Slowing Down A 56K Modem Will Increase The Speed Of A Rural Dial-up Connection!

Why does changing the V.90 to V.34 in a 56K modem speed up the rural connection?  The answer lies in the fact that a copper wire telephone line more than 15 miles from a telephone exchange cannot deliver 56K--and in fact can just barely deliver 28.8K.  This means that a 56K V.90 modem in a rural setting 23 miles from the telephone exchange, for example, is setup to receive and send data at a faster rate then the telephone wire can deliver over such a distance.

Slowing down the modem using the HCF AT Command Set to change from V.90 to V.34 is the first thing to do to correct this misalignment.  My 56K Rockwell/Conexcant HCF PCI modem was changed from V.90 to V.34 and gave an immediate increase in connection speed from 19600 bps to 26400 bps with an occasional connection of 28800 bps.  This is a huge increase in connection speed for the rural internet user with a dial-up connection.  To change this modem from V.90 to V.34 using the HCF AT Commands under WIN98, do the following:

Go to the Control Panel, select Modem, select Properties, select Connection, select Advanced.

Enter the following in EXTRA SETTINGS: +MS=V34.  Then click "OK"
56K is now disabled and the modem is set to 28.8/33.6 Kbps.  Why this does what it does is beyond my comprehension, but I have listed some links that will help you troubleshoot your particular modem.  The second thing to do is to dial in to your ISP using their 28.8K phone number instead of the 56K phone number.  This tweak will guarantee the highest connection speed to your reconfigured 28.8/33.6 Kbps modem from the ISP.

And for the final tweak go to EasyMTU to obtain your MaxMTU.  Windows 95/98 default has a MaxMTU of 1500.  That means that packets of 1500 bytes are sent over the Internet.  Most routers on the internet have a MaxMTU of 576. That means your 1500 byte packet is fragmented in 3 packets.  With fragmentation the speed goes down because it generates a lot of useless space.  If you set your MaxMTU to 576 there will be less unwanted fragmentation so speed goes up.  So the suggested value for MaxMTU is 576. This free program is easy to understand and easier yet to use because it has a "restore" feature that lets the user return to the default windows setting if the MTU tweak didn't speed things up.

If these tweaks were helpful to you, I would appreciate an email to caarfno@yahoo.com letting me know much they helped or didn't help.  Drop the no from caarfno for the correct address.  There have been visitors here from many countries trying to overcome the limitations of copper wire land phone lines.  I'm still getting no more than 26400 bps most of the time--with an occasional 28800 bps!


Good Place To Start
More Ways To Fine Tune Your Connection
Leslie Long's Modem Speed Test Page
V90 page
56K page
Practical Guide to Modems
Tips & Tricks
Good Ideas