Connections Speed/Disconnect Problems

Problems with your connection speed and frequent disconnections can be caused by several different things. We've tried to assemble the most thorough list of possible errors and ways they can be fixed below.

Bad phone lines:

The telephone company will only guarantee a connection speed of 28.8k, even though modems will go faster. If you have static on your line that will cause low speed or disconnections. The reasons for this are easy; Modems use sound to communicate data from one computer to the next. If you have static on the line that data (sent in a series of squeals and noises) will be corrupted and impure, this causes problems with the connection. There are a few common causes for static on your line.

Moisture in the line:

Phone lines will often gather moisture inside the protective coating around the wire. This is bought on by condensation and in the case of older lines, the protective covering dries out and allows water to filter inside. How can it be fixed? The only way to fix this problem is to completely replace the section of line.

Junction Box:

Most homes with more than one connection to one phone line will have a single line that runs from the box on the side of your house to a junction box or a jack beneath the house and the other lines split off from that. This can cause a variety of problems from a weak signal due to having more splits than the signal is able to support, or the junctions gather condensation which can rust the connectors or allow water into the line. How can this be fixed? Replacing the junction and affected lines is about the only way to correct this problem.

Long Phone Lines:

Some homes may have a limited number of phone outlets in their home and it forces the customer to use overly long lines stretched through their home so that they can connect their computer to the phone line. The biggest problem with this is that phone cords purchased in stores aren't installation grade lines. The cords are more fragile and don't carry a signal as well as some of the more professionally used lines. Some customers may also use several different cords patched together with adapters and other miscellaneous methods. This can also cause a degradation of signal strength as each additional connector causes a loss in signal and the potential to pick up outside signals that can carry on the line. How do you fix these problems? Have a professional install a new jack in your home as close to the computer as you can. They will use higher quality lines and wall outlets so that you can get the best signal possible.

Proximity to External Electronics:

If you are forced to use a longer cable than recommended you may want to be sure that there are no powerful electronic devices in the vicinity of the line. Such powerful electronics such as Microwaves, Stereos, Televisions, and Washing Machines will put out an electro-magnetic field that causes high amounts of static, this in turn will cause static on your phone line and either slow down your connection speed or disconnect you altogether.

Modem Driver:

Sometimes through Windows a driver will become corrupt and may slowly stop working properly. There are a few ways that this can be corrected. The first way, which is what we recommend, is to call your computers manufacturer so that it can be reinstalled.
The second way is to visit or and download the latest driver for your modem. We cannot assist you installing your modem drivers so be careful and make sure that you have the correct one. To check what kind of modem you have follow these steps:

  • Double-click on My Computer
    Double-click on Control Panel
    Double-click on Modems
    Your Modem will be displayed here
  • Network Settings:

    In order to have a good stable connection your Network settings must be properly setup. If it isn't you will have a wide range of troubles. To check your Network settings you need to do the following:
    (NOTE: Anytime you enter your Network settings and don't make a change you should click the CANCEL button to exit so that Windows doesn't attempt to reconfigure your network. This is vital because your Windows Installation disk may be required and without it some errors to your system could occur.)

  • Double-click on My Computer
    Double-click on Control Panel
    Double-click on Network
  • Now you should see a list of components, and below are the three components that are essential to good connection with our service.

  • Client for Microsoft Networks
    Dial-Up Adapter
  • If you don't have these three components in your network, please call 1-888-937-8260 so that one of our Tech Support Agents can assist you in placing them there.

    IP Header Compression:

    IP Header compression is used by systems to pack certain information in the packets of data that are sent across the TCP/IP connection. In a little more basic terms, this information is used to authorize and verify the information coming across from your computer to our servers. Why will this cause problems with your connection speed? It's like two people talking different dialects of the same language, and when that occurs you have a more difficult time understanding each other. They are both expecting the sentences to contain certain structure and content, and when they aren't there it takes a few moments to understand and process that info. Same thing with computers. To correct this problem, follow these steps.

  • Double-Click My Computer
    Double-Click on the Dial-Up Networking icon
    Right click on your Westco icon
  • Click on the Server Types tab at the top of this box (This box will be labeled Networking in Millennium Edition)

    Near the bottom you should see a button labeled TCP/IP Settings. Click the TCP/IP Settings button and look at the bottom of the next screen that pops up. You should see an option for Use IP Header Compression, make sure it is checked.

    Modem Strings:

    In many cases your manufacturer will place modem strings in your modem settings to assist your modems operation. Modem strings are sets of commands to force or disable certain modem functions and in the earlier days of telecommunications these strings were highly needed. With current technology however, these strings mostly bog down and cripple the effectiveness of your modem. If you suspect that you have modem strings in your modem setup, and your modem is a 33.6 or higher, call your manufacturer or our technical support number to have these strings removed.

    If the connection speed problem persists, contact the modems manufacturer for hardware tech support or to update the drivers. You didn't pay half price for the modem, why expect half usage?