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Background:

  • Dial-up is the only option for this computer
  • Gave up on the internal modem last week; now using an external USB modem.
  • I finally have the computer talking to the internet.
  • HOWEVER, after 1-5 minutes, the connection gets dropped (or something) for no apparent reason.
  • It reconnects right away.
  • Additional fact: it seems to be going very slow, even for dial up.
  • I don't even know where to look to find a log beyond the Gnome-PPP update window thing for clues.

Question:

  • Any idea about what's going on?
  • Any help about were to look for clues?
  • 1
    Look in /var/log/syslog. Post everything from around the time the connection is dropped. – Gilles Apr 19 '11 at 22:44
  • Open a terminal and run sudo tail -f /var/log/messages just before connecting. That should tell you something. Cat and paste the output here if you still can't figure it out. – Keith Apr 20 '11 at 11:18
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Some systems will drop idle dial-up connections. This could be happening on either end of the connections. IPSs don't like people tying up their dialup pool with idle connections.

Maximum dial-up speed is 56k on a clean line. It is common for the modems to downgrade the connection speed on a noisy line. If the line is noisy enough the connection may be dropped. I worked one project where we had to have the phone line replaced. Telcos may charge extra for data conditioned lines. (In most jurisdictions the voice lines are required to be clean enough for dial-up, but unless you are doing broadcasts you likely don't have the equipment to notice the line isn't up to standard.)

Try downloading a file and see what speed the browser says you are getting. As you are on dial-up this should be pretty close to the speed your connection has if you aren't doing anything else.

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