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What speed am I ACTUALLY connected at?

Posted on 2000-02-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I recently purchased a new computer and with it came an ISA non-win modem. (I have intention of looking at Linux).  What didn't come with the modem was a driver disk.

The idiots at the tech support for the company I purchased it from simply stated that I didn't NEED drivers that Windows 98 standard modem driver would be fine.

Of course we all know that that driver does not allow for any tweaking.  In other words, we can't turn the volume down and the modem reports that it is connecting at 115,200.  I can turn this to 56,600 and it will always report that speed.  (I have not checked "Only Connect at this speed")

So digging I went.  I grabbed Chip IDs and FCC IDs and every possible piece of data I had available to me.  The FCC search produced nothing, so I went looking for data on my chips.  Turns out the main chip is Cirrus Logic, so I went to their site and downloaded the best driver for my chip.

Works Great.  I now get connections of 46,666!  (Of course this is now ALL THE TIME!?!)

Previously using the same ISP dialup, I got either 28,800 or 31,200 with an equal percentage of both.  Now that I am getting 46,666, I should be thrilled, but I can't help wondering if my connection speed is THAT consistent?

My Question is:  How can I determine what speed I am ACTUALLY connected at?  I would like to know if the 46,666 is just a more accurate representation of the 115,200 I was getting earlier?

This probably will not be too tough, but if you stick with me and help me out, including possibly getting better drivers, I will increase the points

Thanks
Scott

OH...the Chip in question is MD5650DT-SC-C
FCC was 5LOTAI-33175-M5-E
On the Back is Model #I200 and 951-07000602
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Question by:WilyGuy
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by:Otta
ID: 2544403
> I now get connections of 46,666!

Now, your modem-initialization string contains 'W2', so that your modem reports the modem-to-modem speed, rather than the modem-to-COM-port speed.

> (Of course this is now ALL THE TIME!?!)

Yes.  My US Robotics Sportster consistently gets 48000, because I always use the *same* telephone-wires between my modem and the telephone-company's analogue-to-digital switch.

>  Previously using the same ISP dialup, I got either 28,800 or 31,200 with an equal percentage of both.

Your modem was not negotiating an X2/K56Flex/V.90 connection;
it was negotiating a V.34 connection, at 33600 or 31200 or 28800 or 26400 or ....

> Now that I am getting 46,666, I should be thrilled,

Yes, you should.  That's very good.

> but I can't help wondering if my connection speed is THAT consistent?

Yes, it should be, if you exclude "random" noise on the line.


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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2546123
So Apparently I get consistency with V.90?

Why does my Dad connect at either 46,666 or 49 something?  We share the same ISP, but different dial-up numbers?

I would very much like to accept this as the answer, but I see some disparity?

Though I will probably accept this answer, I wanted to leave it open a little while longer.

Scott
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by:Otta
ID: 2547061
> Why does my Dad connect at either 46,666 or 49333 ? We share the same ISP, but different dial-up numbers?

Unless you share the same modem, and the same wires from your (and your dad's) modem through your (and his house) and the same wires from your (and his) house to the telephone-company's switch(es), you are going to get differences.

Compare it to you and he driving to the nearest Tim Horton's Donuts; you'll take different roads, even if you have identical automobiles, and you could enter through different doors into the store, but you both arrive at the same place, eventually.
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by:1cell
ID: 2547437
go here and download netmedic.  it will tell you where the problem lies if there is one.

http://www.ins-insoft.com/netmedic/freedownload.html
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2548615
otta,

My point is that you basically stated that because I am making a V.90 connection and NOT a V.34 connection I would get the same number because it is more reliable.

Shouldn't the same hold true for any V.90 modem?  That is what he has and he gets 2 different speeds?  So is the V.90 and my 46,666 going to be consistent or will it be more like his V.90 and his 2 speeds?

It is true that we do not share the same wires, but over those EXACT wires, I got 2 speeds previously, now only one.  Over his wires he got 2 speeds with his old modem AND with the new one.

Confused?  Me too.
Scott

1cell I will try the program you suggest.
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Expert Comment

by:hpost
ID: 2548732
It is unusual that you would get the same connect rate EVERY time you connect, but not impossible. However, keep in mind that the display does not show any changes in the speed after the initial connect.
The fact that you father connects at differents rates would be attributed to many things, including his call routing, his modem type, his modem settings, etc. When you switched drivers you changed the settings in your modem, including the option to display the connect rate. If you want to know how fast data is moving, use an FTP program and download some files. The transfer rate will be displayed on a second-to-second basis. You can watch the speed increase or decrease during the session.
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by:hpost
ID: 2548752
It is unusual that you would get the same connect rate EVERY time you connect, but not impossible. However, keep in mind that the display does not show any changes in the speed after the initial connect.
The fact that you father connects at differents rates would be attributed to many things, including his call routing, his modem type, his modem settings, etc. When you switched drivers you changed the settings in your modem, including the option to display the connect rate. If you want to know how fast data is moving, use an FTP program and download some files. The transfer rate will be displayed on a second-to-second basis. You can watch the speed increase or decrease during the session.
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2549054
Adjusted points to 150
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2549055
1cell,

What is it that this program is supposed to tell me?  I am looking at the window and it tells me I have a speed limit of 46.6Kbps.  which is in line with what I am seeing when I move the cursor over the connected icon.

However, I grabbed a few web pages and the thing told me all sort of strange things.  I mostly watched to see how high the numbers would go and the numbers ranged from 0 to 78.1Kbps!!!!????

How the heck am I getting stuff faster than 56K?

Does this tell me anything indicative of the speed I am connected at?

Scott
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2549065
Also,  When I go to session summary, it lists my connection as 46.6 avg, 46.6 min and 46.6 max.  Are they supposed to be different?

Scott
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by:1cell
ID: 2549238
78.1kbps was a spike and not worth paying any attention to obviously.

the point of this program is that it allows you to monitor various aspects of your connection like the ISP and internet congestion, CPU usage, web site delay, etc so you can see exactly where problems are being caused if they are.

I'm not sure which summary you were looking at but the fact that it ready constantly the same makes me think it was talking about the port speed between the modem and the computer, not the modem's actual download speed.  Typically, on a dial up, I see it report between 2-6kb download speeds.  Again, these are download speeds, not the connection speed.  I think the download speed is more indicative of the performance you are getting.  After all, the point of the internet is to download content not just to be connected to it.
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by:pjknibbs
ID: 2549808
Actually, the 78.1kbps might be a real transfer rate if you've got compression turned on. A page which is mostly HTML (i.e. long page, few graphics) compresses very well so will download faster--I've certainly achieved in excess of 400K in a minute with HTML, which is faster than a 56K modem can possibly manage without compression!
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Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

 
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2549850
to WilyGuy:

1) 78.1 could be a result of compression protocol - if you receive plain text or big HTTP stream, compression could increase the throughput few times, but while you transfer sone ZIP or ARJ files it con not be more than physical connection speed

2) 28800 for V.34, 33600 for V.34+, 56700 for V.90/X2/K56flex are maximum theoretically possible speeds, but it is not guaranteed. Actual speed VERY depends on current line conditions. This is probably strange for you in USA (or somewhere), but for us (in xUSSR) this a real problem - most of our cabling in the city was made 30-40 years ago and lines are AWFULL. You can get 31200 at night (nor cars, no trams, no radio transmissions etc), but during the day speed is lower (as low as 7200 on some lines ;-). Line quality changing all the time (if we have rain, then next day half of our users blame our service... I work for ISP by the way),
because cables' insulation becaomse worse... so I want to say that different speed IS normal because a modems (using above protocols) negotiate during connect and set maximum possible speed for CURRENT conditions. Moreover, all above protocols have ASL (adaptive speed leveling) feature meaning tht even after connection actual speed is changing if line conditions change, to lower or higher speed respectively.

Don't waste your time to thinking about this - this is normal

ps. and put port speed to 115200 !

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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2551181
Thanks to all of you who are weighing in on this.

My question remains, I used to get 2 "connected at" speeds with my old modem and if I got anything under that for instance 26400, The connection was always noticeably slower.  So I knew to look at the connection speed to determine if I should try to download stuff or disconnect and try again.

Now with this static one speed, I can't make such determinations.  Some connections "seem" slower than others, but I can't tell if I am truly faster than before?  As my old modem was on my old system, I can't eliminate the new processor and more RAM from the equation as possibilities.

I can set my port speed to whatever I want above 56600 and still get the same 46,666 reported speed.  My last driver (the Standard Modem driver) always reported that I was connected at 115,200. (that was what I had it set to, but not the only connect at box)

Scott
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by:Otta
ID: 2551192




                     My point is that you basically stated that because I am making a V.90
                     connection and NOT a V.34 connection I would get the same number because
                     it is more reliable.
> put port speed to 115200 !

Be careful.  Some motherboards don't accept this.  When you try to set this speed, it is rejected, and the port-speed stays at '1200' -- which results in a very-slow connection.
If this happens, back-down to 57600,
and measure, measure, measure.

> Shouldn't the same hold true for any V.90 modem?

The actual line-speed depends on many factors, as others have said, above.

> That is what he has and he gets 2 different speeds?

It's possible that his telephone-line is "marginal" at 49333.  Then, a connection-attempt _may_ connect at 49333, or it may "back-down" to 48000.
Yes, the two numbers are different, but not *VERY* different.

> So is the V.90 and my 46,666 going to be consistent

Yes.

> or will it be more like his V.90 and his 2 speeds?

Probably not.  But if it is, it's nothing to worry about.

> but over those EXACT wires, I got 2 speeds previously, now only one.

Your two speeds were only one "step" apart.  Again, if your telephone-line can "marginally" support 31200, then one "step" slower is 28800.  No big deal.

> Confused?

Not at all.  Have you ever telephoned somebody, and got a _REALLY_ noisy connection?  What did you do?  Probably, you just terminated the connection, and tried again.  

Very occasionally, my V.90 modem connects at *very* slow rates (21000).
Blame it on sun-spots, the phase of the moon, and your "karma" interacting with your yin/yang.
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2551290
otta,

My point to you is that my line, I guess, "marginally" supported 31200 and got that and 28,800.  Why won't it "marginally" support say 48000 and get that and 46.6? or 46,600 and the next step down?
Scott
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by:femson7
ID: 2551811
WilyGuy,

Based on your original question, which is: 'What speed am I actually connected at?' is rather a little hard to answer.

Why? Simple. Because of the fact, that v90 connects are 'bi-speed' so to speak. Different speed for the downstream, and the upstream. Downstream is the part wherein data coming from the internet is pumped to your PC. And upstream means the rate you pump data TO the internet.

The speed range and protocol used for the allegedly v90 connection, (which is, in truth, not just a v90 connection, but what USR calls a dual standard connection, btw, USR *IS* the one who developed dual standard as an off shoot to ASL) are as follows: DOWNSTREAM - v90 - 28800bps to 64000bps; UPSTREAM v34+ - 31200bps.

Now, to answer your question directly, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW the exact speed you're connected at, at any given time, except the INITIAL connect speed windows would report to you via the modem lights connection icon that appears on your task bar.

Hanging up, and then checking it via a v90 link diagnostics won't help also, since windows is setup to issue a reset command immediately after you close the current RNAPP.EXE session.

In order to prevent windows from doing so, you have to edit the system registry. Let me know if you want to do this.

Now, a v90 connection is also affected by multiple compression that we normally overlook when we initially set up one connectoid. We tend to use both SOFTWARE compression, and HARDWARE compression, thus resulting to additional overhead because of multiple compression/decompression stages. Let me know if you don't have an idea as to what is best to use, and how to set it up. It can improve your throughput at least 5% depending on the data type you're pulling out from the internet.
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Otta earned 150 total points
ID: 2552996
> Why won't it "marginally" support say 48000 and get that and 46.6? or 46,600 and the next step down?

There's no reason why the modem should _NOT_ just "step" down from 48000 to 46666 or 43333 speeds.  My USRobotics modem does this, most of the time.
However, occasionally, I get a _VERY_ bad connection, and the modem "steps" down to 21600, or even slower.

> I used to get 2 "connected at" speeds with my old modem and if I got anything under that for instance 26400, the connection was always noticeably slower.

It's hard to see any difference between 26400 and 28800 (or 26400 and 31200).

However, if your modem finds a "noisy" connection, and steps-down to 26400, note that it also may _DISABLE_ the modem-to-modem "compression".
In this case, you _WILL_ be able to see a difference -- between 26400-uncompressed and 28800-compressed.

> Now with this static one speed,

It's not a "static" speed; it's the same result, over the same telephone-lines, in the absence, so far, of a "noisy" connection.

> I can't make such determinations.

True, until you *DO* get a noisy connection.

> I can set my port speed to whatever I want above 57600

You're _ONLY_ setting the speed between your modem and your motherboard.
Note that if your modem is receiving at 48000, and the data it is receiving has been "compressed", then your setting is _LIMITING_ the speed at which the modem will send the "uncompressed" data to your motherboard -- the "compression-ratio" can be 2-to-1 to 4-to-1.  So, you should set the speed to 115200, so that your modem can deliver the data as fast as it can.

> My last driver (the Standard Modem driver) always reported that I was connected at 115,200.

It was reporting the speed between your modem and your motherboard, _NOT_ the speed between your modem and your ISP.



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Expert Comment

by:iwin
ID: 2553123
I think wily would like to know the current speed when he decides to download something from the web.

The above comments explains thoroughly what/how internet speeds are varied.

Here is a tool just to check how fast/slow the connection speed is.

Any Speed for Windows 95 monitors Internet, network, or CD-ROM connections to gather speed statistics over time. Use it to gather statistics showing speed trends relative to the time of day. The easy-to-use interface lets you define multiple connections to watch then displays speed ratings in a graphical line chart for easy comparison in real time. A trend window enables you to view longer durations (over days) and export them to a file or to the Clipboard. Run programs depending on a minimum or maximum speed, including retrieving mail or running a pager program to alert technicians of a problem, or determine the best time to use your Internet connection. Any Speed includes the ability to initiate or keep a dialup connection alive by automatically redialing it without user intervention.

http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000F34

More,
http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/search.html
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2553197
>Now, a v90 connection is also affected by multiple compression that we >normally overlook when we initially set up one connectoid. We tend to use >both SOFTWARE compression, and HARDWARE compression, thus resulting >to additional overhead because of multiple compression/decompression >stages. Let me know if you don't have an idea as to what is best to use, >and how to set it up. It can improve your throughput at least 5% >depending on the data type you're pulling out from the internet.

I don't want to edit my Registry.  I would like to check these settings to improve throughput.  let me know what to look at.

Thanks Again.
Scott

This all came about because I wanted to make sure I had the correct drivers!  sheesh, I should just leave well enough alone.
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by:MnNCOMM
ID: 2553413
46.6 is about the best your going to get EVER !!! Unless your only a few blocks away from the phone compnaies central office. I have seen some 49.x's out ther but only at random times and not ever consistent.

Depending on the quality of the line from the phone company, depending on the type of switching system the phone company is using (for example just because you live next door to your Dad, there could be 3 different switching systems and digital to analog conversions technoligies used even in the same sub division you live in, as well as 1 or more of 3 lines being on different systems in the same household). Depending on if your lines are on an intergrated slick or a universal slick (These are phone company terms). Windows sytem resources can also effect quality of a connection or speeds.

Make a long story short, if your connecting at speeds of 46.6 or higher consistantly, leave well enough alone. If your not, make sure you have an access number that has a 56K modem at the other end of it, and uses the same technoligy of your modem such as FLEX/X2 or V.90. Many times depending on the ISP, they may trip over to a different number if busy, or transfer the call to yet another number you do not see, and instead of calling a town 5 miles away as you think, your actually being forwarded to "OshKosh" or some other ungodly place.

Hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:Shizik
ID: 2553444

   To find a ball-park connection speed,

make sure that you are not using any initializer string unless one is nessessary for v.90,

connect to your isp, the speed that it shows you in your connected to box is actually very accurate and is eqaled to, in your case, 56k - (LINE NOISE factors, DISTANCE factors, MODEM factors etc)

Basically, the actual speed does not matter as much as knowing that you have a 56k connection, which you do if it shows you any speed above 38-39k

I have 2 modems in my pc, one gets 45k, while another gets 52k,
i have to say that i have tried really hard to tell the difference, but hve not been able to notice anything

they both download at the same speed, etc.

dont worry about the actual speed, just make sure that you r getting a 56k connection.
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by:femson7
ID: 2554675
Ok, for pentium class processors running a v90 connection, I would suggest using the SOFTWARE compression.

Under DIALUP networking, highlight your ISP connection, and then right-click on it, and choose properties. A window will appear entitled with the name of your ISP connection.

Click SERVER TYPES tab, and put a check on ENABLE SOFTWARE COMPRESSION.

Now, go back to the GENERAL tab, and click on CONFIGURE. Another window will appear. This time it is entitled with the same name as your modem. This is your modem's properties configuration applet. Click on the CONNECTION tab then click ADVANCE which will bring up yet another window.

Look for COMPRESS DATA and remove the check mark if it is checked. If it is not, then leave it alone and close all the windows that popped up. This will disable HARDWARE compression.

Connect to your ISP, and then once connected, double click on the tiny icons that resembles two computer screen. This is found on your lower right corner of the screen under windows 9x, beside your clock.

Once you double click on it, a window will appear entitled CONNECTED TO <the name of your connection/ISP>. Click on DETAILS.

You will see, most probably, 3 lines of text under PROTOCOLS, in my case, it says:

Password Authentication Protocol
STAC Compression
TCP/IP

STAC Compression is the software compression that my ISP is using. Others might differ and one variant I know of is MICROSOFT COMPRESSION.

If you only see the first and third line in my example, which are PAP and TCP/IP, this means your ISP disabled SOFTWARE compression and you must reenable HARDWARE compression.

Cheers!!
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by:WilyGuy
ID: 2557818
All the answers were helpful.  Otta weighed in first and consistently well.
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by:femson7
ID: 2613021
Femson7 checks out OTTA's points, then whips out his submachine gun, and says, "Otta, my dear friend, I hate to do this, but you've got lots of points, and I must tell you, this is a robbery, put your hands in the air and give them points to us here."

LOL!! Just kidding... Can't help it. Too much coffee probably... :)))




P.S. I hope some sense of humour isn't frowned upon here... or worse, an indication of going nuts... Nuts, sure, but make it Macademia Nuts please... hehe
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