Problem of the week

Tips & Hints

Cure a noisy modem.

27 June 2001

I've installed a new modem and it makes a lot of noise when it dials the Internet. How do I get rid of the noise?

What you are hearing is the modem "handshake" . The modem is discussing with the Internet Service Provider what speed it will connect at. Once they have agreed the line is good enough to make a connection and at what speed they can talk the noise usually goes away and the connection begins.

Technicians like noisy modems because we can hear what is going on. An experienced technician can pick up a modem, connection or line problem from that noise. But for most users the noise is a nuisance, paticularly when you are connecting late at night.

Changing the setting is quite easy on most computers. In Windows, the Modem control panel is where to change the settings. Click start, settings, control panel, modems. In the general section there is normally a sliding volume control. If this doesn't work, click the connection tab, select advanced and type M0 in the extra settings box.

Apple users can make the same change in the Config PPP control panel. From the Apple menu, select Control Panels and Config PPP. Click on the config button and put M0 at the end of the init field. The change should take effect the next time you start your modem.

Don't change anything else in the init or extra settings boxes unless you know what you are doing. Changing other settings may slow your modem or even stop it connecting to the net. One golden rule of computing is don't play with anything you don't understand.

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