
Only connect at this speed. If you want to connect to your pay-per-use online
service only at the highest possible speed, for example, enabling this option
will prevent a connection from taking place at a lower speed.
Specifying Connection Settings
The Connection property page enables you to specify
a variety of settings that control the port and other connection options. Some
of these settings Data bits, Parity, and Stop bits override similar
settings in the Port Settings property page for the selected COM port.
The following list details the other settings
on the Connection property, located in the Call preferences group:
- Wait for dial tone before dialing. If your
modem supports dial tone recognition (most do), enable this check box to prevent
the modem from dialing if it can't detect a dial tone. If you have trouble
with the modem detecting a dial tone that should be present, or you manually
dial the phone, clear this check box.
- Cancel the call if not connected within n
secs. Use this check box to control whether Windows 98 cancels the call if
a connection is not established within the specified amount of time.
- Disconnect a call if idle for more than n
mins. Use this control to enable Windows 98 to hang up the modem if no activity
occurs on the modem for a specified amount of time. If you perform a lengthy
unattended download, for example, enable this check box and specify an appropriate
time limit to cause Windows 98 to hang up the connection after the specified
amount of time expires.
Some online services and remote dial-up connections disconnect you automatically
after no activity occurs on the connection for a specified amount of time.
Setting Advanced Options
In addition to the standard settings in the Connection
property page, you can use a few advanced settings to control other parameters
for the modem. To set these advanced settings, choose the Advanced button from
the Connection property page to display the Advanced Connection Settings dialog
box. The following list explains the settings in the Advanced Connection Settings
- Use error control. Enable this check
box if you want the connection to use the modem's error-correction capabilities
(V.42 or MNP-4, for example). You almost always benefit from using error correction.
- Required to connect. This option,
if enabled, requires that the connection be established using error correction.
If the modem cannot establish a reliable connection, the connection is refused.
If you want to ensure that the connection uses error correction, enable this
- Compress data. This option, if enabled,
causes the connection to use the modem's error compression protocol, such
as V.42bis or MNP-5. You should enable this selection for text transfers and
binary transfers, but disable it when you transfer compressed files.
- Use cellular protocol. This option,
if enabled, causes the connection to use the modem's cellular error-correction
protocol. Cellular error correction is becoming increasingly common in faster
PCMCIA modems, enabling you to use your cellular phone to establish data connections.
This option is dimmed if the selected modem does not support cellular protocols.
- Use flow control. This control specifies
whether the connection uses flow control. If enabled, the connection uses
the flow control method specified by the accompanying Modulation type setting
(explained next). For best performance, use hardware flow control (RTS/CTS)
whenever possible. To specify a flow control method, choose the Hardware (RTS/CTS)
or the Software (XON/XOFF) option button.
- Modulation type. This setting specifies
the type of modulation the modem uses to establish the connection. The available
settings depend on the modem type, but most often they are either Standard
and Non-Standard. The Standard setting uses the ITU-TSS standards (V.32bis,
V.32, and so forth) and the Non-Standard uses the Bell and HST protocols.
The Standard setting usually will work, but if you have trouble connecting,
try the Non-Standard option.
- Extra settings. Use this text box
to specify additional modem setup commands, such as setting the dialing speed,
modem response mode (text, numeric), and other parameters, such as disabling
- Record a log file. Enable this check
box if you want Windows 98 to create a log file that tracks connection status
and events. Windows 98 creates the log, Modemlog.txt, in the Windows
98 folder, and it can be very useful for troubleshooting and fixing connection
- View Log. Click this button to view
the modem log file.
After you specify the necessary advanced settings,
choose OK to exit the Advanced Connection Settings dialog box.